Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 11th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Millennials Saving, but Is It Enough?
The spending and saving habits of Millennials (those ages 25 to 35) are scrutinized in the Principal Financial Group Millennial Research Study, which contends that the majority could face dim prospects for a comfortable retirement, based on their inadequate current savings patterns. In a recent survey of Millennial workers, 63% report they started saving for retirement before age 25. However, less than one-third are saving at least 10% of their salary through their employer-sponsored retirement plan.Read more >
Ask the Experts
What Is a 403(a) Plan?
“I am an adviser who is familiar with 403(b) plans, but today I came across something I have never heard of—a ‘403(a)’ plan. Is there such a plan? If so, how is it different from a 401(a) or 403(b) plan?”Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Paul Kim has been hired as managing director and head of exchange-traded fund (ETF) strategy at Principal Financial Group. In this newly created role, Kim is responsible for the launch and growth of The Principal’s active ETF business.Read more >
Northern Trust Offers Help with Custom TDFs
Northern Trust has enhanced its services for defined contribution (DC) sponsors to help them more efficiently manage their custom target-date funds (TDFs). Using the SunGard Global Network (SGN) Funds platform, Northern Trust offers more flexibility to support trading for multi-manager white label funds for DC plans. “As our clients have increasingly chosen custom, white label funds as an option for their participants, we want to give them more flexibility,” says Tom Lauer, defined contribution consultant at Northern Trust. “SunGard’s solution gives clients a broader selection of recordkeepers, as not all recordkeepers currently facilitate this process.”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 $433.7 billion, down 3.1% from the revised December level and down 1.0% from the January 2014 level. 
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
What Kind of Payments Can a Hardship Request Cover When Buying a Home?
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Market Mirror

U.S. stock indexes fell sharply as fears over possible interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve roiled financial markets around the globe, according to the Associated Press. The Dow fell 332.78 points (1.85%) to 17,662.94, the NASDAQ closed 82.64 points (1.67%) lower at 4,859.79, and the S&P 500 lost 35.26 points (1.70%) to finish at 2,044.17. The Russell 2000 was down 15.05 points (1.23%) at 1,208.54, and the Wilshire 5000 dropped 343.79 points (1.57%) to 21,616.91.


On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 2.7 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a more than 3 to 1 lead for decliners.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 21/32, decreasing its yield to 2.118%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 1 20/32, bringing its yield down to 2.716%.

From the Magazine
Just out of Reish: Is 65 Too Young to Retire?
Let’s do a reality check. Even if a plan sponsor contributes 5% of pay, it will still be hard for most 35-year-olds to take the remaining 10% out of their paychecks. At that stage in life, people are making payments on new houses and raising children and saving money for college. To make matters worse, there aren’t many employers who contribute 5%. If someone works at a company that makes little, if any, matching or profit-sharing contributions, he would have to defer nearly one-sixth of each paycheck to achieve retirement security. Maybe it’s just me, but that doesn’t seem like a realistic solution.Read more >
The Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index only saw two days of above-normal trading activity in February, and for the month the total trading activity amounted to 0.022% of total balances. When defined contribution (DC) plan participants made trades, they tended to favor fixed income over equities, the index results show. The most popular asset classes for outflows were large U.S. equity ($158 million), company stock ($110 million) and small U.S. equity funds ($61 million).Read more >
Regulations Increased Confidence in Derivatives
Eighty percent of institutional investors believe that mandatory central clearing of derivatives—including futures contracts, forward contracts, options and swaps—has reduced systemic risk in global financial markets, according to a Greenwich Associates report. In a separate report, Greenwich Associates says futures products will gain traction among global investors in coming years at the expense of more standardized cleared swaps, according to new research.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1779, Congress established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help plan, design and prepare environmental and structural facilities for the U.S. Army. In 1818, “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus” was published. In 1901, U.S. Steel was formed when industrialist J.P. Morgan purchased Carnegie Steep Corp. In 1918, the first cases were reported in the deadly influenza epidemic. In 1930, U.S. President Howard Taft was the first U.S. president to be buried in the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. In 1969, Levi-Strauss started selling bell-bottomed jeans. In 1989, COPS, a documentary-style television series that follows police officers and sheriff’s deputies as they go about their jobs, debuted on Fox.  In 1993, Janet Reno was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become the first female attorney general.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Laughter is an instant vacation.” —Milton Berle, comedian
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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