PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending January 10th, 2020

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s newsletter focuses on the always timely topics of investing and the markets. Recent PLANADVISER articles have touched on such themes as the growing acceptance of ESG investing in the United States, the potential performance of stocks and bonds in 2020, the importance of using participant data in default investment decisions, and more. We hope you will share some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Editor's choice
Keeping Defaulted Participants on the Right Path
Roughly 80% of participants initially accept target-date funds when they are offered as the default investment, although acceptance declines to approximately 70% after five years of participation. Read more >
Predictions of Growth and a ‘Status Quo’ Presidential Election
Are earnings estimates too high? Is the trade progress substance or show? How long can a recession be avoided? What might the election mean for the economy? Read more >
Advocates Hope a New Decade Will Bring Continued ESG Progress
Experts says environmental, social and governance investing mandates are being boiled down to more practical, discrete risk areas, such as cybersecurity or board diversity. Read more >
Carbon-Sensitive Portfolios Perform as Well as Those That Aren’t
S&P studied companies demonstrating three levels of carbon sensitivity and found that all three held up in terms of stock performance; furthermore, S&P says these companies are well managed. Read more >
Increased Volatility Projected for 2020, but No Recession
Asset managers also expect modest economic growth to shift investors’ attention to smaller companies, value stocks and cyclical sectors. Read more >
What Might the SECURE Act Mean for Lifetime Income?
Giving retirement plan sponsors legal protections when they offer lifetime income products doesn’t change the fact that investors generally have low opinions of annuities. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Stimulus Bill Extends Some Provisions of the CARES Act

It also provides a way for retirement plan sponsors to avoid a partial plan termination.

Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
Practice Management: Areas of Success

A look at what worked particularly well in 2020 and that could keep propelling growth in 2021.

SECURE Act and CARES Act Still Demand Client Diligence

As an example, if a plan sponsor has not yet started tracking part-time employees to see whether they accumulate 500 hours of service in 2021, they should begin doing so immediately.

Why Annuities Are So Helpful in Today’s Market Environment

Thanks to increases in longevity and lower expected returns from stocks and bonds in the foreseeable future, annuities are now seen as a big part of the solution.

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