Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 14th, 2017
Awards Nominations Open
2018 Annual Plan Sponsor and Adviser Award Nominations Are Open
Nomination forms for the 2018 PLANSPONSOR Plan Sponsor of the Year awards and Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year awards are now available. Read more >
Benefits and Administration
Trust in Retirement Plan Providers Helps With Financial Decisions
While not very high, participants’ trust in retirement plan providers has risen to 11% this year, according to the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants’ (NARPP) Participant Trust and Engagement Study. Their trust in retirement plan providers had hit an all-time low of 8% in 2016. NARPP says that trust in retirement plan providers is critical, as it affects plan participation, deferral rates and the use of plan tools. The survey reveals factors that improve participants’ trust in their retirement plan providers. Read more >
Encouraging HSA Use As a Retirement Savings Vehicle
Health savings accounts (HSAs) are a viable solution for people looking to cover their health care costs in retirement, according to a new report from HSA Bank. HSA funds can be invested, although only 3.8% of account holders are taking advantage of this opportunity. The report offers tips for plan sponsors to encourage employees to use HSAs for retirement health care savings. Read more >
Economic Events
In August, the Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.2%, as the index for final demand goods climbed 0.5% and prices for final demand services inched up 0.1%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The final demand index increased 2.4% for the 12 months ended in August.
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SECURE Act Passes House, Bringing Calls for Senate Collaboration
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Individuals, Employers and Government All Play a Part in Retirement Readiness
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Participant Loans: A Fiduciary Storm Brewing?
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What to Know About Financial Audits Filed with Form 5500s
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow closed 39.32 points (0.18%) higher at 22,158.18, the NASDAQ was up 5.91 points (0.09%) at 6,460.19, and the S&P 500 increased by 1.89 (0.08%) to 2,498.37. The Russell 2000 was up 3.43 points (0.24%) at 1,426.89, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 10.63 points (0.04%) to 25,920.80.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 8/32, increasing its yield to 2.196%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 11/32, bringing its yield up to 2.789%.

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Compliance
IRS Relaxes Loan, Hardship Rules for Hurricane Irma Victims
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Irma and members of their families. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and Department of Labor (DOL) also are providing relief similar to that provided by Hurricane Harvey victims. Read more >
SEC Secures Fee Rebates for Faith-Based 403(b) Plan Sponsors
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has instituted a cease-and-desist order against Envoy Advisory Inc. Envoy is accused of breaches of fiduciary duty, inadequate disclosures and compliance deficiencies. Most of its clients are small to medium-sized non-profit, faith-based organizations that sponsor Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 403(b) retirement plans for employees. According to the SEC’s order, from January 2013 through March 2017, Envoy recommended, and plan participants held, Class A mutual fund shares when less expensive institutional share classes of the same mutual funds were available. The 12b-1 fees paid by mutual funds held by plan participants went to Envoy’s affiliated broker-dealer, Envoy Securities, LLC. Read more >
Investing
Overly Broad Clean Shares Discussion Can Mislead Novice Investors
As a follow up to Morningstar’s recent response to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) request for information on the fiduciary rule implementation process, the firm has published an infographic aimed at helping retirement plan professionals answer the crucial question, “How clean are my funds?” “As we argued in our comment letter, while clean shares have the potential to benefit investors, the DOL must get the details around promoting and defining these shares,” the firm tells PLANSPONSOR. “If regulators assume that clean shares with sub-TA fees and other kinds of revenue sharing are the same as the cleanest shares without them, they will be endorsing products that can have embedded conflicts of interest.” Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1807, former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge. Two weeks earlier Burr had been found innocent of treason. In 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star-Spangled Banner,” a poem originally known as “Defense of Fort McHenry,” after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Maryland, during the War of 1812. In 1847, U.S. forces took control of Mexico City under the leadership of General Winfield Scott. In 1866, George K. Anderson patented the typewriter ribbon. In 1901, U.S. President William McKinley died of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, at age 42, succeeded him. In 1940, the Selective Service Act was passed by Congress providing the first peacetime draft in the United States. In 1948, in New York, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site of the United Nations’ world headquarters. In 1960, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded. The core members were Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. In 1963, Mary Ann Fischer gave birth to America’s first surviving quintuplets. In 1972, “The Waltons” premiered on CBS-TV. In 1975, Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint. In 1978, “Mork & Mindy” premiered on ABC-TV. In 1984, Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a balloon solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1999, Disney World closed down for the first time in its 28-year history. The closure was due to Hurricane Floyd heading for Florida. In 1999, it was announced that “US” magazine would change from monthly to weekly and change its name to “USWeekly.” In 2001, the FBI released the names of the 19 suspected hijackers that had taken part in the September 11 terror attacks on the U.S.

SURVEY SAYS: I love fall. At first, I think it was because that was back-to-school time, and I loved going back to school. But now, I think it is more for the weather and the colors. This week, I’d like to know, which season is your favorite? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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