Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 3rd, 2017
Benefits & Administration
In response to required higher pension contributions, many states are choosing to not fund their entire annual contribution, while other states are extending the time to reach fully funded status, Conning reports. Conning says the credit implication of these actions is to make this liability even greater. “Current and future taxpayers are paying for the choices of prior administrations to extend generous benefits and/or not properly fund their plans,” the report says. Read more >
Retirement Plans Would Fill Benefits Gap for Small Businesses
Thirty-five percent of employees at small businesses are dissatisfied with their benefits, outside of medical insurance, compared to 20% of workers at companies of all sizes, Lincoln Financial found in a survey. Eighty-one percent of small business employees expect to be offered a retirement savings plan, but the reality is that only 58% of small companies have one. Read more >
Managing Life Events Can Improve Financial and Overall Well-Being
“A critical part for employers is understanding how life events impact a person’s total well-being and engaging employees with the right benefit to the right person at the right time,” says Jeanne Thompson, with Fidelity. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
SECURE Act Passes House, Bringing Calls for Senate Collaboration
2
J.P. Morgan Agrees to Settle Stable Value Funds Suit
3
Individuals, Employers and Government All Play a Part in Retirement Readiness
4
Participant Loans: A Fiduciary Storm Brewing?
5
What to Know About Financial Audits Filed with Form 5500s
Americans Get an 'F' on Retirement Planning
When it comes to retirement 101, Americans are getting an “F.” According to a study by the American College of Financial Services, three in four retirement-aged adults failed a quiz on ways to make their nest eggs last through retirement. Moreover, older Americans between the ages of 60 and 75 have trouble comprehending vital financial topics including investment considerations, paying for long-term care expenses, and strategies for sustaining income throughout retirement. Read more >
Ask the Experts
“I know that the applicability date of the Department of Labor’s (DOL)’s final fiduciary rule is on hold, but presuming it becomes effective, why does it apply to IRAs? Aren’t IRAs exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and thus any of ERISA’s fiduciary provisions? And what about the many 403(b) plans that are also not subject to ERISA? If the fiduciary does not apply to those plans, why would it apply to IRAs?” Read more >
Sponsored message from Conning
Breaking the Pension Funding Stalemate  LDI strategies may help sponsors overcome low yields, downside risk, indecision to help improve plan funding status. Read more >
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow gained 36.43 points (0.17%) to finish at 20,949.89, the NASDAQ increased 3.76 points (0.06%) to 6,095.37, and the S&P 500 was up 2.84 points (0.12%) at 2,391.17. The Russell 5000 lost 8.00 points (0.57%) to finish at 1,399.36, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 24.21 points (0.10%) higher at 24,953.97.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 8/32, decreasing its yield to 2.293%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 17/32, bringing its yield down to 2.978%.

Compliance
RJR Wins Third Appellate Decision in ERISA Case
The text of the latest appellate court decision offers some food for thought about whether and to what extent there is a “distinction between investment decisions and divestment decisions” under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) prudence standards. Read more >
Industry Voices
Barry’s Pickings Online: A Default Payout Solution
Michael Barry, president of the Plan Advisory Services Group, discusses the fundamental principles of the 401(k) system, defaults and plan leakage. Read more >
Investing
Institutional assets tracked by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS) saw a median return of 4.02% for all plan types in the first quarter and a median one-year gain of 10.49%. ““This quarter marked the sixth consecutive positive quarter, which is the longest string of positive quarterly returns for all plan types since June 1998, which marked a string of 14 positive quarters in a row,” says Robert J. Waid, managing director, Wilshire Associates. Read more >
Small Talk
More than half of senior managers (54%) interviewed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization. However, one in 10 respondents acknowledged a desk that’s too clean or bare raises a red flag. Read more >

ON
THIS DATE:
In 1802,
Washington, D.C. was incorporated as a city. In 1855, Macon B. Allen became the first African American to be
admitted to the Bar in Massachusetts. In 1921,
West Virginia imposed the first state sales tax. In 1933, the U.S. Mint was under the direction of a woman for the
first time when Nellie Ross took the position. In 1937, Margaret Mitchell won a Pulitzer Prize for the book
“Gone With The Wind.” In 1952,
the first airplane landed at the geographic North Pole. In 1971, anti-war protesters began four days of demonstrations in
Washington, D.C. In 1971, National
Public Radio broadcast for the first time. In 1992, five days of rioting and looting ended in Los Angeles. The
riots, that killed 53 people, began after the acquittal of police officers in
the beating of Rodney King. In 1997,
the “Republic of Texas” surrendered to authorities ending an armed
standoff where two people were held hostage. The group asserted the
independence of Texas from the U.S. In 2006,
in Alexandria, Virginia, Al-Quaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui was given a
sentence of life in prison for his role in the terrorist attack on the U.S. on
September 11, 2001.


WEDNESDAY WISDOM:“Ask five economists and you’ll get five
different answers—six if one went to Harvard.”
—Edgar Fiedler, American
economist

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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