Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 20th, 2018
Webcast Event
Join us April 3 for a webcast in which sources will discuss innovation and the world of financial wellness, including how health savings accounts are becoming a part of the retirement conversation. The session will also cover how the combination of innovative defined contribution (DC) plan design and investment solutions can help meet the unique objectives of participants approaching or in retirement. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Proposed Legislation Would Address Student Loan Debt and Social Security Solvency
A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives to provide loan forgiveness to borrowers of Federal student loans who agree to delay eligibility to collect Social Security benefits, and for other purposes. The Student Security Act of 2017​ would grant $550 in student loan forgiveness for each month a student debtor was willing to raise his or her full retirement age, or $6,600 per year. The proposed legislation establishes a maximum level of student loan forgiveness of $40,150, or forgoing six years and one month of Social Security benefits. LendEDU surveyed 943 ​Americans with student loan debt to find out their thoughts about the proposal. The plurality (46.13%) would be willing to delay collecting Social Security benefits for complete or partial federal student loan forgiveness. Read more >
Debt Going Into Retirement Higher Than Past Generations
Sixty-eight percent of families where the head of the household is 55 or older carried debt in 2016, up from 53.0% in 1998, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found. Data shows American families just reaching retirement or newly retired are more likely to have debt—and higher levels of debt—than past generations. Consequently, EBRI says, more families that have elderly heads are placing themselves at risk of running short of money in retirement due to their increased likelihood of holding debt while in retirement. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
The Senate Math That Could Block SECURE Act
2
House Committee Advances Bill to Establish Union Pension Lifeline Program
3
Open MEPs Not for Every Plan Sponsor
4
Driving Financial Wellness at Work
5
Pension Participants Claim ERISA Breaches in Dow DuPont Pension Transfer
Products, Deals and People
Washington Financial Group Revamps Website
“We are focused on providing our clients with the necessary resources, tools and technology they need to pursue successful retirement outcomes for every employee,” says Joe DeNoyior, WFG’s managing partner. Read more >
Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow lost 335.60 points (1.35%) to finish at 24,610.91, the NASDAQ closed 137.74 points (1.84%) lower at 7,344.24, and the S&P 500 decreased 39.09 points (1.42%) to 2,712.92. The Russell 2000 was down 15.49 points (0.98%) at 1,570.56, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 446.89 points (1.57%) to 28,098.29.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.851%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 6/32, bringing its yield up to 3.089%.

Compliance
Circuit Courts’ Conflict on DOL Fiduciary Rule Could Persist
Late last week, news emerged that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit had ruled, by a two-to-one majority, to vacate the Department of Labor (DOL) Fiduciary rule, based on arguments put forward by the U.S Chamber of Commerce and the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association. Judging by the wide range of industry commentary already shared with PLANSPONSOR, the retirement plan and brokerage industries are viewing this latest appellate decision as a real milestone in the decade-long battle to craft and implement a stricter fiduciary standard under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Read more >
From the Magazine
Selective Mining: Extracting Value from Data Points
What is big data, and what does it mean for plan sponsors trying to make sense of their retirement plan   and the plan and participant information available to them? “There’s a lot more data available now than in the past, and it’s a lot easier to get the data—to ‘mine’ it—and to analyze it,” says Betsy Dill, senior partner at consultant Mercer in Los Angeles. “We’re seeing employers really look at how different segments of their employee population are using their benefits programs. Rather than just look at medians, they’re getting deeper into data based on work force segmentation and using that data to help determine better ways to help employees engage with their benefits programs.” The broad array of data points available can be overwhelming for plan sponsors to weed through, especially to make sense of what information can be leveraged to achieve certain targets. For this reason we drilled down to offer key examples of how data mining can help plan sponsors implement strategies that seek to optimize plan success and drive desired participant outcomes. Read more >
Investing
Gun Divestment Bill Introduced in Massachusetts Legislature
State pensions have a history of “talking with their feet” in a show of activism against undesirable products or actions. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1413, Henry V took the throne of England upon the death of his father Henry IV. In 1760, the great fire of Boston destroyed 349 buildings. In 1816, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed its right to review state court decisions. In 1833, the U.S. and Siam signed a commercial treaty. In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s book “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” subtitled “Life Among the Lowly,” was first published. In 1854, the Republican Party was organized in Ripon, Wisconsin. About 50 slavery opponents began the new political group. In 1897, the first U.S. orthodox Jewish Rabbinical seminary was incorporated in New York. In 1914, the first international figure skating championship was held in New Haven, Connecticut. In 1922, the USS Langley was commissioned. It was the first aircraft carrier for the U.S. Navy. In 1943, the Allies attacked Field Marshall Erwin Rommel’s forces on the Mareth Line in North Africa. In 1952, the U.S. Senate ratified a peace treaty with Japan. In 1965, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered 4,000 troops to protect the Selma-Montgomery civil rights marchers. In 1980, the U.S. made an appeal to the International Court concerning the American hostages in Iran. In 1982, U.S. scientists’ returned from Antarctica with the first land mammal fossils found there. In 1984, the U.S. Senate rejected an amendment to permit spoken prayer in public schools. In 1990, the Los Angeles Lakers retired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s #33. In 1996, in Los Angeles, Erik and Lyle Menendez were found guilty of first-degree mur.der in the killing of their parents. In 1999, Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones became the first men to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon. The non-stop trip began on March 3 and covered 26,500 miles. In 1999, Legoland California opened in Carlsbad, California. In 2002, Arthur Andersen pled innocent to charges that it had shredded documents and deleted computer files related to the energy company Enron. In 2003, U.S. and British forces invaded Iraq from Kuwait.

TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How did San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge get its name? 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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