Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 15th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Considerations When Facing a Short Plan Year
Retirement plans, like other financial entities, and most of life, operate on an annual cycle. Rules pertaining to participant accounts, company matches and taxes on savings are written to cover an established 12-month period. Occasionally, an employer must step outside that time frame—the result is a short plan year. Whatever the reason for the short plan year, companies should think the step through before taking it. The decisions leading up to a small plan year are highly complex and will vary with each transaction.Read more >
Stacking Up: Who Offers the Best Retirement Plans?
Are certain industries more focused on winning the benefits game, and if so, why? “If we have a portion of our employees who don’t retire at retirement age, what are the implications for us as an organization?” More and more plan sponsors are asking themselves this question, says Brodie Wood, senior vice president in not-for-profit markets at Transamerica Retirement Solutions. What that means for specific benefit programs can depend on the industry or “even regions of the country,” says Margaret McKenna, EVP of Workplace Investing’s Relationship Management team at Fidelity Investments. “We definitely see differences, no question about that,” she says, “but it goes beyond industry.”Read more >
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Market Mirror

Most U.S. stock indices closed lower as traders hold back ahead of a much-anticipated Federal Reserve meeting later this week, the Associated Press reports. The Dow closed 62.13 points (0.38%) lower at 16,370.96, the NASDAQ decreased 16.58 points (0.34%) to 4,805.76, and the S&P 500 lost 8.05 points (0.41%) to finish at 1,953.00. The Russell 2000 gained 17.32 points (1.52%) to finish at 1,153.49, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 85.46 points (0.41%) to 20,606.20.                      

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a 2 to 1 lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.6 declining issues for every advancing issue.

The prices of the 10-year Treasury note and 30-year Treasury bond were each up 4/32, decreasing their yields to 2.178% and 2.949%, respectively.

From the Magazine
Saxon Angle: Tibble Takeaways
This past December, we highlighted the oral arguments made before the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Tibble v. Edison International. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court recently found that plan sponsors and other fiduciaries have an ongoing fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to monitor plan investments—a duty that is separate and apart from the fiduciary’s duty to be prudent when first selecting the investments. The court’s decision is significant for both plan sponsors and investment fiduciaries. There are a number of notable takeaways from the decision.Read more >
Investing
401(k) Participants Do a Trading About-Face
In August, an average of 0.026% of total balances transferred, according to the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index. This was slightly higher than the averages for July (0.021%) and June (0.024%) but less than May’s average of 0.031%. GIC/stable value ($222 million), money market ($104 million), and bond funds ($43 million) saw the most inflows over the month.Read more >
Lessons from the Market Volatility
For the most part, during the August 19 through August 25 market dive, most broad equity asset classes—U.S. stock, emerging markets, real estate, etc.—took big hits, notes Rod Greenshields, consulting director at Russell Investments. But, while these asset classes were seeing losses from 7% to more than 12%, the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index was up 1.9% he notes. “This reinforces why you have bonds. Plan sponsors have been questioning bonds, with expected interest rate increases, but the volatility in recent weeks shows why they need bonds,” Greenshields tells PLANSPONSOR. Joe Halpern, CEO of Exceed Investments, also says the most recent market environment should encourage plan sponsors to look at innovative strategies.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1853, Reverend Antoinette Brown Blackwell was ordained becoming first female minister in the United States. In 1857, Timothy Alder earned a patent for the typesetting machine. In 1949, “The Lone Ranger” premiered on ABC. In 1965, “Green Acres” premiered on CBS TV. In 1978, Muhammad Ali defeated Leon Spinks to win his 3rd World Heavyweight Boxing title. In 1982, the first issue of “USA Today” was published.

 

TUESDAY TRIVIA: The tradition of throwing rice at a newlywed couple started in Asia. Rice (which symbolizes fertility) was thrown at the couple in the hope that this would bring a marriage yielding many children.

TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Today, a honeymoon is a trip a newlywed couple takes to celebrate their marriage alone, but the original honeymoon had nothing to do with taking a trip. From where did the term ‘honeymoon’ originate?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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