Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 17th, 2018

2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year: Illinois Health and Hospital Association

After the Illinois Hospital Association and the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) merged to become the Illinois Health and Hospital Association (IHA), in January 2016, the employer put considerable work into harmonizing benefits—and, in the process, modernized plan design and significantly lowered fees. Read more >
Webcast Event
On May 31, learn about NEW retirement income services available to plan sponsors leveraging academic research and interactive technology to help retirees make their savings last two to seven years longer. The service combines education with personalized reports to engage participants before they retire. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Cutting Public Pension Benefits Would Hurt the Economy
In its latest installment of ongoing research on the impact of public pensions on the U.S. economy, the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) set out to quantify the risk that reducing or even dismantling public pension benefits will ultimately backfire. In its study, “Unintended Consequences: How Scaling Back Public Pensions Puts Government Revenues at Risk,” NCPERS found the economy grows by $1,088 for each $1,000 of pension fund assets. While the figure sounds small on the surface, the size of pension fund assets—$3.7 trillion in 2016—means that the impact of this growth is greatly magnified. The impact of investment of assets plus spending of pension checks by retirees in 2016 yielded a $1.3 trillion contribution to the economy and $277.6 billion to state and local revenues, according to the research. Read more >
Americans Would Like Retirement Security Laws Passed
American workers rank retirement security as the top issue they want congressional candidates to talk about more on the campaign trail this year, according to a survey by Prudential Financial. Seventy-eight percent support Congressional legislation that would permit small businesses to join together to make it easier to offer retirement benefits to employees. Read more >
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Procrastinating Retirement Savings Is Americans’ Biggest Financial Regret
Eighteen percent of Americans regret not starting to save for retirement earlier, Bankrate.com found in a survey. This is followed by not saving for an emergency, and taking on too much credit card and too much student loan debt. Among those who have a financial regret, 49% are doing something about it. Read more >
Recent Dip in Average Fidelity Account Balance Belies Long-Term Trend
Average individual 401(k), 403(b) and IRA account balances increased year-over-year, according to the latest cut of data from Fidelity’s book of retirement business, but the average dipped slightly from Q4 2017, reflecting market volatility and the fact that new small-balance savers entered the fold. Other relevant findings show managed accounts are now offered by more than 5,300 employers, or more than double the percentage offering a managed account option five years ago. Fidelity still finds increased use of target-date funds to manage savings. Read more >
Sponsored message from Vanguard
Snapshots of TDF performance miss the big picture
When evaluating TDF performance, use a holistic approach to look beyond a single point in time. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Wellness Solution Targets Behavioral Change
Following an alliance with Ernst & Young LLP (EY), MetLife has created a new financial wellness solution targeted at behavioral change among employees. Read more >
Sentinel Updates Benefits Data Delivery and Improves Data Protection
With Actifio Sky and Actifio Data-as-a-Service, Sentinel Benefits was able to create high-availability customer data solutions and obtain data protection improvements. Read more >
Economic Events

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in April were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,352,000, the Census Bureau reported. This is 1.8% below the revised March rate of 1,377,000, but is 7.7% above the April 2017 rate of 1,255,000. Single-family authorizations in April were at a rate of 859,000; this is 0.9% above the revised March figure of 851,000. Authorizations of units in buildings with five units or more were at a rate of 450,000 in April.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow gained 62.52 points (0.25%) to finish at 24,768.93, the NASDAQ closed 46.67 points (0.63%) higher at 7,398.30, and the S&P 500 was up 11.01 points (0.41%) at 2,722.46. The Russell 2000 increased 16.03 points (1.00%) to 1,616.37, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 125.12 points (0.44%) to 28,322.99.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 6/32, increasing its yield to 3.098%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 11/32, bringing its yield up to 3.221%.

Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was founded at 70 Wall Street by 24 brokers. In 1875, the first Kentucky Derby was run at Louisville, Kentucky. In 1946, President Harry Truman seized control of the nation’s railroads, delaying a threatened strike by engineers and trainmen. In 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled for school integration in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka. The ruling declared that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal. In 1999, Alex Trebek received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, the U.S. aircraft carrier Oriskany was sunk about 24 miles off Pensacola Beach. It was the first vessel sunk under a Navy program to dispose of old warships by turning them into diving attractions. It was the largest man-made reef at the time of the sinking.

SURVEY SAYS: Data shows the majority of retirement plan sponsors have implemented what many call “best practices” for their retirement programs, but there are still some underutilized features that could help boost participant outcomes. This week, I’d like to know, putting your plan participant “hat” on, which underutilized retirement program feature or other benefits would help YOU the most in reaching your retirement savings goal? Results will be shared in a future edition of PLANSPONSOR magazine. You may respond to this 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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