Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 30th, 2017

The Social Security Administration has reduced the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax, so we have revised our Maximum Benefit/Contributions Limits Table for 2018 to reflect that.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Morningstar Recommends Policies to Increase Small Employer Retirement Plans
In its latest policy paper, Morningstar suggests workers at large U.S. companies are served relatively well by the U.S. retirement system. For one, the vast majority of large-company employees have access to a defined contribution (DC) plan. However, half of employees at small companies don’t have access to a retirement plan at all. Morningstar says the U.S. can learn from the UK, and it proposes two complementary solutions for improving the number and quality of small-company plans.Read more >
DB Plan Sponsors Should Balance Four Levers to Improve Funding
In a report, “A Balancing Act: Strategies for Financial Executives in Managing Pension Risk,” Cambridge Associates says defined benefit (DB) plan fiduciaries should coordinate across four “levers” that can help improve funded status and mitigate negative impacts of under-funding on corporate financials. No lever alone is enough to close the pension funding gap, according to the report.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
IRS Updates Life Expectancy Tables for Retirees
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Many Gen Xers Plan to Address Retirement on the Fly
Although credit card debt is keeping half of surveyed Gen Xers from starting to save for retirement, 63% say “everything will just work out” in their retirement years.Read more >
ACA-Related Executive Orders Could Provide Pros and Cons for Employers
Some orders expand health plan options, especially for small employers, while others may mean higher premium costs.Read more >
Half of Employees Don’t Want Personalized Messages About Saving for Retirement
Willis Towers Watson found in a survey that 53% of employees would like their employers to offer tools to help them improve their financial situation. However, 57% do not want their employer to send personalized messages to people facing important financial decisions, and 50% do not think it is the role of an employer to send personalized messages to people who are not saving enough for retirement.Read more >
Sponsored message from Vanguard
Risk within target-date funds
The biggest risk to target-date funds isn’t what you’d expect.Read more >
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved in October, increased further in November. The Index now stands at 129.5 (1985=100), up from 126.2 in October. The Present Situation Index increased from 152.0 to 153.9, while the Expectations Index rose from 109.0 last month to 113.3.
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow gained 103.97 points (0.44%) to finish at 23,940.68, the NASDAQ lost 87.97 points (1.27%) to finish at 6,824.39, and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,636.07. The Russell 2000 increased 5.86 points (0.38%) to 1,542.30, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 6.10 points (0.02%) at 27,290.12.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 16/32, bringing its yield up to 2.386%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 9/32, increasing its yield to 2.823%.
House Bill Would Allow Sponsors to Force Larger Auto-IRA Cash Outs
The Retirement Plan Modernization Act would raise the automatic IRA rollover limit, based on the rate of inflation, from $5,000 to $7,600 and allow for future increases to be indexed for inflation.Read more >
Argument for Auto-Enroll Emergency Savings
The idea is relatively simple: workers who do not yet have emergency savings will be directed to first fund a short-term savings account reserved for emergencies, before funding their retirement account.Read more >
Active Managers Creating Multi-Asset-Class Products
Active managers are looking to redefine their space by creating multi-asset-class products, according to the latest Cerulli Edge report. Some are looking to even build proprietary investment models, Cerulli says. Twenty-six percent of active managers are building multi-asset-class funds. Of this group, 74% are based on fundamental active management, and the remaining 26% on factor-based management with portfolio manager discretion. “Gone are the days of developing a basic 60% [equity]/40% [fixed income] balanced fund,” Cerulli says. “Managers’ new initiatives are focused on blending together existing capabilities in equity, fixed income and alternative asset classes to build an asset allocation strategy to serve as an all-inclusive solution for advisers’ portfolio.”Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War. In 1858, John Landis Mason received a patent for the first pepper shaker with a screw-on cap. In 1897, Thomas Edison’s own motion picture projector had its first commercial exhibition. In 1956, CBS replayed the program “Douglas Edward and the News” three hours after it was received on the West Coast. It was the world’s first broadcast via videotape. In 1981, the U.S. and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva that were aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe. In 1989, Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat was refused a visa to enter the United States in order to address the U.N. General Assembly in New York City. In 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed into law the Brady Bill. The bill required a five-day waiting period for handgun purchases and background checks of prospective buyers. In 1998, the Deutsche Bank AG announced that it would acquire Bankers Trust Corp. for $10.1 billion creating the world’s largest financial institution.
SURVEY SAYS: Targeted, or personalized, messaging to employees—encouraging employees to save for retirement, to save more or addressing other financial issues they may be facing—has been touted as a way to improve employee financial security and their ability to save adequately for retirement. However, a recent survey found 57% of employees do not want their employer to send personalized messages to people facing important financial decisions, and 50% do not think it is the role of an employer to send personalized messages to people who are not saving enough for retirement. This week, I’d like to know, does your company use targeted financial and retirement savings messaging to employees, and if so, is it helping to improve employee retirement savings? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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