Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 24th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Employees Reluctant to Engage in Wellness Programs
Driven by ongoing concerns over worker stress (75%), obesity (70%) and sedentary lifestyles (61%), employer commitment to health and productivity remains strong; however, U.S. employers are finding it difficult to change the lifestyle behaviors of their employees, according to a survey by Towers Watson. Only one-third of employees said the well-being initiatives offered by their employers encouraged them to live healthier lifestyles.Read more >
Only one-third (33%) of adults worldwide are financially literate, according to the S&P Global FinLit Survey. Financial literacy was measured using questions assessing basic knowledge of four fundamental concepts in financial decisionmaking: knowledge of interest rates, interest compounding, inflation, and risk diversification. Fifty-seven percent of U.S. adults are financially literate.Read more >
Deals and People
Voya Keeps Building Government Markets Team With Rehire
Housing Expenses Drive Spending Volatility in Retirement
Data and Research
Unplanned Financial Challenges Continue to Plague US Workers’ Retirement Savings
CalPERS Adopts Funding Risk Mitigation Policy
The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) adopted a funding risk mitigation policy. The policy adopted by the CalPERS Board of Administration will establish a mechanism to reduce the discount rate—or assumed rate of return—by a minimum of 0.05 percentage points to a maximum of 0.25 percentage points in years when investment returns outperform the existing discount rate, currently 7.5%, by at least four percentage points. The four percentage point threshold would work to offset increases to employer contribution rates that would otherwise increase when the discount rate is lowered, and help pay down CalPERS’ unfunded liability, the system notes.Read more >
Participants Lose Out with Focus on Student Debt
LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute research finds paying down $30,000 in student loan debt, if prioritized over retirement savings, can rob a worker of a large amount of potential savings by retirement. The underlying research focuses on Millennials who begin their careers with at least $30,000 in student loan debt and choose to pay this down before turning to retirement savings. When compared with the saving patterns of their debt-free peers, those who choose to focus first on student debt end up with $325,000 less at retirement. For $50,000 in student debt, the amount missed is closer to $530,000.Read more >
Sponsored message from Russell Investments
Going passive is still an active decision
Are you meeting your fiduciary duty by offering a passive line-up to your DC plan participants? This paper provides an overview of several Items to consider when selecting and monitoring plan investments.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
John Hancock Offers Mobile Plan Enrollment
Employees of John Hancock Total Retirement Solutions clients can now use the MyLifeNow mobile app to enroll in their company’s 401(k) plan. With the addition of MyLifeNow mobile enrollment, participants can also sign up for automatic salary deferral increases and adjust their pre-tax, Roth or after-tax contributions.Read more >
PLANSPONSOR’s parent company, Asset International (AI), a global leader in providing critical data, business intelligence, and information services to the worldwide investment management industry, announced the hiring of five executives, two senior staff and two advisers in support of the growing global demand for rapidly delivered insightful, relevant, and reliable, market intelligence and data.Read more >
Economic Events
Existing-home sales in October maintained a healthy pace but failed to keep up with September’s jump, according to the National Association of Realtors. All four major regions saw no gains in sales in October. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, fell 3.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.36 million in October, down from 5.55 million in September. Despite last month’s decline, sales are still 3.9% above a year ago (5.16 million).
Market Mirror

Most major U.S. stock indices slipped on Monday, with the Dow losing 31.13 points (0.17%) to finish at 17,792.68. The NASDAQ decreased 2.44 points (0.05%) to finish at 5,102.48, and the S&P 500 closed 2.57 points (0.12%) lower at 2,086.60. The Russell 2000 was up 5.20 points (0.44%) at 1,180.35, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 7.37 points (0.03%) at 21,673.94.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.248%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 3.003%.

A fiduciary of the Faribault Woolen Mills Inc. Fully Insured Hospital Life Welfare Plan has been ordered to restore more than $55,000 in health insurance premiums to participants. In 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed a civil complaint against Michael Paul Harris and the Faribault Woolen Mills Inc. Fully Insured Hospital Life Welfare Plan, alleging that Harris, as the fiduciary to the plan, breached his fiduciary responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by failing to remit $55,040.61 in contributions withheld from employee paychecks for health insurance premiums between January 9, 2009, and March 20, 2009.Read more >
Investors Overly Focused on Short-Term Returns
A new TIAA-CREF survey finds more than half of investors look to short-term performance factors when making investment decisions, while nearly one-third mistakenly believe all investments carry the same overall level of risk. Accordingly, TIAA-CREF warns the focus on short-term financial performance and misunderstandings about the nature of investment risk may have an impact on American investors’ financial well-being, especially in the long-term effort to plan for retirement.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1859, Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, published “On the Origin of Species.” It was the paper in which he explained his theory of evolution through the process of natural selection. In 1871, the National Rifle Association was incorporated in the U.S. In 1874, Joseph F. Glidden was granted a patent for a barbed fencing material. In 1903, Clyde J. Coleman received the patent for an electric self-starter for an automobile. In 1963, Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald live on national television. In 1969, Apollo 12 landed safely in the Pacific Ocean bringing an end to the second manned mission to the moon. In 1993, the U.S. Congress gave its final approval to the Brady handgun control bill. In 1995, in Ireland, the voters narrowly approved a constitutional amendment legalizing divorce. In 1996, Rusty Wallace won the first NASCAR event to be held in Japan. In 1996, Barry Sanders (Detroit Lions) set an NFL record when he recorded his eighth straight 1,000-yard season.
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Who was the first American president to proclaim a “national day of thanksgiving?”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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