Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 2nd, 2017
Webcast Event
In a very special forum, free and exclusively for plan sponsors, the editors of PLANSPONSOR and PLANADVISER magazines invite you to join the nation’s top industry experts in their fields—an institutional investment consultant, an asset manager and a benefits attorney—who will discuss: The Changing Equation: Building for retirement in a low-return world; Legal and Regulatory Trends; and Defined Contribution/Defined Benefit/Nonqualified Plan Trends. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Data shared by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI) shows U.S. single premium pension buy-out sales totaled $13.7 billion during 2016, “almost one percent higher than prior year and the second highest annual total recorded,” according to LIMRA SRI’s quarterly U.S. Group Annuity Risk Transfer Survey. Many of the sales came from smaller plans. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
J.P. Morgan Agrees to Settle Stable Value Funds Suit
2
Individuals, Employers and Government All Play a Part in Retirement Readiness
3
Participant Loans: A Fiduciary Storm Brewing?
4
What to Know About Financial Audits Filed with Form 5500s
5
2019 PLANSPONSOR National Conference
With the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its “Cadillac Tax” unclear, employers are looking beyond substantial health plan design changes to other strategies that will help them control costs, according to the 2017 Medical Plan Trends and Observations Report released today by DirectPath and CEB. Employers are incorporating solutions like health savings accounts (HSAs), wellness incentives, price transparency tools and alternative care options. Read more >
Retirement plan advisers realize that participants are not just concerned about their retirement goals, but a host of financial obligations to their family. Thus, if their advisers offer one-on-one sessions with participants, plan sponsors may want to ensure that advisers gain insight into participants’ complete family obligations and goals. Read more >
Plan Sponsors, Participants Not Prepared for Lower Returns
American workers are increasingly confident about their prospects for a financially secure and satisfying retirement—but many are not prepared for a coming period of lower investment returns forecast by the financial services industry, according to the latest DC Pulse Survey from BlackRock. The firm suggests actions plan sponsors and participants can take. Read more >
Current Finances Must Be Managed to Increase Retirement Security
Failure to manage short-term financial obligations such as budgets, debt and savings can have a lasting impact on financial health and retirement readiness, according to an independent study by retirement consulting firm AFS 401(k). The survey found 38% of employees said they don’t feel comfortable with their current debt. Of that percentage, 42% don’t check their credit reports annually, 62% don’t pay their credit card bills in full every month, and 71% said they don’t have at least three months’ worth of emergency savings. However, the firm also found that a majority of employees are seeking help facing these challenges, and many are turning to their employers. Read more >
Sponsored message from Morgan Stanley
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Barry’s Pickings Online
Barry’s Pickings Online: Taxing the Low-Paid in the Name of Retirement Security
Michael Barry, president of the Plan Advisory Services Group, discusses how the taxation on early withdrawals from retirement plans hurts retirement security for low-paid participants. Read more >
Economic Events

Construction spending during January was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,180.3 billion, 1.0% below the revised December estimate of $1,192.2 billion. The January figure is 3.1% above the January 2016 estimate of $1,144.9 billion.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow gained 303.31 points (1.46%) to finish at 21,115.55, the NASDAQ closed 78.59 points (1.35%) higher at 5,904.03, and the S&P 500 increased 32.32 points (1.37%) to 2,395.96. The Russell 2000 was up 26.95 points (1.94%) at 1,413.63, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 350.99 points (1.43%) to 24,960.78.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares traded, with a 3 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 2.454%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 7/32, increasing its yield to 3.058%.

Compliance
DOL Fiduciary Rule Implementation May Be Pushed Back
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed extension of the applicability dates of the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, including the best interest contract (BIC) exemption, from April 10 to June 9, 2017. The announcement follows a presidential memorandum issued on February 3, 2017, which directed the department to examine the fiduciary rule to determine whether it “may adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice.” Read more >
Investing
ETFs Playing Greater Role in Institutional Investors’ Portfolios
Institutional assets are flowing into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as U.S. institutions integrate ETFs into essential investment functions ranging from risk management and liquidity enhancement to the generation of income and yield in a challenging interest-rate environment, according to a new report from Greenwich Associates. Demand for ETFs is being fueled by the roll-out of new multi-asset funds, Greenwich Associates finds. Read more >
Small Talk

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, in the U.S., 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 1908, in Paris, Gabriel Lippmann introduced three-dimensional color photography at the Academy of Sciences. In 1925, state and federal highway officials developed a nationwide route-numbering system and adopted the familiar U.S. shield-shaped, numbered marker. In 1929, the U.S. Court of Customs & Patent Appeals was created by the U.S. Congress. 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.

SURVEY SAYS: Reviewing findings from a recent poll, I was shocked to learn that the average amount a child gets for losing a tooth is almost $5. This week, I’d like to know, how much did you get from the Tooth Fairy when you lost a tooth, and if you’re a parent, how much do/did you give to your children for losing a tooth? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time. 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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