Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 15th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Savings Is Decreasing Number of Americans in Lowest Asset Group
American households in the lowest asset group of less than $50,000 in investable assets declined by 2.1 million, the only asset group to decrease in number of households during the past four years, even as the total number of households nationally increased by 3.5 million, according to a Hearts & Wallets report, “Portrait U.S. Household Wealth: Essential Building Blocks to Empower Fact-Based Strategy & Prioritization.” Looking at the saving rate for consumers younger than 35 with less than $100,000 in investable assets, the analysis found 5.3 million households are saving 10% or more of their income annually. In addition, the report reveals the market for existing income management tools for new retirees is 3.5 million households. Read more >
Plan Sponsors, Providers and Participants Speak of Different Perceptions, Priorities
The latest research from Cerulli Associates identifies topics where there are, as researchers put it, “surprisingly different perspectives” among key defined contribution (DC) plan industry stakeholders; Cerulli believes that these areas of misalignment may offer opportunities for plan providers, advisers, and consultants to drive new solutions. As Jessica Sclafani, director at Cerulli, explains, researchers contrasted survey data of 401(k) plan sponsors’ stated priorities with recordkeepers’ perceptions of plan sponsor priorities. The comparison clearly shows that plan sponsors and recordkeepers might not be on the same page in thinking about topics related to improving the quality of the investment lineup, minimizing fiduciary risk while avoiding litigation, and reducing plan administration costs. Read more >
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19% of Working Americans Are Not Saving Anything
Nearly 20% of working Americans are not saving any money, according to a Bankrate.com survey. The number one reason they gave for not saving was having too many expenses, cited by 39%. Sixteen percent said their job isn’t good enough, 16% said they haven’t gotten around to it, and 13% said debt was preventing them from saving. Read more >
Economic Events

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for January, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,426.0 billion, down 0.2% from December 2017, but up 5.7% from January 2017, the Census Bureau announced.

 

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for Februa, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $492.0 billion, a decrease of 0.1% from the previous month, but 4.0% above February 2017. Total sales for the December 2017 through February period were up 4.3% from the same period a year ago. The December 2017 to January percent change was revised from down 0.3% to down 0.1%. Retail trade sales were down 0.1% from January, but 4.2% above last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 10.1% from February 2017, while Gasoline Stations were up 7.9% from last year.

 

The Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.2% in February, as prices for final demand services advanced 0.3%, while the index for final demand goods edged down 0.1, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The final demand index increased 2.8% for the 12 months ended in February.

Sponsored message from PlanPILOT
Protecting Your Retirement Plan from Lawsuits
How to effectively design and implement retirement plan oversight functions and minimize lawsuit risk. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow fell 248.91 points (1.00%) to 24,758.12, the NASDAQ decreased 14.20 points (0.19%) to 7,496.81, and the S&P 500 closed 15.82 points (0.57%) lower at 2.749.49. The Russell 2000 was down 7.74 points (0.49%) at 1,584.31, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 151.60 points (0.53%) to finish at 28,528.52.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury rate was up 8/32, decreasing its yield to 2.816%. The price of the 30-year Treasury note increased 27/32, bringing its yield down to 3.054%.

Compliance
IRS Extends Remedial Amendment Cycle for Pre-Approved DB Plans
A defined benefit (DB) plan sponsor using pre-approved plan documents to restate a plan for the plan qualification requirements included on the 2012 Cumulative List will be required to adopt the plan document by April 30, 2020. Read more >
SunTrust Agrees to Settlement in Long-Running ERISA Suit
The case, originally filed in 2008, alleged that SunTrust Banks breached its fiduciary duty by keeping company stock as an investment option in its 401(k) plan after it was no longer prudent. In addition to a monetary payment of $4.75 million, the bank agreed to non-monetary terms regarding payment and vesting of matching contributions to its 401(k) plan. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 44 BC, Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by high ranking Roman Senators. The day is known as the “Ides of March.” In 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage. In 1781, during the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400. In 1820, Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union. In 1862, General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, Tennessee. In 1864, the Red River Campaign began as the Union forces reach Alexandria, Louisiana. In 1875, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, was named the first American cardinal. In 1892, New York State unveiled the new automatic ballot voting machine. In 1892, Jesse W. Reno patented the Reno Inclined Elevator—the first escalator. In 1913, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson held the first open presidential news conference. In 1934, Henry Ford restored the $5 a day wage. In 1955, the U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile. In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television. In 1989, the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs became the 14th Department in the President’s Cabinet. In 1991, four Los Angeles police officers were indicted in the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991.

SURVEY SAYS: You can find studies showing both that March Madness activities improve workplace morale and productivity or decrease it, and other studies say it cost employers money. This week, I’d like to know, do you think March Madness activities in the workplace increase or decrease morale and productivity, and are these activities encouraged in your workplace? 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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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