Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 30th, 2014
Benefit Briefs
Professional Advice Spurs Women to Take Savings Action
A new TIAA-CREF survey shows that 63% of women who have received professional financial advice say they feel confident about their personal retirement readiness. The annual Advice Matters Survey reveals that while women continue to report lower rates of confidence in their retirement readiness compared with men (56% vs. 63%), receiving financial advice can help eliminate the gender gap. In addition to feeling more confident, 81% of women who receive financial advice say they feel informed about retirement planning and retirement savings, compared with 63% who have not received advice.Read more >
Strategies for Increasing Employees’ Retirement Savings
Automatic enrollment has been shown to increase the number of employees who save in their employer-sponsored defined contribution plan. However, relatively few employees use auto enrollment, and employers tend to auto enroll employees at small deferral rates, noted Natalie Wyatt, senior sales representative with Innovest. In addition, even fewer employers automatically escalate participants’ deferral rates. In a Conversations That Matter session at the 2014 American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA) Annual Conference, led by Wyatt and Jen Gibbs Swets, senior manager at Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, conference attendees discussed strategies for increasing participants’ savings.Read more >
Market Mirror
Wednesday, the Dow was down 31.44 points (0.18%) at 16,974.31, the NASDAQ fell 15.07 points (0.33%) to 4,549.23, and the S&P 500 slipped 2.75 points (0.14%) to 1,982.30. The Russell 2000 decreased 3.08 points (0.27%) to 1,146.37, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 43.79 points (0.21%) lower at 20,885.02. On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.3 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for decliners. The price of the 10-year Treasury note fell 6/32, bringing its yield up to 2.316%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 12/32, decreasing its yield to 3.049%.
Financial Sense
Society of Actuaries Approves New Mortality Tables
With the final approval of its first new mortality tables since 2000, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) has officially revised its benchmark for calculating the financial liabilities of U.S. pension plans. Yesterday, the society issued two reports, RP-2014 Mortality Tables and MP-2014 Mortality Improvement Scale, which effectively approve the mortality rates first unveiled in a February exposure draft of the tables. The new numbers reflect increased longevity, as measured by an intense five-year study, and will be sent to all practicing U.S. actuaries, who then decide how to implement them into real-world pension plans.Read more >
Asset Class Focus: Stable Value Funds
Loss aversion is certainly a part of what makes stable value accounts a perennial favorite in defined contribution (DC) plans. Far better returns are possible—and even likely—with other assets, but stable value accounts are carefully engineered to show no decreases in price. However, that stability is challenging to create, and during the financial crisis some players in stable value were banged up a bit. The sector has emerged in stronger shape, though, according to both stable value managers and plan consultants.Read more >
The World at Large
The UK needs a new compulsory defined contribution pension arrangement and health insurance system to address the spiraling future debt, according to think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1735, John Adams, the second president of the United States, the son of a farmer and a descendant of Plymouth Rock pilgrims, was born in Braintree, Massachusetts. In 1875, the constitution of Missouri was ratified by popular vote. In 1894, the time clock was patented by Daniel M. Cooper of Rochester, New York. In 1938, Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth. In 1953, General George C. Marshall was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1974, 32-year-old Muhammad Ali became the boxing heavyweight champion of the world for the second time when he knocked out 25-year-old champ George Foreman in the eighth round of the “Rumble in the Jungle,” a match in Kinshasa, Zaire. Seven years before, Ali had lost his title when the government accused him of draft-dodging and the boxing commission took away his license. In 1991, the so-called “perfect storm” hit the North Atlantic producing remarkably large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts. Over the next several days, the storm spread its fury over the ocean off the coast of Canada. The fishing boat Andrea Gail and its six-member crew were lost in the storm. The disaster spawned the best-selling book “The Perfect Storm” by Sebastian Junger and a blockbuster Hollywood movie of the same name.
SURVEY SAYS REWIND: Halloween Costumes
Two years ago, I asked NewsDash readers to share interesting and creative Halloween costume ideas.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 >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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