Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 5th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Participants Need Good Choices, Education and Focus on Income
Participants in small plans do not have the same features and investment options available to them as participants in larger plans, according to a survey by Guardian Retirement Solutions. In terms of plan design, for example, a match is much less prevalent at firms with fewer than 25 employees than with employees of firms of all sizes. Other features which are also less prevalent in small plans include retirement income planning tools, telephone service representatives, automatic enrollment and deferral escalation, and managed account programs.Read more >
Pension Funding Levels Lost Ground in September
The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) 1500 companies dropped by 2% to reach 79% of liabilities as of September 30, according to Mercer’s corporate pension funded status index.Read more >
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Residents of the Island of Misfit Toys
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TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Why Participation Is Low in K-12 403(b) Plans
Employers cite several reasons they think employees don’t participate in their 403(b) plans, but it may come down to employees’ inability to save more.Read more >
Economic Events

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 142,000 in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in health care and information, while mining employment fell.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August, down following two consecutive monthly increases, decreased $5.5 billion or 2.3% to $235.5 billion, down from the previously published 2.0% decrease, according to the Census Bureau. This followed a 1.9% July increase. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, led the decrease, $5.1 billion or 6.2% to $78.3 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $2.7 billion or 1.1% to $237.5 billion.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, the Census Bureau will report about wholesale trade for August.

Sponsored message from T. Rowe Price
Missed PANC2015?  Visit the PANC Retirement Resource Center. Click to read the highlights.Read more >
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow was up 200.36 points (1.23%) at 16,472.37, the NASDAQ climbed 80.69 points (1.74%) to 4,707.78, and the S&P 500 increased 27.54 points (1.43%) to 1,951.36. The Russell 2000 gained 16.57 points (1.51%) to finish at 1,114.11, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 296.50 points (1.47%) higher at 20,453.86.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 3 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 13/32, bringing its yield down to 1.994%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 15/32, decreasing its yield to 2.826%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending October 2, the Dow finished 0.97% higher, the NASDAQ, was up 0.45%, and the S&P 500 gained 1.04%. The Russell 2000 fell 0.77%, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 0.69%.

Compliance
IRS Reminds Plan Sponsors of Plan Restatement Deadline
In an updated web page, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reminds plan sponsors that document providers who sell pre-approved plans update the plan in its entirety once every six years and request a new opinion/advisory letter from the agency. The IRS generally approves all updated defined contribution plans at the same time. Most opinion/advisory letters for the latest round of pre-approved defined contribution plans were issued on March 31, 2014. Employers have two years, until April 30, 2016, to adopt these updated plans.Read more >
Investing
Fiduciary Fears Add to Passive Investments’ Tailwind
Passive funds can be compelling from a cost-of-investing perspective for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciaries, according to new research from Cerulli Associates, but this does not mean they come without market and fiduciary risk. “An unfortunate misconception” exists among defined contribution (DC) plan fiduciaries that low cost is equivalent to low risk from either a market or a fiduciary perspective, says Jessica Sclafani, associate director at Cerulli. This misconception is benefitting index fund providers in terms of inflows, Cerulli data shows, but could lead to some serious plan sponsor confusion and even increased litigation down the road.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1921, the World Series was broadcast on the radio for the first time. The game was between the New York Giants and the New York Yankees. In 1947, U.S. President Harry S Truman held the first televised presidential address from the White House. The subject was the current international food crisis. In 1969, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” debuted on BBC television. In 1989, the Dalai Lama (Lhama Dhondrub, Tenzin Gyatso) was named the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign to end the Chinese domination of Tibet. Gyatso was the 15th Dalai Lama. In 1999, Kevin Spacey received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
SURVEY SAYS REWIND: Eight years ago, when the final qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) regulations were released, we asked NewsDash readers what they thought of the new regulations.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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