Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 28th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Maintaining a Top Notch Call Center
Compliance concerns, lengthy wait times, incorrect information. These are only the more recognized complications when assessing call centers, so how can plan sponsors and providers offer dependable—and reliable—material to participants? Read more >
Participants’ Optimism Parallels Lack of Specific Planning
As head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, Joe Ready is regularly called on to discuss how shifts in the equity markets, inflation, regulation, politics and global events all come together to influence the behavior of defined contribution (DC) retirement plan participants. To help get a handle on the matter, the firm works in regular concert with Gallup to produce the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index, which stands today at a 17-year high. Offering a sneak peak of the Q1 2018 index data to PLANSPONSOR, Ready said it is important to contextualize the findings with the fact that the underlying polling was conducted between February 12 and February 25, 2018. “The latest round of polling began a week after January’s solid labor report was released, but also after a major sell-off on Wall Street, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped below 24,000,” he explained. “By the time of the survey, the market was already starting to recover, so the data really show the opinions of investors as they grappled directly with resurgent volatility.” Read more >
Ask the Experts
Rules for Vesting Schedules Shorter Than Maximum Permissible
“I read your Ask the Experts last year on the maximum permissible vesting schedules for a defined contribution retirement plan. But what if I don’t use the maximum vesting schedules for employer contributions (three year cliff or six-year graded)? What other restrictions apply?” Read more >
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Some Help for Women’s Retirement Savings Gap May Be Coming
Economic Events

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index decreased in March, following an increase in February. The Index now stands at 127.7 (1985=100), down from 130.0 in February. The Present Situation Index decreased from 161.2 to 159.9, while the Expectations Index declined from 109.2 last month to 106.2 this month.

Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow was down 344.89 points (1.43%) at 23,857.71, the NASDAQ fell 211.74 points (2.93%) to 7,008.81, and the S&P 500 decreased 45.93 points (1.73%) to 2,612.62. The Russell 2000 lost 30.15 points (1.95%) to finish at 1,513.57, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 497.10 points (1.80%) lower at 27,108.48.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 21/32, bringing its yield down to 2.780%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 3/32, decreasing its yield to 3.030%.

Sponsored message from Metlife
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Compliance
TPA Faces Another Lawsuit for Stealing Retirement Plan Assets
The lawsuit filed by MBA Engineering on behalf of its 401(k) and cash balance plans also accuses Vantage Benefits of stealing money from approximately 20 other retirement plans. Read more >
Willis Towers Watson Reaches Settlement With City of Houston
The original lawsuit alleged negligence and professional malpractice by Willis Towers Watson in its actuarial work for the city; the settlement does not constitute an admission of wrongdoing. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1797, Nathaniel Briggs patented a washing machine. In 1834, the U.S. Senate voted to censure President Andrew Jackson for the removal of federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. In 1885, the Salvation Army was officially organized in the U.S. In 1917, during World War I the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was founded. In 1921, U.S. President Warren Harding named William Howard Taft as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court. In 1963, Sonny Werblin announced that the New York Titans of the American Football League was changing its name to the New York Jets. In 1990, Jesse Owens received the Congressional Gold Medal from U.S. President George H.W. Bush. In 2010, China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. signed a deal to buy Ford Motor Co.’s Volvo car unit.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM:
“It is not how old you are, but how you are old.”—Jules Renard, French author

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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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