Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 9th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Consistency Increases 401(k) Savings Potential
The average 401(k) plan account balance of workers who participated consistently in one 401(k) plan increased significantly over the four-year period ending at year-end 2014, according to data published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and the Investment Company Institute (ICI). The median 401(k) plan account balance for consistent participants was more than three times the median balance of all participant accounts in the EBRI/ICI database.Read more >
Study Finds 401(k) Plan Participants Want More Information
The majority of employees agreed that online platforms that provide financial advice, help them see all their wealth in one place, and are transparent with fees and investments will better help them invest for retirement.Read more >
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DB Sponsors Focused on Governance Have Better Outcomes
A study by State Street identified a group of “Governance Leaders” among defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors who will upgrade four or more aspects of their governance over the next year. “This group shows that a commitment to improved governance standards can have wider benefits,” State Street says. According to the research report, leading pension funds may be able to enhance long-term outcomes for their members by upgrading their risk management capabilities and governance frameworks to support potentially value-added investment opportunities including allocations to more complex assets.Read more >
Certain Ages a Retirement Planning Trigger for Some
Thirty-six percent of respondents to a survey said they started planning at a significant birthday.Read more >
Sponsored message from Alger
Smarter Technologies, Healthier Bodies
Visionary medical expert Dr. Daniel Kraft discusses the future of medicine and its impact on our lives. View VideoRead more >
Products, Deals and People
“Defined Benefit Plan Continuum,” a new white paper from Transamerica, helps plan sponsors and retirement advisory professionals “navigate the best course for their pension plan and better manage the plan’s costs over time.” The research provides guidelines and direction to plan sponsors, advisers and consultants in effectively evaluating benefit design options and choosing a course that “lowers defined benefit plan costs while mitigating risks that might potentially affect their company’s bottom line.”Read more >
Investment Products and Service Launches
Ascensus Enhances Managed Accounts Services with Morningstar; Pacific Life Releases New Index; and more.Read more >
Economic Events

Private industry employer compensation costs averaged $32.29 per hour worked in June 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wages and salaries costs were $22.52 and total benefit costs were $9.77. Retirement costs were $1.27, accounting for 3.9% of total compensation costs.

In the week ending September 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 259,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 263,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 261,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 263,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.44%, down from 3.46% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.76%, down from 2.77%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow lost 46.23 points (0.25%) to finish at 18,479.91, the NASDAQ closed 24.44 points (0.46%) lower at 5,259.48, and the S&P 500 decreased 4.86 points (0.22%) to 2,181.30. The Russell 2000 was down 2.65 points (0.21%) at 1,258.35, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 106.73 points (0.47%) to 22,671.52.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, and on the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for declining issues on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 1.600%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 15/32, increasing its yield to 2.305%.
Compliance
The Senate Special Committee on Aging convened this week to discuss the projected U.S. retirement income gap, valued by speakers at close to $8 trillion. The committee heard about the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) Commission’s recommendations that could increase and improve retirement savings.Read more >
Small Talk
SURVEY SAYS: We received very few responses to this week’s survey, so please take the time to respond. What did you, or your child, forget to bring to college that you, or your child, most regretted leaving behind? You may respond by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.Read more >

ON THIS DATE: In 1776, the second Continental Congress officially made the term “United States,” replacing the previous term “United Colonies.” In 1850, California became the 31st state to join the union. In 1926, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) was created by the Radio Corporation of America (RCA). In 1948, North Korea became the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. In 1957, the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction was signed into law by U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1979, Tracy Austin, at 16, became the youngest player to win the U.S. Open women’s tennis title. In 1994, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off on an 11-day mission.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
It can be so tiring to drive your John Deere tractor around.Read more >
Looney Tunes characters flight announcements.Read more >

In Westerly, Rhode Island, a man has been arrested for shooting his neighbor’s house—with corncobs. According to the Westerly Sun, police say the man answered his door shirtless and had corn kernels stuck to his chest. He used a potato gun to shoot corncobs at his neighbor’s house, which is up for sale. Police say the man and his neighbor have long-running disputes.

In Kansas City, Kansas, a man gave a note to a bank teller demanding cash and warning he had a gun. He then sat in the bank lobby and told the guard he was the guy the guard was looking for. According to the Associated Press, the man had earlier been arguing with his wife. He told investigators he wrote the note in front of his wife, telling her he would “rather be in jail than at home.”

In Georgia, the Board of Bar Examiners determined that errors in the scoring of the July 2015 and February 2016 Bar examinations resulted in 90 applicants being mistakenly notified that they had failed the examination when, in fact, they had passed. One man lost his job because of it. The Board has made apologies and is reimbursing people for the cost of the exam.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash 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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