Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 20th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
U.S. Slips in Mercer’s Retirement Rankings
Global retirement readiness rankings are inherently subjective and often controversial, but Mercer says the U.S. is clearly slipping compared with some other developed nations—from 13th to 14th for the United States in the firm’s 2015 global retirement ranking. Mercer says the drop reflects a continuation of trends from the 2013 ranking.Read more >
A New Player in the Retirement Industry
Thinking the retirement industry has failed to deliver on its goals, state governments are trying to get into the retirement business. “Our issues are becoming more political,” Brian H. Graff, Esq., executive director and CEO of the American Retirement Association, told attendees of the 2015 ASPPA annual conference. “The government finally gets it that retirement plans are important, but now it’s not sure we are the best to deliver those plans,” Graff told retirement plan advisers and service providers. Graff and Judy A. Miller, executive director of the ASPPA college of pension actuaries and director of retirement policy at the American Retirement Association, discussed issues with states entering the retirement business.Read more >
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Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices ended mostly flat yesterday. The Dow increased 14.57 points (0.08%) to 17,230.54, the NASDAQ closed 18.78 points (0.38%) higher at 4,905.47, and the S&P 500 added slightly more than half a point (0.03%) to finish at 2,033.66. The Russell 2000 slipped a little more than one point (0.09%) to 1,164.29, and the Wilshire 5000 inched up 5.45 points (0.03%) to 21,285.83.                   

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares traded, with an even split between advancing and declining issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 5/32, bringing its yield down to 2.019%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.880%.

Sponsored message from BlackRock
Multi-Manager Fixed Income: The Way Forward?
Interest rates are not the only challenge facing bond funds. Can a multi-manager approach better position DC plans To navigate the uncertain fixed income environment?Read more >
Compliance
Perez Speech Hints at Fiduciary Flexibility
There is very little doubt remaining that the Department of Labor will stand firm on issuing a revised fiduciary rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), but comments made late last week by Labor Secretary Thomas Perez suggest additional revisions to the controversial proposal are still possible—even likely.Read more >
From the Magazine
Insights: Where They Are
After the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), there were often comments about how automatic enrollment, automatic escalation and qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) would eliminate the need to engage participants. In some ways, you can understand why that thought might be there—after all, the whole point of such “auto” programs is to take advantage of participant inertia. If participants were too disengaged to elect to enroll in the plan, why try to engage them afterwards?Read more >
Investing
TDFs Going Global
Target-date funds (TDFs) have quickly become a favorite default option within retirement plans. While the overall split among stocks and bonds within a TDF series, the glide path, is a primary driver of results and therefore participant outcomes, what those asset classes are composed of can also impact results and is worthy of consideration, according to a white paper by Portfolio Evaluations Inc. As a number of TDF providers have announced changes to their TDFs’ international stock and bond exposures, it is important for plan sponsors to understand the implications of those changes and how their plan’s TDFs may be affected, says Kathryn Spica, senior investment analyst at Portfolio Evaluations and author of the paper.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1803, the U.S. Senate approved the Louisiana Purchase. In 1930, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” debuted on NBC radio. In 1947, Hollywood came under scrutiny as the House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence within the motion picture industry. In 1979, the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston was dedicated. In 1994, the website WhiteHouse.gov was launched. In 2003, a 40-year-old man went over Niagara Falls without safety devices and survived. He was charged with illegally performing a stunt.

 

TUESDAY TRIVIA:  Sorry, not this week.

TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Sorry, not this week.

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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