Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 2nd, 2016
PSNC Call for Panelists
Will You Share Your Insight and Experience?
In 2016, we are excited to deliver more peer-to-peer perspectives from a variety of plan sponsors willing to share their experiences of what has worked—or not—at their plans during the PLANSPONSOR National Conference. Plan sponsor attendees can learn from their peers—but in order to do that, we are on the search for willing plan sponsor panelists. So, we’d like to invite you as a participant in one of our many discussions throughout the three-day event. Our attendees greatly value hearing from plan sponsors during these discussions and we appreciate your willingness to share your insight and expertise. There are many topics and sessions to be discussed so feel free to review the agenda and find one that appears to be the best fit.  Please email Lucille Velander at if you have interest in sharing your knowledge and expertise with your industry peers and let us know your preferred topic/conference session. If you do speak on a session we will provide you with one complementary night of accommodations at the conference hotel.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Benefits & Administration
The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies has released a report analyzing women’s retirement outlook in the U.S.—and why it is shaky for many.Read more >
Employees Expect Retirement Will Be Worse Than Parents’
Three in four U.S. employees (76%) expect their retirement years will not be as secure as their parents’, according to Willis Towers Watson 2015 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey. Seventy-one percent believe Social Security benefits will be reduced, and 70% think government-provided health benefits will be worse.Read more >
Women are far more likely than men to face financial hardship in retirement, according to a new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) titled, “Shortchanged in Retirement: Continuing Challenges to Women’s Financial Future.” Women age 65 and older have an average income that is 25% lower than men’s. By age 80, women’s income is 44% lower. In addition, women face higher medical expenses and are more likely to need more expensive long-term care.Read more >
How Useful Are Replacement Rates in Planning for Retirement?
Without the ability to adjust factors used in replacement rate planning tools, workers may over- or under-estimate how much they need to save for retirement, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concludes in a new report. The GAO noted that researchers and financial industry professionals develop target replacement rates—the percentage of income to aim for in retirement—based on certain key factors, including spending, household characteristics, and pre-retirement earnings. GAO’s analysis of literature about replacement rates found that calculating an appropriate replacement rate can be complex.Read more >
Overconfidence Drives TDF Misuse
A combination of investor overconfidence and a desire for greater diversification seem to be driving widespread misuse of target-date funds (TDFs). Although the vehicle is designed as a diversified, age-appropriate investment product for the entirety of an investor’s retirement assets, most participants don’t remain fully invested in them as their balances grow. Financial Engines takes a look at why the most participants—only one-quarter (26%) are using the funds as intended—move away from TDFs over time.Read more >
Brad Smith, a partner in NEPC’s corporate services practice, says Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums are very quickly approaching the breaking point for many plan sponsors. In fact, according to new internal client poll results shared with PLANSPONSOR, fully two-thirds of the firm’s clients say they now have to plan changes to their defined benefit (DB) programs in the wake of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.Read more >
Webcast Event
Join us for a webcast that will highlight our 2015 Prudential/PLANSPONSOR Executive Benefits Survey results, with a focus on identifying barriers to retirement success—including specific participant concerns—and how we can leverage new communication and education tools and technology to make a more meaningful connection with plan participants.Read more >
Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced that construction spending during January was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,140.8 billion, 1.5% above the revised December estimate of $1,123.5 billion. The January figure is 10.4% above the January 2015 estimate of $1,033.3 billion.

Market Mirror

Stocks closed sharply higher Tuesday, giving the market its best day in more than a month. According to the Associated Press, traders were encouraged by several pieces of good news about the U.S. economy, including a jump in construction spending to the highest level in eight years. The Dow surged 348.58 points (2.11%) to 16,865.08, the NASDAQ climbed 131.65 points (2.89%) to 4,689.60, and the S&P 500 closed 45.92 points (2.38%) higher at 1,978.15. The Russell 2000 increased 20.60 points (1.99%) to 1,054.49, and the Wilshire 5000 rocketed 467.25 points (2.37%) to 20,216.90.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 5 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.6 billion shares changed hands, with a 3 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 26/32, bringing its yield up to 1.828%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 21/32, increasing its yield to 2.698%.
That CEO Request May Not Be from the CEO
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued an alert to payroll and human resources professionals to beware of an emerging phishing email scheme that purports to be from company executives and requests personal information about employees.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – Forcing First-Time RMDs
“Can I force required minimum distributions for nonresponsive participants by the required beginning date for such distributions? I am concerned since a number of participants in our plan have not taken their required minimum distributions; not because they cannot be located, but because they simply refuse to complete the required paperwork, whether via oversight or intentionally.”Read more >
Small Talk
When asked which generation is the most engaged in the workforce, more than half (52%) of executives surveyed by the Futurestep division of Korn Ferry said Generation X. Baby Boomers and Millennials were tied at just less than 25%. The survey found that the largest number of respondents (39%) say that the “ability to make a difference in their organization” is most important to Gen Xers in the workplace.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1807, the U.S. Congress passed an act to “prohibit the importation of slaves into any port or place within the jurisdiction of the United States… from any foreign kingdom, place, or country.” In 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico and an ad interim government was formed. In 1861, the U.S. Congress created the Territory of Nevada. In 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election by the U.S. Congress. Samuel J. Tilden, however, had won the popular vote on November 7, 1876. In 1899, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington was established by the U.S. Congress. In 1899, U.S. President William McKinley signed a measure that created the rank of admiral for the U.S. Navy. The first admiral was George Dewey. In 1917, citizens of Puerto Rico were granted U.S. citizenship with the enactment of the Jones Act. In 1925, state and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker. In 1933, the motion picture King Kong had its world premiere in New York. In 1998, images from the American spacecraft Galileo indicated that the Jupiter moon Europa has a liquid ocean and a source of interior heat. In 2004, NASA announced that the Mars rover Opportunity had discovered evidence that water had existed on Mars in the past.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”—Charles Spurgeon, British preacher

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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