Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 16th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
GAO Says More Knowledge Could Improve Social Security Decisions
The agency found a lack of understanding about Social Security benefits by many individuals and that claimants were not consistently provided key information that people may need to make well-informed decisions. It offered recommendations to the Social Security Administration.Read more >
Americans Unfamiliar With Annuities
Fifty-eight percent of Americans say they are confident they have enough saved to last through retirement, but less than half know the value of their retirement account. Just 35% know what they can expect in monthly income, the TIAA 2016 Lifetime Income Survey found. TIAA says annuities could make up for savers’ false expectations about their retirement readiness.Read more >
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Government DC Plans Have Similarities to Private-Sector Plans
The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators’ (NAGDCA’s) inaugural benchmarking report finds most government DC plans (85%) use target-date funds, and 69% offer financial wellness services. Total assets in government defined contribution (DC) plans were $115.8 billion as of December 31, 2015.Read more >
Industry Voices
Industry Voices: Viability Connecting Employers With Employees
Hugh O’Toole, senior vice president and head of Workplace Distribution at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. (MassMutual), discusses the company’s Viability tool, which shows employers—chief financial officers (CFOs) in particular—the value of promoting employee retirement readiness.Read more >
Sponsored message from SEI
A Changing Landscape Requires a New Approach: DC Discretion
Sponsors consider discretionary investment management. Why the shift?Read more >
Products, Deals and People
The Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA) has launched a mobile application called the PSCA Knowledge Center. The app will serve as a one-stop shop where plan sponsors can access information and resources related to qualified and non-qualified retirement plans via several channels including articles, podcasts, and the council’s own surveys.Read more >
Alegeus, a provider of consumer-directed health care (CDH) solutions, unveiled new capabilities for the administration of voluntary employee benefit associations (VEBAs). The Alegeus platform provides comprehensive administrative and operational support for VEBAs—including plan setup, configuration, funding, claims processing, debit cards, and more.Read more >
The Institutional Retirement Income Council (IRIC), a non-profit think tank for the retirement income planning industry, released a new issue brief about adding distribution options to defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. The paper, “The Evolving DC Plan – from Accumulation to De-accumulation,” addresses critical questions plan sponsors often ask and need to answer when evaluating whether to add distribution options to their DC retirement plans.Read more >
TIAA, in an effort to provide retirement plan participants the latest account information, announced an updated app developed for Apple and Android smartwatches. The app delivers access to total account balances across retirement savings, retirement health care, brokerage, bank, trust, mutual funds, life insurance, immediate annuities, after-tax annuities and assets held outside of TIAA.Read more >
Investment Product and Services Launches
Cavalier Assigns Nine Interim Sub-Advisers for Suite of Mutual Funds; Empower Retirement Paper Explores QDIAs; TOBAM Launches its First U.S. Mutual Fund.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending September 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 260,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 259,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 260,750, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 261,250.

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for July, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,303.6 billion, down 0.2% from June and down 0.8% from July 2015.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $456.3 billion, a decrease of 0.3% from the previous month, and 1.9% above August 2015.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand was unchanged in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Final demand prices declined 0.4% in July and rose 0.5% in June. In August, a 0.1% advance in the index for final demand services offset a 0.4% decrease in prices for final demand goods.

The interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.50%, up from 3.44% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.77%, up from 2.76%.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 177.71 points (0.99%) to finish at 18,212.48, the NASDAQ closed 75.92 points (1.47%) higher at 5,249.69, and the S&P 500 increased 21.49 points (1.01%) to 2.147.26. The Russell 2000 was up 15.43 points (1.27%) at 1,227.02, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 219.65 points (0.99%) to 22,321.13.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues 3 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a near 3 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 1.698%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.467%.
Compliance
DOL Offers More Compliance Relief for Plans in Louisiana
Due to recent storms and flooding in Louisiana, the DOL has relaxed rules for contributions and loan repayments, blackout notices and health plan compliance.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1620, the Mayflower departed from Plymouth, England. In 1630, the village of Shawmut changed its name to Boston. In 1782, the Great Seal of the United States was impressed on document to negotiate a prisoner of war agreement with the British. It was the first official use of the impression. In 1893, the “Cherokee Strip” in Oklahoma was swarmed by hundreds of thousands of settlers. In 1908, General Motors was founded by William Crapo “Billy” Durant. The company was formed by merging the Buick and Olds car companies. In 1940, U.S. President Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act, which set up the first peacetime military draft in U.S. history. In 1953, the St. Louis Browns of the American League were given permission to move to Baltimore, Maryland, where they became the Baltimore Orioles. In 1965, “The Dean Martin Show” debuted on NBC-TV. In 1968, “The Andy Griffith Show” was seen for the final time on CBS. In 1972, “The Bob Newhart Show” premiered on CBS-TV. In 1974, U.S. President Ford announced a conditional amnesty program for draft-evaders and deserters during the Vietnam War. In 1976, the Episcopal Church formally approved women to be ordained as priests and bishops. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed by 24 countries in an effort to save the Earth’s ozone layer by reducing emissions of harmful chemicals by the year 2000. IN 1994, Exxon Corporation was ordered by federal jury to pay $5 billion in punitive damages to the people harmed by the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. In 1998, Meryl Streep received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

 

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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