Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 21st, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Voluntary Benefits Can Be Part of Overall Financial Wellness Strategy
As more employers consider offering financial wellness programs to employees, they can reframe many types of employee benefits as broader financial wellness help, said Heather Coughlin, the U.S. solution leader for financial wellness at Mercer, in a webcast sponsored by Mercer and hosted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Student loan debt, overall debt, health care costs and retirement savings are just a sample of the financial issues and stresses that employees are dealing with, she noted. “How, outside of defined contribution [DC] plan loans, have employers helped with employee debt and other financial issues?” she asked. Brian Russell, a principal consultant with Mercer Health & Benefits and the national leader for the Voluntary Benefits Solution Development Center, said employers are leveraging voluntary benefits to address employee financial needs. Read more >
Three in Ten Baby Boomers Haven’t Prepared a Retirement Budget
Seventy-three percent of non-retired Americans aged 50 and older expect to delay retirement, The NHP Foundation, a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing, learned in a survey of 1,000 Americans in that age group. Thirty-one percent haven’t prepared a retirement budget. Sixty-five percent have not budgeted for unforeseen health-related expenses. There is a disconnect between what kind of lifestyle Boomers expect to lead in retirement and how poorly they are preparing for retirement, NHP found. Read more >
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Compliance
IRS Reduces Fee for Terminating Plan Determination Letter
Plan sponsors who have already submitted an Application for Determination for Terminating Plan in 2018 will receive a refund of $700. Read more >
Court Denies Participant Second Chance at Voya ERISA Suit
A federal district court judge ruled a new complaint alleging Voya Financial and Voya Retirement Advisors engaged in prohibited transactions in violation of ERISA through a service arrangement with Financial Engines was futile because it wouldn’t survive a motion to dismiss. Read more >
Tough Process Questions Raised by Fifth Circuit Fiduciary Rule Decision
To help ease the immediate concerns and confusion of clients, the law firm Stroock has published a helpful guide that dissects the latest fiduciary rule developments; on one attorney’s assessment, it actually is not that likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will get involved. Read more >
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow climbed 116.36 points (0.47%) to 24,727.27, the NASDAQ closed 20.06 points (0.27%) higher at 7,364.30, and the S&P 500 was up 4.02 points (0.15%) at 2,716.94. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,570.41, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 91.52 points (0.33%) to finish at 28,189.80.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 8/32, increasing its yield to 2.888%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 22/32, bringing its yield up to 3.125%.

From the Magazine
Taking Shape
When PLANSPONSOR was founded in 1993, much like today, there was much debate about whether defined benefit (DB) or defined contribution (DC) plans were better for employees and sponsoring employers. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was nearly 20 years old and had, in many ways, reshaped the employer-sponsored retirement plan. As of 1993, 401(k) plans were not new, but were continuing their upward momentum in adoption. Defined benefit pensions and the expense they caused the sponsoring company, as well as the considerations regarding investments within them, were top of mind for their sponsors. In many ways, some things have remained the same, but, of course, many things have changed considerably since that first quarterly issue. Read more >
Small Talk
More than half (59%) of Americans surveyed say they put pressure on themselves to work during family vacations. But work isn’t the only vacation distraction—social media is also to blame. Thirty-seven percent of social media users admit they use social media while on family vacations the same or more than usual, and 16% even admit they could never unplug from social media during a family vacation. This social media distraction takes its biggest toll on Millennials. Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1790, Thomas Jefferson reported to U.S. President George Washington as the new secretary of state. In 1826, the Rensselaer School in Troy, New York, was incorporated. The school became known as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was the first engineering college in the U.S. In 1851, Yosemite Valley was discovered in California. In 1859, in Philadelphia, the first Zoological Society was incorporated. In 1910, the U.S. Senate granted ex-President Teddy Roosevelt a yearly pension of $10,000. In 1918, during World War I, the Germans launched the Somme Offensive. In 1925, the state of Tennessee enacted the Butler Act. It was a law that made it a crime for a teacher in any state-supported public school to teach any theory that was in contradiction to the Bible’s account of man’s creation. In 1928, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge gave the Congressional Medal of Honor to Charles Lindbergh for his first trans-Atlantic flight. In 1945, during World War II, Allied bombers began four days of raids over Germany. In 1963, Alcatraz Island, the federal penitentiary in San Francisco Bay, closed. In 1965, more than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. began a march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not require one year of residency for voting eligibility. In 1980, U.S. President Jimmy Carter announced to the U.S. Olympic Team that they would not participate in the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow as a boycott against Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. In 1994, Steven Spielberg won his first Oscars. They were for best picture and best director for “Schindler’s List.”


WEDNESDAY WISDOM:
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”— Edward Morgan Forster, English novellist

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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