Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 22nd, 2015
Benefits & Administration
When Procurement Is Involved in the RFP Process
“More frequently we’re starting to see requests for proposals (RFPs) [for retirement plan service providers] go through procurement departments,” says Kathleen Kelly, managing partner at Compass Financial Partners in Greensboro, North Carolina. Stephen Popper, managing director at SageView Advisory Group in Boston, explains that procurement departments for large organizations are in charge of any outside engagement of services or supplies, from furniture to fiduciary investment services. “Their job is to get something for a business unit.” According to Popper, some procurement departments are involved in every step of the RFP process.Read more >
The use of automatic enrollment is expanding, a survey from the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association (DCIIA) finds. Plan sponsors of the larger plans surveyed (greater than $200 million in assets – 185 plans) continue to adopt automatic enrollment, with 62% of survey respondents indicating that they utilize this feature, compared to 56% in 2012 and just 44% in 2010. Among plans with $50 million to $200 million in assets, 59% use auto enrollment, with $5 million to $50 million in assets, 38% use it, and with less than $5 million in assets, 24% do. The survey looked at the reasons retirement plan sponsors do not use automatic plan features.Read more >
Non-ERISA 403(b)s Off the Radar
Until regulations passed in 2007, 403(b) plans didn’t fall under the same Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulatory oversight to which 401(k) plans were subjected. In fact, says Ellie Lowder, tax-exempt and governmental plan consultant at TSA Consulting and Training Services, before the regulations changed, 403(b) plans were not considered plans, but simply “arrangements,” in which an employer provided a payroll slot to a provider and then remitted it to the provider. Plan sponsors were only required to play a very limited role in plan oversight and administration, she tells PLANSPONSOR. However, with the 2007 regulations only three types of 403(b)s are exempted from ERISA provisions.Read more >
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GAO Requests
Survey of 401(k) Plans’ Use of Eligibility and Vesting Requirements: Building savings in a 401(k) plan is a key step to achieving income security in retirement for millions of Americans. That savings may be affected by the eligibility and vesting requirements that are used by many plans. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is asking plan sponsors to participate in its survey examining why plan sponsors use certain eligibility and vesting requirements, how they may have changed the requirements, and how they communicate the rules to employees and participants.Read more >
Survey of Lifetime Income Options 401(k) Plan Sponsors Offer Participants: An increasing American lifespan in an era when the predominant workplace retirement plan no longer guarantees lifetime income calls into question how well 401(k) plans work for the oldest Americans. The GAO is asking plan sponsors to participant in a survey that examines the mechanisms in 401(k) plans that can provide some financial stability to participants until the end of their lives. It asks about the advantages and disadvantages of these options, education about them, and barriers that might limit their adoption.Read more >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales for May. Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about durable goods orders for May and new home sales for May. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow lost 99.89 points (0.55%) to finish at 18,015.95, the NASDAQ decreased 15.95 points (0.31%) to 5,117.00, and the S&P 500 closed 11.25 points (0.53%) lower at 2,109.99. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,284.66, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 105.75 points (0.47%) at 22,347.65.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.4 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.2 to 1 ratio of decliners to advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 22/32, bringing its yield down to 2.260%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 17/32, decreasing its yield to 3.051%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending June 19, the Dow was up 0.65%, the NASDAQ gained 1.30%, and the S&P 500 increased 0.75%. The Russell 2000 climbed 1.55%, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 0.78% higher.

Compliance
ERIC Makes Recommendations for Wellness Rule
The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) says that while the proposed rulemaking from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about employer wellness programs is a positive step forward, it could be improved. ERIC suggests the regulations should conform as closely as possible to the current regulations under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that govern workplace wellness programs.Read more >
Bill Would Block Multiemployer Plan Benefit Cuts
U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has introduced legislation to keep multiemployer pension plans from cutting benefits. In the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), Congress established a new process for multiemployer pension plans to propose a temporary or permanent reduction of pension benefits if the plan is projected to run out of money.Read more >
Both supporters and detractors of the fiduciary rule believe individual investors and retirement savers need additional protections—they just disagree about who participants need protection from. That much is clear following a contentious hearing called before the Republican-controlled House Committee on Education and the Workforce, to discuss the DOL’s new fiduciary rule language.Read more >
ERIC Says ACA ‘Clarification’ Broadsided Employers
The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) sent a letter to three federal agencies calling for the immediate withdrawal of a newly proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost-sharing rule. In a letter to the Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury Departments, ERIC urged that a new out-of-pocket limit, proposed in what the Department of Labor (DOL) called a “clarification”, for large group plans be stricken as it has no basis in law and, in addition, broadsided employers with no real advance warning.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1870, the U.S. Congress created the Department of Justice. In 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill, an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services for their efforts in World War II. In 1970, U.S. President Richard Nixon signed an extension of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It required that the voting age in the United States to be 18. In 2008, actor and stand-up comedian George Carlin died of heart failure at the age of 71.
Last week, I asked NewsDash readers to share their favorite “Dad sayings.” From the list I offered, 12% of responding readers selected “Go ask your mother” as their favorite Dad saying, while 10% selected “Hi, hungry (or thirsty or bored, etc.), I’m Dad (or his name).” Nine percent chose “Don’t make me pull this car over,” and 8% chose “No one ever said life is fair.” However, the biggest proportion (44%) of responding readers chose to submit their own favorite Dad saying, including made a mistake once, I thought I was wrong. “It’s too bad you can’t put an old head on young shoulders,” and “You never know when you’re making a memory.” Other than their favorites, I asked readers to share other Dad sayings they remember. Those included “I may not be perfect, but I’m the closest thing to it,” and “It never hurts to ask.” There is no Editor’s Choice from the reader comments this week. A big thanks to everyone for sharing your memories!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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