Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 23rd, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Addressing Debt Key to Financial Wellness for African Americans, Latinos
While planning for retirement was the overall top concern for employees in 2016, Financial Finesse found the top concern for African Americans and Latinos was getting out of debt.Read more >
Financial Wellness Improves With Repeat Usage of Programs
Financial wellness improved for the average American employee in 2016, aided by an increase in the percentage of repeat usage of workplace financial wellness programs, according to Financial Finesse’s 2016 Year in Review report. Among other things, repeat users were 12 percentage points more likely to have run a retirement projection than new users, the analysis found.Read more >
House Committee Approves Bill Aimed at Increasing Retirement Plan Coverage
Working Past Age 65 May Seem Like a Great Idea …
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Residents of the Island of Misfit Toys
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Employees Don’t Want ‘All or Nothing’ When It Comes to Guaranteed Lifetime Income
Products, Deals and People
intellicents, formerly Alliance Benefit Group Financial Services, Corp., is rolling out its new allmymoney financial wellness platform, powered by eMoney Advisor. Brad Arends, CEO of intellicents, believes the provider will offer participants “useful financial tools that go above and beyond what most people get with their 401(k)s.”Read more >
Economic Events

After starting the year at the fastest pace in almost a decade, existing-home sales slid in February but remained above year-ago levels both nationally and in all major regions, according to the National Association of Realtors. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, retreated 3.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in February from 5.69 million in January. Despite last month’s decline, February’s sales pace is still 5.4% above a year ago.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was down 6.71 points (0.03%) at 20,661.30, the NASDAQ closed 27.82 points (0.48%) higher at 5,821.64, and the S&P 500 was up 4.43 points (0.19%) at 2,348.45. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,345.59, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 47.53 points (0.20%) lower at 24,382.45.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.402%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 3.016%.
Cash Balance Challenge Defeated By Bank of America
An opinion handed down by The United States District Court for The Western District of North Carolina rules in favor of the defendant, Bank of American, which had been accused of profiting from imprudence and disloyalty in the management of a cash balance plan. Ultimately, greater deference was shown to Bank of America’s arguments that it actually suffered greater financial losses, rather than undue profits, as a result of its behavior than it otherwise would have.Read more >
Trends Increasing Demand for Securities Lending
Interest rate moves, changes in collateral and ETF usage is driving a higher demand for securities lending programs from institutional investors, such as DB plans.Read more >
State Plans Face Unique Investment Hurdles
Governmental plan sponsors are generally not policed by ERISA, but they face their own set of “old, obscure laws” that can apply many restrictions found on how or how much they can invest.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1775, American revolutionary Patrick Henry declared, “give me liberty, or give me death!” In 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark, reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east. In 1839, the first recorded printed use of “OK” [oll korrect] occurred in Boston’s Morning Post. In 1857, Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building. It was at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City. In 1858, Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar. In 1868, the University of California was founded in Oakland, California. In 1889, U.S. President Benjamin Harrison opened Oklahoma for white colonization. In 1903, the Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent. In 1942, during World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers. In 1965, America’s first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3. In 1983, U.S. President Ronald Reagan first proposed development of technology to intercept enemy missiles. The proposal became known as the Strategic Defense Initiative and “Star Wars.” In 1983, Dr. Barney Clark died after 112 days with a permanent artificial heart. In 1990, former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill. In 1998, the movie “Titanic” won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards.
SURVEY SAYS: Retirement plan sponsors have reported in the past receiving common, repeated questions from plan participants—such as ‘How does the plan work?’ ‘How much should I save?’ and ‘What investment options should I choose?’ Many of these questions are answered in enrollment materials and meetings. But, I’m sure there are other common questions that get asked. This week, I’d like to know, do you get asked common, repeated questions from plan participants? And we need your help in identifying what these questions are. You may respond to this survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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