Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 4th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
PSNC 2015: Top Trends in Retirement Planning
Speaking at the 2015 PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Chicago, two long-time industry executives dissected the top trends impacting retirement plan administration and employee benefits generally. From the oft-cited decline of the corporate pension system to the boom in financial wellness programs in the defined contribution (DC) context, plan sponsors and their service providers are in the midst of great change, noted Sean McLaughlin, senior vice president for client relations and business development at Prudential Retirement.Read more >
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report indicating that many retirees and workers approaching retirement have limited financial resources. About half of households ages 55 and older are without a 401(k) plan, an individual retirement account (IRA) or any other form of retirement savings.Read more >
PSNC 2015: CEO Roundtable
Plan sponsors face a host of challenges in an industry that is changing at lightning speed. Several of these were discussed at the PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Chicago, including new plan design features, a convergence of employee benefits, and the shift from asset -focused education toward holistic financial education, retirement income products and new technologies. “Automation plays the key role in the savings rate and accumulations,” said Peter Gordon, CEO of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services. That strategy is the core of what needs to be done, he said. If you automatically enroll new participants and re-enroll older ones, you can impact 85% of the group as a whole. Other plan design features such as Roth conversions can motivate participation on a tax basis, he said.Read more >
The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies showed marginal improvement, rising by 1%, to 83%, as of May 31, according to Mercer. Increases in the interest rates used to calculate corporate pension plan liabilities coupled with a strong equities market lifted funded status by 9 percentage points, from 74% at the end of January, to 83%.Read more >
Delta Pilots Emergency Savings Program
SECURE 2.0 Accidentally Dropped Catch-Ups, But Industry is On the Case
New DOL Rule on ESG Investing in Retirement Plans Draws Republican-Led Legal Challenge
DC Participants Feel Angst Over Retirement Costs
Even with money accumulating in defined contribution (DC) accounts against the day they will stop working, many retirement plan participants are afraid they will have too little to protect them from the steep costs that come with retiring and getting older, according to a new report from Spectrem Group. “Financial Attitudes and Concerns of Retirement Plan Participants,” the company’s latest plan participant report, finds the cost of health care is the top financial concern of plan participants.Read more >
PSNC 2015: NQDC Plan Trends and Challenges
Speaking at the 2015 PLANSPONSOR National Conference in Chicago, two experienced plan design experts suggested that more education for executives and key employees would lead to greater use of nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. According to the MullinTBG/PLANSPONSOR Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan Survey, current participation among eligible executives and key employees in these plans is a bleak 43%. It is a stat Robert Kieckhefer, managing director of the Kieckhefer Group, has also seen, and one he feels can be vastly improved with a concerted educational effort from plan sponsors and their advisers.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
JMM, CPA, in Colchester, Vermont, has opened a new firm specializing in employee benefit plan audits. James M. Moyna, the firm’s founder, has a background in audits as well as benefit plan administration.  Moyna has experience performing year-end compliance testing, preparing plan documents and completing Form 5500 filings.Read more >
Franklin Templeton Premieres Payout Fund Series
Franklin Templeton Investments has rolled out a fund series aimed at helping new retirees draw down the savings from their defined contribution (DC) plan. The Franklin Retirement Payout Fund series, with funds maturing annually from 2017 through 2021, provides plan participants entering retirement with a payout schedule, which they can adjust to coincide with their expenses, producing a cash flow as needed.Read more >
A new target-date series from AllianceBernstein, co-managed by Morningstar Associates, invests in funds managed by several experienced investment managers. AllianceBernstein designs and manages the series’ moderate-risk glide path, adjusting asset-class exposures as market conditions change, and provides overall program oversight.Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow closed 64.33 points (0.36%) higher at 18,076.27, the NASDAQ gained 22.71 points (0.45%) to finish at 5,099.23, and the S&P 500 was up 4.47 points (0.21%) at 2,114.07. The Russell 2000 climbed 12.78 points (1.02%) to 1,264.58, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 64.70 points (0.29%) to 22,357.42.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a nearly even split between advancers and decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancing issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.348%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 3.088%.

Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1896, Henry Ford made a successful test drive of his new car in Detroit. He called the vehicle a “Quadricycle.” In 1942, the Battle of Midway—one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II—began. In 1919, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. In 1947, the House of Representatives approved the Taft-Hartley Act, legislation regarding labor disputes. In 1989, Chinese troops stormed through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. In 1998, George and Ira Gershwin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


SURVEY SAYS: Sorry, not this week.

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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2015.

All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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