Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 12th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Financial Wellness Programs Can Carry a Stigma
Resources that help employees manage their finances or plan for their financial futures have wide appeal and great potential for use among those who don’t currently have access, a survey finds. Seven in 10 employees surveyed whose company does not currently offer such resources say they would be very or somewhat likely to take advantage of resources to help them plan for their financial future, and three in five (60%) say they’d be very or somewhat likely to use resources that would help them manage their personal finances if they were available. However, the survey from Jellyvision, a provider of interactive software to help employees with benefits and financial decisions, reveals many employees have negative views of employer financial wellness programs.Read more >
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Millennials More Confused About Retirement Planning
Broadly speaking, Millennials are not optimistic about retirement, and many are likely confused about the basics of these programs, not to mention long-term benefits and education. In its Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America Survey, Lincoln Financial Group compared the concerns and challenges of 18- to 34-year-olds against those of the general population.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Retirement Industry Deals and People Moves
Reeder takes helm at PBGC, and Enhanced Retirement Solutions adopts VMS platform.Read more >
Initiative Encourages Saving in Small Steps
ICMA-RC, for the third year, is promoting National Pack-a-Sack Lunch Day, October 21, in conjunction with National Save for Retirement Week, which runs October 18 to 24. National Pack-a-Sack Lunch Day reminds employees that small actions such as bringing lunch to work or forgoing a trip to the vending machine can add up to big savings for retirement. ICMA-RC estimated how much employees can save toward their retirement by bringing lunch to work.Read more >
Sponsored message from T. Rowe Price
Visit the Retirement Resource Center and access selected articles and topics covered at the 2015 PLANADVISER National ConferenceRead more >
Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that August sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $445.4 billion, down 1.0% from the revised July level, and down 4.7% from the August 2014 level. August sales of durable goods were down 1.2% from last month, and down 1.9% from a year ago. Sales of computer and computer peripheral equipment and software were down 5.1% from last month, and sales of motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 2.7%. Sales of nondurable goods were down 0.7% from July, and down 7.2% from last August. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 4.6% from last month, and sales of farm product raw materials were down 3.1%.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Wednesday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the producer price index for September, and the Census Bureau will report about retail sales for September and business inventories for August. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the consumer price index for September.

Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow closed 33.74 points (0.20%) higher at 17,084.49, the NASDAQ was up 19.68 points (0.41%) at 4,830.47, and the S&P 500 inched up 1.88 points (0.09%) to 2,015.31. The Russell 2000 increased 2.11 points (0.18%) to 1,165.35, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 24.21 points (0.11%) higher at 21,157.55.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with a 1.2 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 4/32, decreasing its yield to 2.092%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 2.924%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending October 9, the Dow gained 3.72%, the NASDAQ was up 2.61%, and the S&P 500 increased 3.28%. The Russell 2000 climbed 4.60%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 3.44% higher.

From the Magazine
Custom TDFs Good, but Not for All Plans
We’ve all been told that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. It might be a lesson worth special emphasis for some plan sponsors considering adding custom target-date funds (TDFs) to their retirement plan investment lineups.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1492, Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, sighted Watling Island in the Bahamas. He believed that he had found Asia while attempting to find a Western ocean route to India. The same day he claimed the land for Isabella and Ferdinand of Spain. In 1792, the first monument honoring Christopher Columbus was dedicated in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1870, General Robert Edward Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, died peacefully at his home in Lexington, Virginia at the age of 63. In 1933, the U.S. Department of Justice acquired Alcatraz Island from the U.S. Army. In 1989, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a statutory federal ban on the destruction of the American flag. In 1997, songwriter and performer John Denver died when his experimental amateur aircraft crashed into Monterey Bay on the California coast. In 1999, Rob Reiner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Is your company a ‘best place’ to work, and if so, what factors make it so?” More than two-thirds (68.6%) of responding readers indicated their company is a “best place” to work, while 31.4% said it isn’t. Among those who reported their company is a “best place” to work, the top factors cited for making it so were “fair pay and pay increases,” and “good morals/ethics of the company” (67.9% each). Other top factors included “flexibility allowed in work schedules” (64.3%), “knowledgeable, helpful and friendly boss(es)” (60.7%), and “great retirement benefits” (60.7%). Verbatim comments were a mix of explaining why certain companies ARE a “best place” to work and why some AREN’T. While I thoroughly enjoyed this comment, “Ahahahaha!”, Editor’s Choice this week goes to the comment that probably sums up how the majority of employees feel: “Sometimes it’s the best of times–sometimes it’s the worst of times.” A big thank you to all who participated in the 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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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