Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 18th, 2016
Webcast Event
In a very special forum—free and exclusively for plan sponsors—a panel of industry experts will discuss highlights from a 2015 national survey of defined contribution plan participants titled: Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?; legal and regulatory trends; macro DC/DB/NQ trends; and RFP and benchmarking trends, among other things. Learn how to apply this recent research and the experts’ perspectives to establish guardrails to support participants’ efforts to prepare for the future and for your plans operations.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Higher Ed. Institution Retirement Plan Designs Changing
The era of non-ERISA 403(b) multi-provider arrangements is going away in the higher education market, according to research from Transamerica Retirement Solutions. According to “Retirement Plans for Institutions of Higher Education,” nearly half of institutions are sponsoring a 401(k) plan.Read more >
2022 Best in Class DC Providers
SECURE 2.0 Enables Improvements to Overall Financial Wellness
Biden Uses First Veto to Uphold DOL ESG Rule
Fiduciary Rule May Lead to Retirement Product Changes
The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) proposed conflict-of-interest rule (fiduciary rule) will force a period of retirement plan product and platform innovation in the United States, according to Cerulli Associates. Advisers will increasingly choose technology platforms to deliver advice, and insurance product pricing may become more like mutual funds, Cerulli anticipates.Read more >
DB Plans in Decline Face Increasing Risks
The current context of pension regulation, and the steps sponsors have taken to wind down their plans, create new and significant risks for defined benefit (DB) plans, notes Kevin Wagner, senior consulting actuary at Willis Towers Watson, in Southfield Hills, Michigan. The first he labels discipline risk—failing to maintain a realistic level of annual contributions. Lower funding leads to Wagner’s second evolving concern, which he terms decumulation risk.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending March 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 265,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 258,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 268,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 267,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.73%, up from 3.68% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.99%, up from 2.96%.
Market Mirror

An afternoon surge in stocks, coming on the heels of a four-week rally, turned the Dow Jones industrial average positive for the year, according to the Associated Press. The Dow gained 155.73 points (0.90%) to finish at 17,481.49, the NASDAQ was up 11.01 points (0.23%) at 4,774.99, and the S&P 500 increased 13.80 points (0.68%) to 2,041.02. The Russell 2000 closed 16.74 points (1.56%) higher at 1,091.25, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 158.83 points (0.77%) to 20,883.83.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a near 4 to 1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 2 to 1.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 1.901%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 13/32, bringing its yield down to 2.689%.
Fee Suit Against TIAA Has a New Angle
In a new twist on excessive fee lawsuits, TIAA (formerly TIAA-CREF) is being sued for excessive fees caused by excessive mailings to retirees and beneficiaries. In his lawsuit, Jay Lefkowitz, a participant in several plans administered by TIAA says he complained for years about getting separate mailings for each of the 15 accounts from which he was drawing retirement benefits. Lefkowitz says in the complaint, “As a fiduciary, TIAA has an obligation to administer the plans economically and in the best interests of the plan and its participants.”Read more >
PBGC to Pay Pension Benefits for A&P Grocery Chain
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. supermarket chain based in Montvale, N.J., commonly known for its A&P brand, is the latest employer to require bailing out of its pension plan by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). PBGC is stepping in because A&P has sold the majority of its assets in bankruptcy proceedings and most of the buyers declined to keep the plans going.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1673, Lord Berkley sold his half of New Jersey to the Quakers. In 1813, David Melville patented the gas streetlight. In 1818, the U.S. Congress approved the first pensions for government service. In 1850, Henry Wells & William Fargo founded American Express. In 1865, the Congress of the Confederate States of America adjourned for the last time. In 1881, Barnum and Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth opened in Madison Square Gardens. In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt opened the Roosevelt Dam in Arizona. It was the largest dam in the U.S. at the time. In 1931, Schick Inc. displayed the first electric shaver. In 1945, 1,250 U.S. bombers attacked Berlin. In 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first plastic lenses were fitted for a cataract patient. In 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Miranda decision concerning legal counsel for defendants. In 1970, the U.S. Postal Service experienced the first postal strike. In 1970, the NFL selected Wilson to be the official football and scoreboard as official time. In 1986, the U.S. Treasury Department announced that a clear, polyester thread was to be woven into bills in an effort to thwart counterfeiters.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
A cute way to get your baby interested in eating green beans.Read more >
How far back could you go and still understand English?Read more >

In Bukit Mertajam, Malaysia, a man attempted to steal about $7 worth of food from a local supermarket. According to news reports, when caught, the man confessed and said he was having a hard time feeding his three children after his wife went into a coma after childbirth. The manager of the store was so moved that instead of calling police, he offered the man money and a job offer.

In Denver, Colorado, a woman entered a taxi, threatened the driver with a knife, kicked him out and drove off with the vehicle. However, she had told him when she got in the vehicle she wanted to go to a particular 7-Eleven store. According to the local ABC News station, although the woman ditched the cab, she still walked to the store to which she had requested to go, and that’s where police arrested her.
In Louisiana, Remember Beaker from The Muppets? Well apparently he’s been arrested for a church burglary.Read more >

In Franklin, Tennessee, police were notified of a chicken that had walked onto a road in the downtown area. They tweeted: “Officers are trying to wrangle a *chicken* in the downtown Franklin area. It’s crossed the road & we’re working to determine why.” The chicken was safely captured.

Near Cleveland, Ohio, police were called when a 74-year-old man rear-ended another car in a Panda Express drive-thru. Thinking he was impaired, officers asked him to recite the alphabet. The man told police he was unfamiliar with it.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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