Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 30th, 2015
2015 Plan Sponsor of the Year
Plan Sponsor of the Year Profile: Wharton Smith, Inc.
Just two years ago, the retirement readiness prospects of many Wharton-Smith, Inc., employees did not look good. “Among many senior employees, balances were not very high,” says Jim Levasseur, human resources (HR) director at the construction company, headquartered in Sanford, Florida. “And the college grads we’d hired needed to get into the plan and take advantage of time [for their savings to grow],” he says. The $19.7 million plan already automatically enrolled new hires at a 4% deferral, but participation stood at just 49%.Read more >
Plan Sponsor of the Year Profile: JE Dunn Construction Co.
Ten percent of JE Dunn Constructions Co.’s profits go toward the philanthropic arm of the company—this family-owned business is a strong believer in sharing success not only with its employees but also with the community of Kansas City, Missouri, where it is headquartered and beyond. Since its beginning in 1924, the company has followed this tenet from founder John Ernest Dunn: “Get the best people you can get, give them interesting and challenging work, and let them share whatever rewards there are in the company.” With that commitment in mind, JE Dunn’s 401(k) profit-sharing plan and employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) focus on employees attaining a sustainable retirement. And though the recession forced it to shave 1.5% from its profit-sharing contribution, the company has been working to offset the loss.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
HSA Contributions Declined in 2014
Contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs) from workers and employers are decreasing, according to research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). “The percentage of workers with a health reimbursement account (HRA)- or HSA-eligible health plan whose employers contributed to the account had steadily increased since 2009 and reached its highest level of 71% in 2013 since the inception of EBRI surveys monitoring trends in health accounts,” a report says. “It fell to 67% in 2014.”Read more >
EBSA Head Lisa Gomez Says DOL Continues Honing Retirement Security Rule
Data and Research
Early Withdrawals Found to Exacerbate 401(k) Account Disparities Across Race, Gender
Final Fiduciary Rule Expected Soon
Procrastinators Not the Best Retirement Savers
Procrastinators do not exhibit optimal retirement savings‐related financial behaviors, research finds, leading to worse preparedness by their retirement date. According to Jeffrey Brown, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Alessandro Previtero, of the University of Western Ontario, their research provides “new and robust empirical evidence that procrastinators behave differently than non‐procrastinators for five important retirement‐related financial behaviors.”Read more >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for March. Wednesday, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for February. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about factory orders for February. Friday, we’ll learn the unemployment rate for March from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow was up 34.43 points (0.19%) at 17,712.66, the NASDAQ gained 27.86 points (0.57%) to finish at 4,891.22, and the S&P 500 increased 5.26 points (0.26%) to 2,061.41. The Russell 2000 climbed 8.43 points (0.68%) to 1,240.41, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 63.88 points (0.29%) higher at 21,846.79.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.4 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 10/32, bringing its yield down to 1.960%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.532%.

PBGC Revising Reportable Events Forms
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is requesting that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) extend approval for three years of two collections of information under the PBGC’s regulation for reportable events, with modifications. According to the agency, it is developing a final rule for reportable events, and OMB approval of the current information collection will expire before the final rule is published.Read more >
Target-date funds (TDFs) were the dominant source for inflows into defined contribution (DC) retirement plans in 2014, with nearly 33% of cash flows invested in the multi-asset class funds, according to Northern Trust’s DC Tracker. The report suggests DC plan participants who choose their own investments prefer equities.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1822, Florida became a U.S. territory. In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation on a patient anesthetized by ether. In 1858, Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil. In 1867, the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars. In 1870, following its ratification by the requisite three-fourths of the states, the 15th Amendment, granting African-American men the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution. In 1939, the comic book “Detective Comics #27” appeared on newsstands, introducing the character Batman. In 1964, the original daytime version of “Jeopardy” debuted on NBC-TV. In 1974, John Denver got his first No. 1 hit song, “Sunshine On My Shoulders.” In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by a drifter named John Hinckley Jr. In 1998, Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal.
SURVEY SAYS: Athletics and Career Skills
Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, did you participate in athletics during your schooling years, and what skills, if any, did it give you for success in your career? Seventy percent of responding readers indicated they participated in athletics either inside of school or outside of school during their schooling years, while 30% did not. Asked which skills they believe participation in athletics gave them for success in their careers, a majority (53.2%) selected “ability to work as a team towards common goals,” and nearly half (49%) selected “patience and perseverance.” Nearly 47% indicated participation in athletics helps them strive for individual excellence in a group setting, while more than one-third (34%) said it helps them manage various tasks successfully. In verbatim comments, a number of responding readers noted that athletics are not the only extracurricular activities that provide skills that can help one be successful in their careers. Others pointed out the social skills in general that group activities can impart. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “The opportunity to showcase your Victory Dance in the workplace: priceless.” I think we should all come up with a Victory Dance for the workplace. A big thank you to everyone who participated in our survey!Read more >
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Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2015.

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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