Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 16th, 2018

2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year: City of Plano

For many retirement plans, the focus on fees has been relatively recent. But the 457 plan committee for the City of Plano, Texas, has worked for over a decade to reduce recordkeeping expenses by a total of 90%. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Written Financial Plans Empower Employees’ Economic Future
New research from Charles Schwab shows that three in five Americans live paycheck to paycheck and that only one in four have a written financial plan. According to Schwab’s 2018 Modern Wealth Index, having a written financial plan can lead to better “daily money behaviors,” and this goes for those near the bottom of the income scale. The Wealth Index lumps the responses of roughly 1,000 workers into “planners” and “non-planners,” and no surprise, across all important savings and investing metrics, planners are doing a lot better than their more lackadaisical counterparts. Read more >
Plan Fees Have Fallen, But So Have Deferral Rates
A new defined contribution (DC) plan industry assessment, conducted by BMO Global Asset Management, seeks to provide financial advisers and retirement plan sponsors with an overview of the forces shaping their daily efforts to provide high-quality retirement benefits. The guide, “DC Conversations: An industry assessment of Defined Contribution Plans,” presents an extensive amount of data largely without commentary, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions directly from the survey responses. Asked to highlight what he sees as the most important data points, Chris Barlow, national director of defined contribution investments, points to a downward trend in deferral rates measured since 2010. There is also clear evidence of a broad downward trend in plan fees. Read more >
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Centurion Group Offers Financial Wellness Program for Plan Sponsors
What sets Centurion’s service apart is its focus on analyzing benefits spend and helping plan sponsors find the money to offer financial wellness to employees. Read more >
Economic Events

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for March, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,438.3 billion, up 0.5% from February and up 6.4% from March 2017, the Census Bureau announced.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $497.6 billion, an increase of 0.3% from the previous month, and 4.7% above April 2017. Total sales for the February through April period were up 4.6% from the same period a year ago. The February to March percent change was revised from up 0.6% to up 0.8%. Retail trade sales were up 0.4% from March, and 4.8% above last year. Gasoline Stations were up 11.7% from April 2017, while Nonstore Retailers were up 9.6% from last year.

Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow lost 193.00 points (0.78%) to finish at 24,706.41, the NASDAQ closed 59.69 points (0.81%) lower at 7,351.63, and the S&P 500 decreased 18.69 points (0.68%) to 2,711.44. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,600.34, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 164.16 points (0.58%) to 28,197.87.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 19/32, bringing its yield up to 3.071%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 5/32, increasing its yield to 3.195%.

Ask the Experts
Dealing With Missing Participants
“I have been reading a lot about missing retirement plan participants lately. If our plan has any, should I be concerned about locating them? If so, what steps should I be taking?” Read more >
Investing
Professional Investment Assistance Helps DC Plan Participants’ Outcomes
However, an analysis from Alight Solutions found users of managed accounts see higher returns, are more diversified and save more in their DC plans than TDF users. Read more >
401(k) Investors Moved into Fixed Income in April
Among the 401(k) investors who made trades in April, the majority moved from equities into fixed income, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index. Bond, stable value and money market funds accounted for nearly all of the new trading inflows during the month. The outflows came primarily from U.S. equity, target-date and international funds. Read more >
Small Talk
Each year, the Social Security Administration issues a listing of the top baby names for the prior year based on parents’ applications for Social Security numbers. Emma and Liam are America’s most popular baby names for 2017. This marks the first time Liam has bested the boys, beating Noah for the top spot, and the fourth straight year for Emma. Michael has been bumped from the top 10 for the first time since World War II, landing at number 12 this year. Emily also fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 1990. There are several new names in the top 10. Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1866, Congress authorized the first 5-cent piece to be minted. In 1868, President Andrew Johnson was acquitted during the Senate impeachment, by one vote. In 1910, the U.S. Bureau of Mines was authorized by Congress. In 1914, the American Horseshoe Pitchers Association (AHPA) was formed in Kansas City, Kansas. In 1929, the first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood. In 1946, Jack Mullin showed the world the first magnetic tape recorder. In 1963, after 22 Earth orbits Gordon Cooper returned to Earth, ending Project Mercury. In 1965, Spaghetti-O’s were sold for the first time. In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1985, Michael Jordan was named Rookie of the Year in the NBA. In 2000, U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was nominated to run for U.S. Senator in New York. She was the first U.S. first lady to run for public office.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM:
“Do exactly what you would do if you felt most secure.”—Meister Eckhart, German theologian

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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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