Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 30th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Research Reveals Social Security Knowledge Gap
Research released today indicates that close to 100% of Americans could lack critical information about how to get the most from their Social Security benefits. According to “Social Security Planning in 2015 & Beyond: Perspectives of Future Beneficiaries and Financial Planners,” just 9% of consumers consider themselves “very knowledgeable about how Social Security benefits are determined,” and 1% of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) say their clients are very knowledgeable on the subject.Read more >
Ask the Experts
Ask the Experts – Must a Frozen 401(a) DB Plan Be Terminated?
“I read with great interest your Ask the Experts Q&A on frozen plans, since our organization has a frozen Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 401(a) plan as well. However, in our case, it is a defined benefit plan, not a defined contribution plan. Does this change your response at all with respect to plan termination?”Read more >
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2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Products, Deals & People
Employee Fiduciary Offers Fee Comparison Database
Employee Fiduciary has released its database of 401(k) fee comparisons compiled from live data over the last twelve months.  The database reveals fees charged to small business retirement plans. It identifies plan providers by name and provides searchable data that allow plan sponsors to compare and benchmark their current plan fees.Read more >
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had increased in August, improved moderately in September. The Index now stands at 103.0 (1985=100), up from 101.3 in August. The Present Situation Index increased from 115.8 last month to 121.1 in September, while the Expectations Index edged down to 91.0 from 91.6 in August.
Market Mirror

Tuesday, the Dow closed 47.24 points (0.30%) higher at 16,049.13, the NASDAQ closed 26.65 points (0.59%) lower at 4,517.32, and the S&P 500 was up 2.32 points (0.12%) at 1,884.09. The Russell 2000 decreased 6.67 points (0.61%) to 1,083.90, and the Wilshire 5000 was down 22.93 points (0.12%) at 19,737.25.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with 1.3 declining issues for every advancing issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.7 to 1 ratio of decliners to advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.078%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 14/32, bringing its yield up to 2.873%.

Compliance
EEOC Charges Fire Company with Age Discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges that the Glenwood Fire Company, along with several towns and villages in Long Island, New York, have discriminated against older firefighters from accruing credits toward a pension-like plan. The “length of service award program” (LOSAP), similar to a retirement pension, was created by the towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and the villages of Old Brookville and Roslyn Harbor. The plan unlawfully prohibits volunteer firefighters from accruing service credits after they turn 55.Read more >
From the Magazine
Asset Class Focus: Alternative Assets
After the bursting of the technology bubble, the severe drop in global stock markets seen in 2000 and 2001 brought institutional investors a new appreciation for the behavior of equities—for most, their largest and most volatile asset. Seeking to calm their turbulent portfolios through diversification in other markets, many turned to or expanded their existing allocations in alternative assets such as commercial real estate, private equity and hedge funds. The global financial crisis of 2008 added momentum to the shift to alternatives, and by 2014, U.S. pension funds held 29% of their portfolios in nontraditional assets, up from 13% in 2002 and just 9% in 1997, as reported by consultants Towers Watson.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1846, Dr. William Morton performed a painless tooth extraction after administering ether to a patient. In 1946, an international military tribunal in Nuremberg, Germany, found 22 top Nazi leaders guilty of war crimes. In 1947, the World Series was televised for the first time.

 

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”—   Douglas Adams, writer

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

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