Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 18th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
A Mismatch Between Financial Benefits and Help
The mismatch between the sources of employees’ financial benefits and the sources of financial guidance means that many employees do not know how to use these programs effectively, according to HelloWallet, a subsidiary of Morningstar. The results of a survey conducted by HelloWallet in late 2014 found employees are not confident in their ability to manage their benefits. Fewer than 50% of the people surveyed were extremely or very confident they could optimize the value of their employer-sponsored benefits.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
IRS Updates Life Expectancy Tables for Retirees
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Reconsidering Age-Based Communications Strategies
Michelle Jackson, a Broadridge vice president of business strategy and development, who led the webinar on provider innovation and retirement investor communication strategies, outlined ongoing trends in digital plan communications and highlighted opportunities presented to plan advisers and their sponsor clients through more robust communications programs. Jackson said an emerging lesson is that improved communications are a dependable pathway to improved plan performance, but “firms need to be great across channels, whether we are talking about paper mailings, email or any other traditional or digital channels.” In other words, Jackson said, being effective in one communication channel is not enough to ensure success or plan metric improvements.Read more >
Sandwich Generation Needs New Messages About Saving
When members of Generation X who are also members of the ‘Sandwich Generation’—caring for aging parents and providing financial support to children or paying for college—are told they need to save more for their own retirement, they know that, but feel they can’t. “How to prioritize all their financial goals is the number one question we get,” Joe Ready, head of Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, said during a Financial Services Roundtable (FSR) event. “If we say, ‘Let’s get started on retirement,’ the number one objection is people can’t pay their day-to-day bills.”Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Investment Product Launches for the Week
Expanded institutional trading capabilities from CAPIS and Invest ‘n Retire; a multi-asset income fund from Fidelity; and a flexible QLAC from New York Life.Read more >
Economic Events

Privately owned housing starts in August were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,126,000, the Census Bureau announced. This is 3.0% below the revised July estimate of 1,161,000, but is 16.6% above the August 2014 rate of 966,000. Single-family housing starts in August were at a rate of 739,000; this is 3.0% below the revised July figure of 762,000. The August rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 381,000.

In the week ending September 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 264,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 275,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 272,500, a decrease of 3,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 275,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.91%, up from 3.90% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.11%, up from 3.10%.

Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices ended mostly lower Thursday after a volatile day in which the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates low. The Dow closed 65.21 points (0.39%) lower at 16,674.74, while the NADAQ was up 4.71 points (0.10%) at 4,893.95, and the S&P 500 was down 5.11 points (0.16%) at 1,990.20. The Russell 2000 closed 5.49 points (0.47%) higher at 1,180.69, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 25.53 points (0.12%) to 21,007.72.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.5 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.2 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 29/32, bringing its yield down to 2.192%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 14/32, decreasing its yield to 3.010%.

Is Your Plan Adviser Helping You with Compliance?
“It is hard for [retirement plan] sponsors to keep a handle on all they have to do from a compliance standpoint,” says Nancy Gerrie, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in Chicago. “In my 25 years in the business, I have seen the number of duties for plan sponsors grow exponentially, particularly on the Department of Labor side and with investments. Even our most sophisticated clients have a hard time keeping up,” she tells PLANSPONSOR. But, there is help for plan sponsors, if they know where to find it.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1793, U.S. President George Washington laid the actual cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. In 1851, the first issue of “The New York Times” was published. In 1927, Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System made its debut with its network broadcast over 16 radio stations. The name was later changed to CBS. In 1947, the United States Air Force was established as a separate military branch by the National Security Act. In 1955, the “Ed Sullivan Show” began on CBS-TV. The show had been “The Toast of the Town” since 1948. In 2003, Robert Duvall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.                                 


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

How about some nifty entertainment while you wait for your food at a restaurant?Read more >
This little girl explains why she is NOT a princess. I mean, how can she be, with just one sparkly?Read more >

In Watson, Louisiana, a man driving a truck pulling a horse trailer stopped in a daiquiri shop, and when he left, he decided it was safer to leave the truck there and ride the horse home. A deputy responded to complaints about the man riding his horse on the highway. She couldn’t arrest him for DW.I, so she ticketed him for being dru.nk in public. The man told a local ABC News reporter, “When you get a little too much to drink, why not ride a horse? It’s safer that way. The horse knows the way home.”

In Twin Falls, Idaho, a woman called police saying she had arrived home to find her back door open and her house ransacked. There was an unfamiliar cell phone on her bed, and an unfamiliar car parked behind her house. As officers were in the house investigating, a woman drove up behind the unfamiliar car and dropped off a man. The man told officers he had let a friend borrow the car and the keys got locked inside. However, the car keys were also found in the house, and since his story didn’t add up, the man was arrested.

New Zealand energy company Energy Online made a prank video in which solicitors are scared off by a live door knocker that yells at them.Read more >

In South Union Township, Pennsylvania, a 46-year-old man went to a Walmart and removed a wireless phone from a shelf using a knife. He went to an aisle in another department and tried to open the phone packaging. However, according to CBS Pittsburgh, in his attempt, he stabbed himself in the arm and began bleeding excessively. Store employees noticed and tried to approach him, but he left the store. The man drove straight to the hospital, where police were able to catch up with him and arrest him for theft.

In Whitefield, Manchester, England, video footage at a couple’s home shows a man dousing their van with gasoline. The video shows an explosion, and apparently the arsonist did not stand back far enough, because he was seen running from the flames with his arms on fire. According to the Bury Times, police searched the emergency departments at local hospitals and found the suspect.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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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