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Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
More Employers Are Engaging With Voluntary Benefits
More Employers Are Engaging With Voluntary Benefits
Experts say such offerings could help improve employees’ financial wellness and retirement security.
Questions Sponsors Need to Ask When Hiring a 3(38) Fiduciary
DC plan sponsors should examine a potential investment manager’s approach to governance as well as investing, and they should review past performance results.
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Data and Research
The Growing Interest in Guaranteed Income Options
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Data and Research
Emergency Savings Programs Boost Retirement Outcomes
Economic Events
Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $619.1 billion, an increase of 9.8% from the previous month, and 27.7% above March 2020, the Census Bureau announced. Total sales for the January through March period were up 14.3% from the same period a year ago. Retail trade sales were up 9.4% from February, and up 26.9% from last year. Motor vehicle and parts dealers were up 71.1% from March 2020, while food services and drinking places were up 36.0% from last year.

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for February, adjusted for seasonal and trading day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,549.6 billion, down 1.9% from January, but up 5.7% from February 2020.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.04% for the week ending April 15, down from last week when it averaged 3.13%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.31%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.35%, down from last week when it averaged 2.42%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.80%.

In the week ending April 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 576,000, a decrease of 193,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 769,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. The four-week moving average was 683,000, a decrease of 47,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 730,250. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow gained 305.10 points (0.90%) to finish at 34,035.99, the Nasdaq closed 180.92 points (1.31%) higher at 14,038.76, and the S&P 500 increased 45.76 points (1.11%) to 4,170.42. The Russell 2000 was up 9.35 points (0.42%) at 2,257.07, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 471.67 points (1.09%) to 43,769.22.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 29/32, bringing its yield down to 1.555%. The price of the 30-year Treasury note climbed 1 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.255%.
Court Rejects Barnabas Retirement Plan Fiduciaries’ Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit
A federal judge found that the plaintiffs had sufficiently pleaded their claims in the suit alleging excessive retirement plan fees.
Efforts to Make HSAs More Inclusive
How decoupling HSAs from high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) could bring advantages to both the employee and employer.
Boosting HSA Participation and Engagement
Experts say offering company matches and/or seed money, as well as implementing automatic enrollment into the plans, can boost workers’ engagement with HSAs.
The Role of HSAs in Financial Wellness and Retirement
Plan sponsors can promote the HSA benefit as a part of employees’ financial wellness and liken its importance to other financial planning tools.
Investment Product and Service Launches
Voya Financial offers NQDC portfolios for workplace clients; Investics announces enhancements to cloud ecosystem; PGIM launches new active aggregate bond ETF; and more.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1900, the first book of postage stamps was issued. The two-cent stamps were available in books of 12, 24 and 48 stamps. In 1945, American troops entered Nuremberg, Germany. In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon. It was the fifth manned moon landing. In 1999, Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL). In 2007, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Seung-Hui Cho, a student at the college who later died by suicide. In 2018, the Pulitzer Prize Board awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Music to rapper Kendrick Lamar for his 2017 album, DAMN. It was the first time the award had gone to a musical work outside the genres of classical music and jazz.

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