Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 1st, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Employers See HSAs as Part of Retirement Benefits Strategy
The majority (75.3%) of employers responding to the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s (PSCA)’s HSA Snapshot survey view health savings accounts (HSAs) as part of their retirement benefits strategy. Nearly 60% of the respondents believe HSAs should replace flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and nearly three-fourths of employers think HSAs should be open to all employees, not just those enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Read more >
Boosting Participant Engagement With Tools and Services
Plan participants today have access to a wealth of digital tools designed to help them manage every facet of their financial lives, from basic budgeting to long-term planning for retirement. However there is some evidence that standalone tools and services offered to plan participants are not always fully utilized, for a variety of reasons, such as not being aware of the full palate of tools and solutions made available by their plan sponsor and providers or feeling the tools are too complicated or time-consuming to figure out on their own. There are strategies plan sponsors can adopt to make the most of technology and digital tools, so that participants can boost their retirement readiness. Read more >
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Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Segal Group adds senior consultant; Unified Trust announces digital advice manager; Hueler Income Solutions hires managing director; and more. Read more >
Economic Events

Compensation costs increased 0.8% for civilian workers, seasonally adjusted, from December 2016 to March 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over the year, compensation rose 2.4%, wages and salaries are up 2.5%, and benefits rose 2.2%.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for March. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about factory orders for March. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the unemployment rate for April.

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Four tips on active vs passive infrastructure investment Read more >
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow closed 40.82 points (0.19%) lower at 20,940.51, the NASDAQ decreased by 1.33 (0.02%) to 6,047.61, and the S&P 500 was down 4.57 points (0.19%) at 2,384.20. The Russell 2000 lost 16.70 points (1.18%) to finish at 1,400.42, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 77.32 points (0.31%) to 24,878.48.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with 1.6 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 3.0 billion shares changed hands, with a near 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.285%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 9/32, bringing its yield down to 2.954%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending April 28, the Dow gained 1.91%, the NASDAQ climbed 2.32%, and the S&P 500 finished 1.51% higher. The Russell 2000 increased 1.49%, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 1.46%.

Compliance
Labor Secretary Confirmation Could Bring Fiduciary Clarity
The U.S. Senate has quietly approved President Trump’s Secretary of Labor nominee, Alexander Acosta. Acosta, working with whomever is named to fill the role of head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), will oversee the implementation of the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule reforms championed by the Obama White House. Numerous attorneys, executives and analysts have told PLANSPONSOR they have been very eager to get to this point; without a Labor Secretary in place there has been a lack of clarity from within the DOL as to what the future of the rulemaking might be. Read more >
Investing
Avoiding Participant Reactions to Unreliable Financial News
Unreliable financial news is impacting Americans’ ability to make retirement, investment and health care decisions, according to a telephone survey of 1,018 adults conducted in March 2017 for the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). Kelley Long, member of the AICPA Consumer Financial Education Advocates group, has a few suggestions for plan sponsors and plan advisers to help participants not react to unreliable financial news. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1707, England, Wales and Scotland were united to form Great Britain. In 1863, in Virginia, the Battle of Chancellorsville began. General Robert E. Lee’s forces began fighting with Union troops under General Joseph Hooker. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own soldiers in this battle. In 1867, reconstruction in the South began with black voter registration. In 1877, U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew all Federal troops from the South, ending reconstruction. In 1883, William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) had his first Wild West Show. In 1931, the Empire State Building in New York was dedicated and opened. It was 102 stories tall and was the tallest building in the world at the time. In 1937, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II. In 1948, the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was proclaimed. In 1971, the National Railroad Passenger Corp. (Amtrak) went into service. It was established by the U.S. Congress to run the nation’s intercity railroads. In 1989. Disney-MGM Studios opened. In 2011, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that U.S. soldiers had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you feel appreciated at work, and what forms, if any, of appreciation does your company show?” More than half (53.5%) of responding readers indicated they feel appreciated at work. More than one-third (34.9%) said they feel appreciated sometimes, while 11.6% said they do not feel appreciated. Asked what forms of appreciation their companies show, 65.1% chose “verbal, written or emailed thanks,” and 51.2% selected “appreciation get-togethers, such as luncheons or picnics.” Nearly half (46.5%) said their employers give verbal recognition of employees at team meetings, and 44.2% reported their companies give bonuses. In verbatim comments, many folks said monetary showings of appreciate are the best, while others said a simple “thank you” or “good job” would suffice. Some noted the importance of co-workers showing appreciation for each other. There were comments about what appreciation, or lack thereof, does to workers. Editor’s Choice goes to the person who said, “People are often recognized via additional responsibilities for the same compensation.” Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey! 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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