Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 23rd, 2015
From the Magazine
The Recordkeeper Relationship
The benchmarking process is the lifeblood of knowing, ‘Is my plan effective?’” says adviser Andrew Harbour, senior vice president and institutional consulting director at Morgan Stanley’s Graystone Consulting in Atlanta. Understanding the results of that benchmarking may lead the plan sponsor to make changes with a plan’s current provider, or it may mean deciding to look for a new one. “Why even benchmark in the first place? The primary benefit is the documentation of a prudent fiduciary process,” Harbour says. “We’ll benchmark plans [even] when there [is no intention] to move from the current provider.”Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
MassMutual’s newest acquisition; Lockton Chicago expands retirement practice; Envestment to use VMS recordkeeping services.Read more >
EBSA Head Lisa Gomez Says DOL Continues Honing Retirement Security Rule
Data and Research
Early Withdrawals Found to Exacerbate 401(k) Account Disparities Across Race, Gender
Ask the Experts
Are Roth Excess Deferrals Taxed Twice?
Aflac Helps Support ACA Compliance
A suite of value-added services, Aflac Business Solutions, helps employers with compliance requirements for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and employees navigate benefits and online medical treatment.Read more >
Principal Launces Enrollment Assistance Tool
Principal Financial Group has introduced My Virtual Coach, a new interactive resource that helps retirement plan participants make successful, informed decisions about their retirement savings for the future.Read more >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales for October. Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for November. Wednesday, the Department of Labor will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about durable orders for October and new home sales for October.
Market Mirror

Friday, major U.S. stock indices posted modest gains. The Dow closed 91.06 points (0.51%) higher at 17,823.81, the NASDAQ gained 31.28 points (0.62%) to finish at 5,104.92, and the S&P 500 increased 7.93 points (0.38%) to 2,089.17. The Russell 2000 climbed 8.42 points (0.72%) to 1,175.15, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 74.90 points (0.35%) at 21,681.31.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 3 advancing issues for every 2 declining issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with 1.7 advancing issues for every decliner.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 5/32, bringing its yield up to 2.264%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 4/32, increasing its yield to 3.021%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending November 20, the Dow gained 3.35%, the NASDAQ climbed 3.59%, and the S&P 500 finished 3.27% higher. The Russell 2000 was up 2.50%, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 3.03%.

Senators Give Church Plan Legislation Another Try
A group of legislators have introduced the Church Plan Clarification Act of 2015. The Act clarifies the application of certain tax and retirement laws and regulations to the unique structures of church pension plans. In a statement, the legislators said certain legislative and regulatory changes have unintentionally resulted in uncertainty and/or compliance issues for these plans.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1835, Henry Burden patented the horseshoe manufacturing machine. In 1889, the first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon. In 1936, the first edition of “Life” was published. In 1946, Mound Metalcraft changed its name to Tonka Toys Incorporated. In 1964, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the International Swimming Hall of Fame was founded. In 1988, Wayne Gretzky scored his 600th National Hockey League (NHL) goal. In 1998, the tobacco industry signed the biggest U.S. civil settlement. It was a $206-billion deal to resolve remaining state claims for treating sick smokers.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, will you shop during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, and how do you feel about stores opening for shoppers on Thanksgiving Day? Only 2.7% of responding readers indicated they will shop on Thanksgiving Day, while 22% will shop on Black Friday and 27.5% will shop the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving. One third (33%) will shop online deals on Cyber Monday. More than half of respondents (52.3%) will not shop at all during the holiday weekend. The vast majority had strong negative feelings about retail stores being open on Thanksgiving Day—mostly because of sympathy for the retail employees. However, a few did not feel the same sympathy for restaurant workers working on Thanksgiving Day, and a couple admitted they needed grocery stores to be open for last-minute ingredients. One reader pointed out that some retail employees would be grateful for the extra hours and chance to earn more money. I agree with the readers who pointed out that football is a Thanksgiving tradition, not shopping. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “Shopping during open enrollment – preposterous! The best bargain is the maximum employer match, don’cha know, eh.” I’m thankful for all who participated in our survey!Read more >
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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