Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 12th, 2019
DB Plans Can Afford to Loosen Up on Target Allocations
Two separate reports suggest that public pension plans’ strict adherence to target allocations and corporate pension plans’ focus on bonds and de-risking their portfolios may be hindering potential performance.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
MassMutual Enhances Website for Participants Affected by Pension Risk Transfer
Both active annuitants and deferred annuitants can go to MassMutual’s website to access information about their annuity, as well as update their records, among other things.Read more >
Investment Product and Service Launches
Finadium builds database of securities lending mutual funds and ETFs; OneAmerica, Russell Investments managed accounts consider outside retirement assets; and MainStay moves target-date funds (TDFs) to other asset allocation funds.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Prudential Expands Financial Wellness Capabilities
The new solutions will help employees manage student loan debt, navigate job changes, access financial coaching and develop a personalized financial roadmap.Read more >
Fidelity Adds Benefits Bundle for Small and Mid-sized Employers
While the service is offered as a package, plan sponsors will be able to choose select solutions for their needs.Read more >
Economic Events

The Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.6% in March, as prices for final demand goods advanced 1.0%, and the index for final demand services moved up 0.3%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The final demand index increased 2.2% for the 12 months ended in March.

In the week ending April 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 196,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 204,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since October 4, 1969, when it was 193,000. The four-week moving average was 207,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 214,000. This is the lowest level for this average since December 6, 1969, when it was 204,500.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.12%, up from 4.08% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.6%, up from 3.56% one week ago.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 14.11 points (0.05%) at 26,143.05, the NASDAQ closed 16.89 points (0.21%) lower at 7,947.36, and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,888.32. The Russell 2000 decreased 2.41 points (0.15%) to 1,579.14, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 5.28 points (0.02%) at 29,866.05.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.494%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 22/32, bringing its yield up to 2.929%.

DOL Offers Relief for Plan Sponsors Due to Severe Storms
The relief on Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) compliance applies to plan sponsors in Nebraska, Iowa and Alabama identified now or in the future for individual assistance by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1861, Fort Sumter was shelled by the Confederate States Army, starting America’s Civil War. In 1864, Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest captured Fort Pillow, in Tennessee, and slaughtered the black Union troops there. In 1892, voters in Lockport, New York, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines. In 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Spring, Georgia. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Harry S. Truman became president. In 1983, Harold Washington was elected the first black mayor of Chicago. In 1985, Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida. In 1992, Disneyland Paris opened in Marne-La-Vallee, France.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

The most amazing jump through hoops you’ve seen.Read more >
Flashbacks from elementary school. Those pizzas really were the bomb.Read more >

In West Chester, Pennsylvania, a statue of a lion was taken from a residence. Police posted surveillance video of the theft online. Apparently, that gave the thieves a change of heart because two days later, according to the Associated Press, they not only returned the statue, but left a bouquet of flowers and a card. Police posted video of that as well.

In Londonderry, New Hampshire, a woman has filed a lawsuit against a bar claiming she lost her balance and fell through a narrow entrance while trying to pass by two men who were allegedly drunk and brawling. Not to downplay her claims, but the irony is the name of the bar is Stumble Inn Bar & Grill.

In Taiwan, a woman was plucking weeds around a gravestone when she thought sand had gotten into her eye. After increased swelling and pain, she went to Fooyin University Hospital where doctors discovered four bees embedded in her eye. According to the BBC, doctors were able to pull them out. The bees were alive, feeding off the woman’s tears. The doctor who treated her said her vision was saved because she didn’t want to rub her eye for fear of tearing her contact lens. “If she did, she could have induced the bees to produce venom. She could have gone blind,” he told the BBC.

In Portland, Oregon, a house sitter called 911 saying she thought an intruder was in the bathroom. The Oregonian reports deputies entered the home and ordered the burglar out, but nothing happened. Deputies then opened the bathroom door with guns drawn and discovered the intruder was a Roomba, a robot vacuum cleaner.


Wishing everyone a happy weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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