Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 7th, 2014
Since the passage of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules in 2007, many 403(b) plans have evolved to look more like their 401(k) counterparts. Still, differences and distinctions remain, and providers that are knowledgeable about those variables and can supply appropriate services and guidance are valuable to the 403(b) marketplace.Read more >
PLANSPONSOR’s 2014 403(b) Buyer’s Guide
PLANSPONSOR’s 2014 403(b) Buyer’s Guide provides a listing of various types of providers to 403(b) plans, including the services each one provides as well as information on which 403(b) market segment(s) each one serves.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies stayed at 84% as a drop in rates offset gains from strong equity returns for the month. Decreases in interest rates used to calculate corporate pension plan liabilities offset rising equity markets, keeping funded status constant. The collective estimated deficit of $367 billion as of October 31, 2014 is up modestly by $15 billion from the estimated deficit of $352 billion as of September 30, 2014.Read more >
Recordkeeping Data Shows Commitment to Saving
Defined contribution (DC) plan recordkeeping data shows U.S. participants are strongly committed to their workplace retirement savings programs, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI). ICI says its latest study of retirement plan participant behavior, “Defined Contribution Plan Participants’ Activities, First Half 2014,” shows the vast majority of DC plan participants continued contributing to their plans in the first half of 2014. Only 2.1% of DC plan participants stopped. Additionally, DC plan withdrawals in the first half of 2014 remained low and were in line with the prior year’s activity.Read more >
The funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan fell 0.4 percentage points to 89.5% in October, according to the BNY Mellon Investment Strategy and Solutions Group (ISSG). For the typical corporate plan in October, assets increased 1.5%, trailing the 1.9% increase in liabilities, the BNY Mellon Institutional Scorecard shows.  This funded status is now down 5.7% from the December 2013 high of 95.2%.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Buck Launches Incentive-Based Financial Wellness Program
Buck Consultants at Xerox announced the launch of SavIncent, a financial wellness program designed to improve employees’ financial health and retirement readiness. The program uses monetary incentives to reward workers’ financial improvement activities. Employees who complete various elements of the program are rewarded with employer contributions to their savings plan.Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending November 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 278,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 287,000 to 288,000. The four-week moving average was 279,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since April 29, 2000 when it was 273,000. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 281,000 to 281,250. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.02%, up from 3.98% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.21%, up from 3.13%.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow was up 69.94 points (0.40%) at 17,554.47, the NASDAQ increased 17.75 points (0.38%) to 4,638.47, and the S&P 500 closed 7.63 points (0.38%) higher at 2,031.20. The Russell 2000 gained 4.79 points (0.41%) to finish at 1,171.86, and the Wilshire 5000 rose 90.09 points (0.42%) to 21,359.81. On the NYSE, 3.3 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue on both exchanges. The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 11/32, increasing its yield to 2.384%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 24/32, bringing its yield up to 3.100%.
Court Opens Door for Disclosure of Investment Guidelines
An appeals court has opened the door for the requirement that an ERISA plan’s investment guidelines be disclosed to participants upon request. In its recent ruling in Murphy v. Verizon Communications, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals made important clarifying statements about plan document disclosure requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). In short, the 5th Circuit confirmed that ERISA Section 404(a)(1)’s fiduciary requirements may obligate at least responsive disclosures of relevant plan materials upon a specific request by a plan member, even if the documents are not indispensable operational instruments under which the plan is established.Read more >
Requirement to Obtain Health Plan Identifier Delayed
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has delayed the requirement for health plans to obtain a health plan identifier and use it for certain transactions. Effective October 31, the rules for obtaining a health plan identifier (HPID) and using them in any Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standard transactions that the health plan conducts or that a business associate conducts on behalf of the health plan are delayed until further notice. The CMS says this applies to all HIPAA-covered entities, including healthcare providers, health plans, and healthcare clearinghouses.Read more >
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) worldwide collected $7.8 billion in net new flows, 70% lower than the prior month, according to Strategic Insight, an Asset International company. Equity ETFs raised $12 billion (more than $16 billion from the U.S. offset by outflows in Asia and Europe), while Bond and ‘Other’ ETFs saw $0.5 billion and $3.5 billion in net redemptions, respectively. At the category level, Equity U.S.-Large Cap ETFs led with $12 billion.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1874, the Republican party of the U.S. was first symbolized as an elephant in a cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly. In 1876, the cigarette manufacturing machine was patented by Albert H. Hook. In 1893, the state of Colorado granted its women the right to vote. In 1916, Montana suffragist Jeannette Rankin was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman in the history of the nation to win a seat in the federal Congress. In 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented fourth term in office. In 1963, Elston Howard, of the New York Yankees, became the first black player to be named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. In 1965, the “Pillsbury Dough Boy” debuted in television commercials. In 1980, the actor Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1960s and 1970s and the star of such action thrillers as “Bullitt” and “The Towering Inferno,” died at the age of 50 in Mexico, where he was undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer. In 1989, in New York, former Manhattan borough president David Dinkins, a Democrat, was elected New York City’s first African American mayor, while in Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Douglas Wilder, also a Democrat, became the first elected African American state governor in American history. In 1991, basketball legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson stunned the world by announcing his sudden retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers, after testing positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.   And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
A fish’s revenge.Read more >
In Greenwich, Connecticut, a 40-year-old man was pulled over for speeding. An officer suspected the man had been drinking, so he arrested the man and took him to state police barracks, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard. The officer performed a breathalyzer on the man, but as the report was printing out, the man snatched it and tried to eat it. In addition to a charge of driving while into.xicated, the man has been charged with obstructing governmental administration and criminal tampering.
Jim Carrey’s take on the Matthew McConaughey Lincoln ads.Read more >
In Newman, Australia, locals were surprised to see a wingless Beechcraft two-seater aircraft chugging down the main drag of the town. The owner of the light plane pulled the aircraft up to a pub and went in to have a Many residents thought it was amusing, but police say it was dangerous. However, they haven’t found an offense to charge the man with since the plane did not leave the ground or cause any traffic accidents, and the man passed a breath-test at the scene. “I need to look at what the appropriate offense would be as it’s a bit of an unusual one,” said a police officer, according to the AFP.
What your handwriting says about you.Read more >
In Hueytown, Alabama, a citizen saw the surveillance video of the robbery of a Subway on Facebook, recognized the suspect shopping in the Hueytown Walmart, and called police. The police noticed he was wearing the same clothes and shoes as the robbery suspect. They believe he is also responsible for Subway robberies in Birmingham, Midfield and Adamsville. The man was taken into custody and admitted to the robbery in Hueytown. He told police he did it out of anger because the “Jared diet” didn’t work for him.   Have a great weekend, everyone!
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 >
News from   Copyright © Asset International, Inc., 2014. All rights reserved.  No reproduction without prior authorization.
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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