Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 9th, 2015
Last Chance to Make Adviser Award Nominations!
Know a retirement plan adviser or adviser team that deserves kudos? Today is the deadline to make nominations for our PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year Awards.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
SOA Updates Mortality Improvement Scale
The Society of Actuaries (SOA) released an updated mortality improvement scale for pension plans that incorporates two additional years of Social Security mortality data that have been recently released. The updated scale—MP-2015—reflects a trend toward somewhat smaller improvements in longevity.  The improvement scale includes Social Security Administration mortality data from 2010 and 2011.Read more >
Deals and People
Voya Keeps Building Government Markets Team With Rehire
Data and Research
Unplanned Financial Challenges Continue to Plague US Workers’ Retirement Savings
Is the UAW’s Demand for Return of Pensions a Realistic Ask?
Four in 10 Americans admit knowing little or nothing about their employee benefits, according to the 2015 MassMutual Employee Benefits Security Study. Millennials, Gen Xers, parents and low-income Americans find it difficult to manage finances, and many say issues with personal finance distract them while they’re at work. Most workers understand the importance of their personal finances and employee benefits. However, employees indicate they are struggling to know whether they are on track to retire comfortably or how much money they should be spending on their employer-provided benefits.Read more >
Is Company Stock a Liability to Your Retirement Plan?
With a Supreme Court decision expanding fiduciary responsibility for employer stock in retirement plans, plan sponsors wonder about their own stock holdings in their retirement plans. Where the percent of plan assets in company stock has been creeping up, can that be reduced? Or should they liquidate from company stock in the plan? Does merely offering company stock as an investment option make them more prone to participant litigation?  “We think a lot of plans have questions about company stock. That’s nothing new.” Mark Teborek, senior consulting analyst with Russell Investments and author of a white paper “Revisiting Company Stock in Defined Contribution Plans,” tells PLANSPONSOR. “But with the aftermath of the Fifth Third [Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer] case, there was renewed interest in what to do next.”Read more >
Millennials saving for retirement are bucking reports of savings insufficiency and equity aversion, according to a white paper published by Vanguard researchers. “The auto savings generation: Steering millennials to better retirement outcomes” finds that participation rates, saving rates, and equity allocations for Millennial participants (ages 18 to 34) have been on the upswing over the last decade in defined contribution (DC) plans. What does Vanguard credit for putting Millennials on the right path to retirement readiness?Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Investment Product and Services Launches for the Week
New institutional share classes were announced for T. Rowe Price target-date funds, while Merrill Lynch unveiled apps that help retirement savers address longevity and inflation risks.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending October 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 263,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average was 267,500, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.76%, down from 3.85% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.99%, down from 3.07%.

Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices moved higher Thursday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting suggested policymakers were surprisingly unified in their vote against raising interest rates, the Associated Press reports. The Dow increased 138.46 points (0.82%) to 17,050.75, the NASDAQ was up 19.64 points (0.41%) at 4,810.79, and the S&P 500 gained 17.60 points (0.88%) to finish at 2,013.43. The Russell 2000 climbed 10.64 points (0.92%) to 1,163.24, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 178.63 points (0.85%) higher at 21,133.34.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a more than 3 to 1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.8 advancing issues for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.101%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 27/32, bringing its yield up to 2.938%.

Lawmakers Want a Review of Fiduciary Rule Changes
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez expressing concerns over the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposed regulation to expand the definition of fiduciary investment advice under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Led by Representatives Mike Kelly (R-Pennsylvania) and Sam Johnson (R-Texas), the lawmakers urge the DOL to make “substantial changes to address the shortcomings of the proposed rule…” They also ask that the DOL “provide stakeholders with an opportunity to review the changes before the rule advances and is submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.”Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE:  In 1701, the Collegiate School of Connecticut was chartered in New Haven. The name was later changed to Yale. In 1776, a group of Spanish missionaries settled in what is now San Francisco, California. In 1781, the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War took place in Yorktown, Virginia. The American forces, led by George Washington, defeated the British troops under Lord Cornwallis. In 1855, Isaac Singer patented the sewing machine motor. In 1888, the public was admitted to the Washington Monument for the first time. In 1936, the first generator at Boulder Dam began transmitting electricity to Los Angeles, California. The name of the dam was later changed to Hoover Dam. In 1943, “Land of the Lost” debuted on ABC radio.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Six reasons to drink coffee.Read more >
For my fellow southerners who have ever been made fun of or judged because of your southern accent.Read more >

In Spartanburg, South Carolina, a man called 911 to report his girlfriend would not have s.ex with him. Police responded to the residence, and the girlfriend told them the man had been drinking all day, crawled into bed with her and asked her for s.ex, but she refused because her granddaughter was with her. Police found the man outside the residence drinking, and they arrested him for public into.xication, but did not cite him for misusing the 911 system, according to The Smoking Gun.

In New York, prisoners at the Eastern correctional facility, who take courses taught by faculty from nearby Bard College and have formed a popular debate club, invited Harvard’s debate team—this year’s national debate champions—to a friendly competition. A three-judge panel concluded that the Bard team had raised strong arguments that the Harvard team had failed to consider and declared the team of inmates victorious. According to news reports, the Harvard team directed requests for comment to a post on its Facebook page that commended the prison team for its achievements and complimented the work done by the Bard initiative.

High school football kicker makes field goal off referee’s head.Read more >

In Apple Valley, California, a man accused of robbing an auto parts store wore an unusual disguise. He stuck a “maxi” feminine hygiene product to his forehead in a position that mostly covered his eyes. However, the disguise didn’t work very well; the police recognized the man, who has an extensive history of run-ins with the law, and he was arrested.

In Houston, Texas, a man was baffled when he received a speeding ticket by certified mail for doing 90 mph in a 60 mph zone on the North Freeway. The man said he wasn’t anywhere near the area at the time. The Houston Police Department launched an internal investigation into the ticket-writing habits of a senior police officer after a local news team began asking questions about his behavior on the road. The officer, on the force since 2002, has been temporarily relieved of duty. The news team discovered the officer wrote several speeding tickets to drivers without ever pulling them over.

Have a great weekend!
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


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