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Multi-article newsletter on current topics for Plan Sponsors
The first quarter of 2016 started with a whimper as equities suffered several weeks of losses. However, as March came to a close, several major indexes recovered enough to finish the quarter in positive territory. The Dow picked up 260 points to close 1.49% ahead of its fourth-quarter closing value. The S&P 500 also finished the first quarter slightly better than it ended the previous quarter. However, the NASDAQ, Russell 2000, and MSCI World Ex US Index each ended the quarter behind their respective December 2015 closing values. March proved to be a good month for equities, as each of the indexes listed here yielded positive returns.  
After several proposed versions of the rule over the last six years, the DOL has released the final Fiduciary Rule. Largely similar to the proposed rule from 2015, the final rule has a very broad definition of what constitutes 'fiduciary advice'.  However there is more flexibility under the final rule indicating the DOL took the numerous comments from the industry to heart (at least in part). Advisors will need to be more cautious with their advice, since most actions taken by advisors will now be 'fiduciary' in nature.  To read more information regarding the DOL Fiduciary Rule, click here.    
U.S. economy weathers market volatility as labor market improves and manufacturing steadies.  Based on data received so far, first quarter 2016 real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is tracking at 1.5-2.0%, following 1.4% growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 and 2.0% growth in the third.

Questions by Plan Sponsors like you and answers from the experts.
April, May and June compliance calendar. 
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, and millions poised to retire, plan sponsors, retired_couple_shopping.jpg providers and lawmakers are paying close attention to the distribution decisions retirement-age  employees make when accessing their defined contribution plan assets.

In light of an imminent mass exodus from the workforce, it can be instructive to examine participant withdrawal behaviors over time. That is exactly what Vanguard did in its September 2015 update to its December 2013 analysis of participant distribution decisions among retirement-age DC plan participants. The report, "Retirement Distribution Decisions Among DC Participants-An Update," considered distribution behaviors through year-end 2014 of 249,600 DC plan participants age 60 and older who terminated employment in calendar years 2004-2013.