Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 10th, 2016
2016 PSOY Finalist Profiles
Get to know our Plan Sponsor of the Year finalists in the Corporate 401(k) $50MM to $200MM category.Read more >
Finalists in the Corporate 401(k) $200MM to $1B category share their stories.Read more >
Read about the retirement offerings of finalists in the Corporate 401(k) Greater Than $1B category.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
The 100 largest U.S. corporate pension plans in the country experienced a $35 billion decrease in funded status during February, according to Milliman. The funded status for these pensions decreased from 80.8% to 79.1%. The funded status deficit has ballooned by $68 billion so far in 2016.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Does the SECURE 2.0 Act Make 403(b) Plans More Like 401(k) Plans?
What Can Annuities Gain From Secure 2.0 Act?
25 States Bring Suit Against ESG Regulation
A Plan Sponsor Offers a Student Loan Repayment Benefit
BP-3 is a software and services company based in Austin, Texas, focusing on business process improvement for Fortune 500-sized organizations. It is a small, but growing company, with 90 employees worldwide and about 65 in the U.S. The problem of student loan debt was in the news and a subject of conversation among his company’s own employees, says Scott Francis, CEO of BP-3.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investors on the Betterment platform can now securely sync outside financial accounts—including 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs), taxable accounts, mortgages and loans held at other institutions—with their Betterment account. This will allow users to see their total net worth in one place, and it will help Betterment give better, more holistic personalized advice.Read more >
Economic Events
The U.S. Census Bureau announced that January sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $433.1 billion, down 1.3% from the revised December level and down 3.1% from the January 2015 level. January sales of durable goods were down 1.9% from last month and were down 3.4% from a year ago. Sales of computer and computer peripheral equipment and software were down 6.4% from last month and sales of furniture and home furnishings were down 5.3%. Sales of nondurable goods were down 0.8% from December and were down 2.8% from last January. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 6.9% from last month.
Market Mirror

Wednesday, he Dow closed 36.26 points (0.21%) higher at 17,000.36, the NASDAQ increased 25.55 points (0.55%) to 4,674.38, and the S&P 500 was up 9.97 points (0.50%) at 1,989.23. The Russell 2000 was up 4.89 points (0.46%) at 1,072.76, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 100.02 points (0.49%) to finish at 20,367.20.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with 3 advancing issues for every 2 declining issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 16/32, increasing its yield to 1.880%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.666%.
CalPERS Secures $130 Million Settlement from Moody’s
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) has won a $130 million settlement from Moody’s, stemming from Moody’s Investors’ Services erroneous “AAA” ratings of certain investments that performed very poorly during the 2008 and 2009 financial crisis.Read more >
IRS Sued over VCP Mismanagement
In a lawsuit filed in 2014, Information Systems and Networks Corporation (ISN) brought action against the Internal Revenue Service under the Administrative Procedure Act, saying the IRS arbitrarily refused to meaningfully consider, and issue a ruling in connection with, ISN’s Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) submission related to its pension plan. A federal district court has moved he lawsuit along by denying the IRS’ motion to dismiss the case.Read more >
Bill Would Amend ERISA Advice Standards
The Affordable Retirement Advice Protection Act (HR 4293) introduced by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Georgia) would raise the investment advice standards outlined in ERISA by adding language to sections 3(21) and 408(b) for the definitions of investment advice and for exemptions relating to the giving of investment advice.Read more >
Managed Accounts Can Be a Talent Retention Tool
New client survey data shared by Fidelity shows slightly more than half of U.S. employers (51%) see managed account offerings within a tax-qualified retirement plan as an important way to retain current employees, while 49% say managed accounts help to attract the best employees.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1656, in the American colony of Virginia, suffrage was extended to all free men regardless of their religion. In 1785, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France. He succeeded Benjamin Franklin. In 1848, the U.S. Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the war with Mexico. In 1864, Ulysses S. Grant became commander of the Union armies in the U.S. Civil War. In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful call with the telephone. He spoke the words “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.” In 1924, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a New York state law forbidding late-night work for women. In 1941, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that their players would begin wearing batting helmets during the 1941 season. In 1945, American B-29 bombers attacked Tokyo, Japan—100,000 were killed. In 1969, James Earl Ray pled guilty in Memphis, Tennessee, to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Ray later repudiated the guilty plea and maintained his innocence until his death in April of 1998. In 1971, the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to lower the voting age to 18. In 1998, U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf began receiving the first vaccinations against anthrax.
SURVEY SAYS: Another ranking of best states for retirement came out from Bankrate recently, and one of my colleagues commented that it is not likely a person would move to another state just for a marginally lower tax rate. He went on to say that’s probably not a good retirement strategy anyway, especially if being near one’s family and loved ones is important for caregiving and emotional wellbeing. This week, I’d like to know, do you plan to move for retirement, and if so, why? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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