Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 1st, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Small Employers Support Lawmaker Retirement Policy Efforts
Small-business owners surveyed predict the greatest potential for a positive impact from government policies could come from expanded tax breaks for automatically enrolling employees in retirement savings accounts (36%). “Many small-business owners that we work with at Bank of America have told us that they see retirement savings plans as a tool for attracting and retaining talent,” Robb Hilson, Small Business executive for Bank of America, tells PLANSPONSOR.Read more >
Will DC Plans See More Robo Advice?
Defined contribution (DC) plans are not likely to use robo advisers in the near future, but may begin to if the innovation develops, sources say. According to Alison Borland, senior vice president of retirement strategy and solutions at Aon Hewitt, the use of robo-advisers is not sparking a lot of interest from the large plans Aon Hewitt services. “Most large plans already include some level of advice, some of which is automated, and not very different from a robo-adviser,” she tells PLANSPONSOR. But, she thinks more competition and more offerings will be positive, since they can put cost pressures on the existing solutions.Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending April 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 262,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since April 15, 2000, when it was 259,000. The four-week moving average was 283,750, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.68%, up from 3.65% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.94%, up from 2.92%.
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Market Mirror

Weak company earnings reports contributed to a down day for major U.S. stock indices. The Dow decreased 195.01 points (1.08%) to 17,840.52, the NASDAQ lost 82.22 points (1.64%) to finish at 4,941.42, and the S&P 500 was down 21.36 points (1.01%) at 2,085.49. The Russell 2000 fell 26.81 points (2.15%) to 1,220.14, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 242.72 points (1.09%) lower at 22,034.30.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 3 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 2.037%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 5/32, bringing its yield up to 2.748%.

Compliance
You Failed Nondiscrimination Testing, Now What?
According to a survey from Judy Diamond Associates, nearly 60,000 401(k) plans failed Internal Revenue Service (IRS) nondiscrimination testing, with more than one in 10 issuing corrective distributions to highly compensated employees (HCEs) in 2012. Geno Cufone, senior vice president, retirement administration, at Ascensus, says there are three factors that determine whether or not a plan will be prepared for the next round of testing: plan design, employee behavior and continuous monitoring. “The plan design is by far the best way to get to a point where more employers are passing their nondiscrimination testing,” says Cufone.Read more >
ESOP Bill Introduced in the U.S. House
U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Washington) and Ron Kind (D-Wisconsin) introduced a bill to encourage the creation of S Corporation Employee Stock Ownership Plans (S ESOPs). The Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015 (H.R. 2096) includes provisions to encourage owners of S Corporations to sell their stock to an ESOP, expand financing opportunities for S Corporation ESOPs, provide technical assistance for companies that may be interested in forming an S Corporation ESOP, and ensure that small businesses that become ESOPs retain their Small Business Association certification.Read more >
Investing
More DBs Looking for Custom Solutions from OCIO Providers
Managers, investment consultants, and dedicated outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) providers responding to a recent Cerulli survey expect outsourced assets (client assets in which they have some discretion) to expand 33.6% on average in the next three years—or a median growth rate of 22.5%. Many outsourced advisers tell Cerulli a number of factors are driving more institutional clients to embrace these solutions. According to the survey, 69% of respondents cite a lack of internal resources as the top reason their clients engaged an OCIO.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1707, England, Wales and Scotland were united to form Great Britain. In 1926, Ford Motor Company became one of the first companies in America to adopt a five-day, 40-hour week for workers in its automotive factories. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover officially dedicated New York City’s Empire State Building, pressing a button from the White House that turned on the building’s lights. In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was proclaimed. In 1986, the Tass News Agency reported the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident. In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that U.S. soldiers had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES! 

If you have a wrist tattoo, a warning about the new Apple Watch. Users have reported that tattoos cause the watch to lose connection and require them to enter their passwords repeatedly. Sky News reports that darker tattoos appear to cause more problems than lighter ones.

Theories for why we experience déjà vu.Read more >
In New Orleans, Louisiana, strong winds blowing cars of a moving train off a bridge was caught on camera. UPI reports there were no injuries.Read more >

In Gambell, Alaska, of 80 frozen pizzas stolen in the village, 75 have been recovered, according to Alaska State Troopers. Village police officers received their “strongest investigative lead” in the case when two men called the Gambell Police Department and tried to sell the pizzas to on-duty officers, according to Alaska Dispatch News.

In Niagara, Ontario, Canada, Niagara Regional Police were monitoring traffic when an officer’s attention was drawn to a green 2000 Dodge Caravan with no license plate. As the vehicle approached, the officer noticed it also had no sliding side doors, the rear windows were missing and several items were sticking out of the open doors, CTV News reports. A wooden stool was strapped to the van’s roof, and a triangular slow moving vehicle sign was tied across the back of the van where the license plate should have been. Police stopped the vehicle, and said its 66-year-old driver told them his license was suspended. There was also no insurance on the van. Upon investigation, police realized the man had been stopped driving the same vehicle on the same road in neighboring Fort Erie two weeks earlier.

In Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, a man had a bad day when his “vehicle” got away from him.Read more >

In Los Angeles, California, a woman who was told she had a brain tumor had surgery to remove it. She said she was shocked when she awoke and doctors told her that the “tumor” turned out to be her embryonic twin, according to UPI. Doctors said it had bones, hair and teeth. The woman is expected to make a full recovery.

In Warwick, Rhode Island, a woman thought a pipe had burst when she returned home to find water pouring from her garage ceiling. She went upstairs to find the source of the running water and discovered a wild turkey had crashed through a bathroom window and somehow turned on the sink, according to the Associated Press. She estimates the sink had been running for two to three hours and that caused thousands of dollars of damage to her home. Police and a Department of Environmental Management officer caught the turkey and released it.

Have a great weekend!
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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