Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 8th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
HDHP Use Flattens as New Cost Saving Strategies Increase
High deductible health plans (HDHP) remained static this year, representing 30% of all health plans in its database, according to a report from DirectPath, in partnership with Gartner. This is the fourth consecutive year of minimal growth in the prevalence of HDHPs, the firm notes. “As employers plan for 2019 and the years ahead and seek to migrate more employees into HDHPs, benefits executives should remember that providing tools such as advocacy and transparency services, along with comprehensive education on how to use HDHPs and their associated accounts, may be a more effective way of controlling costs than a move to full-replacement HDHPs,” the report says. Read more >
GAO Recommends Steps to Connect Participants With Retirement Accounts
Defined contribution (DC) retirement plan participants in the United States face significant challenges after they change jobs, including not receiving effective rollover communications from either their new or old plan sponsors, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO). “We found that although an employer may incur costs searching for separated participants, there are no standard practices for the frequency or method of conducting searches,” the GAO said. The agency also offered suggestions for rollovers by participants in foreign retirement plans. Read more >
Retirement Saving Focus Especially Needed for Latino Women
Researchers at the University of Notre Dame, in a study funded by the National Endowment for Financial Education, say Latinas—Hispanic women—have a huge appetite for financial education and a strong desire to save, and their savings could provide a critical safety net to America’s largest minority group. Read more >
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Retirement Security Not Just About Retirement Savings Plans
More than three-fourths (78%) of American workers say retirement security will be more challenging for younger generations—more so than any other financial achievement, according to the American Workers Survey, commissioned by Prudential and conducted by Morning Consult in February. But survey results suggest it is not just having a retirement savings plan that is important. American workers say making higher education more affordable (87%) and increasing access to retirement plans (86%) are important priorities for the government in the next year. When American workers were asked how helpful further education would be to achieve their goals, a large majority expressed the need for additional financial education. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Compass Introduces Two Health Care Navigation Solutions
Health care technology and consulting company Compass Professional Health Services introduced two health care navigation solutions: Compass Advocate, which reduces the hassles of health care, and Compass Consumer, which helps employees make smarter health care decisions that improve care and lower costs. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow was down 82.76 points (0.33%) at 24,801.36, the NASDAQ was up 24.64 points (0.33%) at 7,396.65, and the S&P 500 decreased by 1.32 points (0.05%) to 2,726.80. The Russell 2000 closed 12.33 points (0.79%) higher at 1,574.53, and the Wilshire 5000 was virtually unchanged at 28,285.72.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.882%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 5/32, bringing its yield down to 3.146%.

From the Magazine
Saxon Angle: DOL Investigations
Notwithstanding a change to a seemingly more “business-friendly” administration, fiduciaries of plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) continue to receive letters and subpoenas from the Department of Labor (DOL) giving notice that the plan or a plan service provider will be investigated. This can be a troubling moment for plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries who believe they have done everything prudently and in a manner consistent with their duties and responsibilities under ERISA. But they also know—or will shortly be made aware—that the statute provides myriad opportunities for foot faults, any of which may lead to a violation. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1618, Johann Kepler discovered the third Law of Planetary Motion. In 1782, the Gnadenhutten massacre took place. About 90 Indians were killed by militiamen in Ohio in retaliation for raids carried out by other Indians. In 1853, the first bronze statue of Andrew Jackson is unveiled in Washington, D.C. In 1880, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes declared that the United States would have jurisdiction over any canal built across the isthmus of Panama. In 1894, a dog license law was enacted in the state of New York. It was the first animal control law in the U.S. In 1910, in France, Baroness de Laroche became the first woman to obtain a pilot’s license. In 1943, Japanese forces attacked American troops on Hill 700 in Bougainville Island. The battle lasted five days. In 1945, Phyllis Mae Daley received a commission in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. She later became the first African-American nurse to serve duty in World War II. In 1948, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools was unconstitutional. In 1959, Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx made their final TV appearance together. In 1961, Max Conrad circled the globe in a record time of eight days, 18 hours and 49 minutes in the Piper Aztec. In 1965, the U.S. landed about 3,500 Marines in South Vietnam. They were the first U.S. combat troops to land in Vietnam. In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Timothy McVeigh for the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995.

SURVEY SAYS: This weekend, most of us will “spring forward”—moving our clocks ahead one hour. This week, I’d like to know, does “springing forward” reduce your work productivity, and how much time does it take for you to get back to normal? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. 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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