Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 28th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Participants Want to Be Socially Responsible
Responsible investing options resonate with retirement plan participants, as nearly nine in 10 say they want their investments to align with their values, according to a survey by Calvert Investments. However, there is a need to further educate participants given that only 37% say they are familiar with the term “responsible investing.” After being read a definition of responsible investing, seven in 10 (72%) indicate a likelihood to invest in a responsible investing product in the next 12 months and, among these participants, 47% prefer to invest with a firm that specializes in responsible investing.Read more >
Deals and People
Voya Keeps Building Government Markets Team With Rehire
Housing Expenses Drive Spending Volatility in Retirement
Data and Research
Unplanned Financial Challenges Continue to Plague US Workers’ Retirement Savings
Health Benefits Education Important to Financial Plan
“It continues to be a problem that people don’t spend time researching health plans,” Seth Ravine, chief revenue officer at Acclaris, a provider of technology and services for consumer-driven health care and reimbursement accounts, tells PLANSPONSOR. “With the ACA a normal part of business and as they approach the 2018 Cadillac tax, employers are under more pressure to manage costs and give a variety of benefit options to employees so employees can spend their money wisely on the right plan for them. This dynamic creates more confusion and complexity, so tools and calculators alone won’t be enough to educate and guide employees.”Read more >
Products, Deals & People
Aegon, through an affiliate of its Transamerica unit, has reached an agreement with Mercer HR Services, LLC to acquire Mercer’s U.S. defined contribution (DC) administration book of business. Upon completion of the acquisition, the defined contribution business will transition to Transamerica Retirement Solutions, which Aegon says will become a top ten DC recordkeeper based on plan participants and assets.Read more >
Transamerica Takes on Mercer Recordkeeping Business
A deal announced Friday to transition Mercer’s defined contribution (DC) plan administration business to Transamerica’s retirement platform will drive the migration of more than 900,000 participants and adds further momentum to a streak of recordkeeper consolidations. Representatives from both firms spoke with PLANSPONSOR about the deal.Read more >
USI Insurance acquires Benefit Controls of the Carolinas, and investment consultant LCG Associates expands footprint.Read more >
Sponsored message from T. Rowe Price
Visit the Retirement Resource Center and access selected articles and topics covered at the 2015 PLANADVISER National Conference.Read more >
Economic Events
THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for September. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for August. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the unemployment rate for September, and the Census Bureau will report about factory orders for August.
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices ended mixed on Friday after a late slump in health care stocks offset gains in financial shares, the Associate Press reports. The Dow gained 113.35 points (0.70%) to finish at 16,314.67, the NASDAQ lost 47.98 points (1.01%) to finish at 4,686.50, and the S&P 500 was down less than one point (0.05%) at 1,931.34. The Russell 2000 fell 14.75 points (1.30%) to 1,122.78, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 41.58 points (0.20%) lower at 20,313.52.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, nearly 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to 1.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.164%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 26/32, bringing its yield up to 2.959%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending September 25, the Dow was down 0.43%, the NASDAQ lost 2.92%, and the S&P 500 decreased 1.26%. The Russell 2000 fell 3.50%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 1.77% lower.

Nominations Open for Plan Sponsor of the Year Awards
Is your company’s retirement plan run exceptionally well? Is your pension plan well-funded and/or pursuing interesting strategies (whether active or frozen)? Is your defined contribution (DC) plan committee focused on fulfilling fiduciary requirements and achieving successful outcomes for participants? We are now accepting nominations for the 2016 PLANSPONSOR Plan Sponsor of the Year awards. This is an excellent opportunity for you to tell your story and share your successes with peers. We are looking for plans of all types—pension, 401(k), 403(b), 457, public DC, etc.—and of all sizes. You can nominate a plan, or yourself, here.Read more >
Has your plan been improved by the help of a skilled professional? Has an adviser or consultant helped with defined benefit (DB) plan funding or plan maintenance? What about helping design a defined contribution (DC) plan to improve focus on fulfilling fiduciary requirements and achieving successful outcomes for participants? If you know a superb retirement plan adviser you think is worthy of the 2016 PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year awards, please nominate him or her! Nominations can be made here.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1781, during the Revolutionary War, American forces began the siege on Yorktown, Virginia. In 1787, the U.S. Congress voted to send the new Constitution of the United States to the state legislatures for their approval. In 1967, the first mayor of Washington, D.C., Walter Washington, took office. In 2004, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the U.S. Secret Service introduced the first newly redesigned $50 bill.
SURVEY SAYS: Provider Help with Participant Communications
Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Does your company’s recordkeeper or third-party administrator help with participant communications, and does it go beyond just required disclosures?” More than 61% of responding readers say their company’s retirement plan recordkeeper helps with participant communications, 11.5% reported getting help from their third-party administrators (TPAs), and 23.1% indicate both their recordkeepers and TPAs help with participant communications. Beyond participant account statements, responding readers get much more than required disclosures from their TPAs and recordkeepers, including financial wellness and retirement planning communications for participants. In comments from responding NewsDash readers, it is confirmed that not all plans get participant communications services from recordkeepers or TPAs beyond the basics, and not all plans are satisfied with the service they get. A couple of respondents gave mention to advisers for helping with communications. Commenters expressed great efforts to communicate with participants, but also that it often falls on deaf ears. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said, “Not quite sure which is more appropriate, but I know which is more frightening; you can lead a horse to water… or, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.” A big thank you to all who participated in our survey!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


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