Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 30th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Introducing Automatic Enrollment to K-12 403(b)s
Jessica Kovachick, registered principal and retirement plans specialist at The Legend Group, told attendees at the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association (NTSA) 403(b) Summit in Nashville, among 403(b) plans for public school systems, only about 30% of eligible participants are participating. “That is a part of this nationwide retirement crisis too,” she said. Now is the time for K-12 403(b) plan sponsors to consider using automatic enrollment, Kovachick told summit attendees, noting that research shows plans with automatic enrollment average about 21% higher participation rates than plans that do not.Read more >
Optimism Doesn’t Match Retirement Readiness
Lincoln Financial Group’s latest Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America Survey that shows the majority of people polled (81%) feel optimistic about their financial future. However, these positive attitudes are not translating into action-oriented behaviors. The data shows that only one in five Americans feel “very prepared” for retirement, protecting their wealth and handling income disruptions of varying durations.Read more >
Market Mirror
Fears that Greece’s troubles could spread through the global financial system shook markets on Monday, driving U.S. stocks to their worst day of the year, according to the Associated Press. The Dow fell 350.33 points (1.95%) to 17,596.35, the NASDAQ dropped 122.04 points (2.40%) to 4,958.47, and the S&P 500 closed 43.85 points (2.09%) lower at 2,057.64. The Russell 2000 decreased 33.04 points (2.58%) to 1,246.75, and the Wilshire 5000 plummeted 471.10 points (2.12%) to 21,774.32. On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 9 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a 7 to 1 lead for decliners. The yields for the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond were 2.326% and 3.099%, respectively.
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Sponsored message from PLANSPONSOR
PLANSPONSOR’s 2015 Recordkeeping Survey
Our 2015 Recordkeeping Survey profiles 66 providers seeking to capture sponsor attention with the right balance of value and service.Read more >
Compliance
Court Dismisses Part of Guaranteed Investment Challenge
The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado handed Great-West Annuity and Life Insurance Company a small victory by dismissing part of a class action suit filed by a retirement plan participant invested in one of the firm’s guaranteed investment contract products—but key segments of the challenge were permitted to proceed. The complaint underlying the case alleges Great-West breached its fiduciary duty of loyalty under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Sections 502(a)(2)-(3)—namely by setting predetermined interest rates artificially low and charging excessive fees in order to increase its own profits from the sale and servicing of certain group annuity contracts. Plaintiffs also allege Great-West engaged in self-dealing transactions prohibited under ERISA § 406(b); and caused the plaintiff’s retirement plan to engage in prohibited transactions with a party in interest in violation of ERISA § 406(a).Read more >
From the Magazine
Barry’s Pickings: Imagine a World.
It’s easy—say, when you’re trying to figure out some obscure provision in the company’s 401(k) plan—to feel like you, we, work in a narrow and technical area with little significance to the wider world. And the complexity of the finance, administration and regulation of retirement plans can certainly make the point of all we do hard to see. But, after spending almost 40 years thinking about and working with retirement plans, my interest in them has gotten only deeper and more intense. Here’s why.Read more >
Investing
Time to Rethink the Brokerage Window?
Vanguard examined the self-directed brokerage feature in defined contribution (DC) plans it administers and found 16% of Vanguard plans offered a self-directed brokerage option in 2014, with large plans somewhat likelier to offer the option. But, fewer than 10,000 of Vanguard’s 3.6 million participants use the brokerage option. Slightly more than one-quarter (28%) of plan participants had access, but just 1%—9,208—actually took advantage of it. In fact, in 10% of plans offering a brokerage option, usage of the feature is zero.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, a Frenchman known professionally as Emile Blondin, became the first daredevil to walk across Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind,” one of the best-selling novels of all time and the basis for a blockbuster 1939 movie, was published. In 1950, just three days after the United Nations Security Council voted to provide military assistance to South Korea, President Harry S. Truman ordered U.S. armed forces to assist in defending that nation from invading North Korean armies. In 1952, CBS-TV debuted “The Guiding Light.” In 1953, the first production Corvette was built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Michigan. In 1962, Sandy Koufax struck out 13 batters and walked five to lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to victory over the New York Mets 5-0 with his first career no-hitter. In 1971, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified when Ohio became the 38th state to approve it. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18. In 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS REWIND: According Travel + Leisure magazine, what is the most visited tourist attraction in America?Read more >
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