Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 24th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Not-for-Profit Plan Sponsors Show Plan Management Improvement
Not-for-profit plan sponsors have come a long way since 403(b) regulations were passed with establishing prudent processes for their plans, TIAA finds.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Willis Towers Watson expands Manager Research team; MassMutual appoints head of Strategy & Corporate Development; Mercer names Central market DC segment leader; and more.Read more >
New Financial Audit Rule Increases Requirements for Plan Sponsors
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Participants Missing the Full Match Remains a Big Problem
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Economic Events

Existing-home sales took off in March to their highest pace in over 10 years, and severe supply shortages resulted in the typical home coming off the market significantly faster than in February and a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Only the West saw a decline in sales activity in March. Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, ascended 4.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.71 million in March from a downwardly revised 5.47 million in February. March’s sales pace is 5.9% above a year ago and surpasses January as the strongest month of sales since February 2007 (5.79 million).

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Survey for April and the Census Bureau will report about new home sales in March. Thursday, the Department of Labor will issue its initial claims report, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics will report about durable goods orders in March.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow closed 30.95 points (0.15%) lower at 20,547.76, the NASDAQ slipped 6.26 points (0.11%) to 5,910.52, and the S&P 500 was down 7.15 points (0.30%) at 2,348.69. The Russell 2000 decreased 4.29 points (0.31%) to 1,379.85, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 70.34 points (0.29%) to finish at 24,519.95.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for declining issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.4 to 1 ratio of decliners to advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 2.231%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 3/32, increasing its yield to 2.888%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending April 21, the Dow was up 0.46%, the NASDAQ gained 1.82%, and the S&P 500 increased 0.85%. The Russell 2000 climbed 2.57%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 1.06% higher.
Board Proposes New Standards for ERISA Plan Financial Audits
The AICPA’s Auditing Standards Board has issued Exposure Draft, “Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards (SAS), Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA,” specific to audits of financial statements of employee benefit plans that are subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The proposed SAS addresses the auditor’s responsibilities to form an opinion and report on the financial statements of ERISA plans, and the form and content of such reporting.Read more >
Judge Moves Forward J.P. Morgan Stable Value Fund Litigation
A federal district court judge has certified a class and several subclasses in a lawsuit claiming retirement plans that included J.P. Morgan stable value investments suffered losses due to the firm’s imprudent management of the investments. The plaintiffs seek to represent participants in more than 300 retirement plans which were invested in 78 stable value funds, according to the court’s order.Read more >
TDF Growth Means Change in Offerings
With target-date funds (TDFs) dominating the defined contribution (DC) plan market, fund managers are looking at new ways to enhance these vehicles and face the competition.Read more >
Emerging Market Growth Can Benefit U.S. Plans
Corporate pensions, public pensions, defined contribution plans and union plans all voice increasing interest in emerging market investments. A study by OFI Global Asset Management, an OppenheimerFunds company, and Greenwich Associates found institutional investors see the shift from ‘old economy’ to ‘new economy’ fueling fundamental change across these markets.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1800, the Library of Congress was established with a $5,000 allocation. In 1833, a patent was granted for first soda fountain. In 1889, the Edison General Electric Company was organized. In 1897, William Price became the first to be named White House news reporter. In 1898, Spain declared war on the U.S., rejecting America’s ultimatum for Spain to withdraw from Cuba. In 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. In 1961, Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers struck out 18 batters becoming the first major-league pitcher to do so on two different occasions. In 1962, MIT sent a TV signal by satellite for the first time. In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral. It was carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope. In 1997, the U.S. Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. The global treaty banned the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “If you worked from home all the time, what do you think would be the negatives of doing so?” The biggest negative chosen by responding readers was “lack of social interaction with co-workers” (62%), followed by “lack of connection with co-workers” (55.7%) and “the feeling of not knowing what is going on in the company” (45.6%). “Other” negatives, cited by 38% of respondents, included lack of separation from work and home, working more because access to work is always there and temptation to do other things such as chores (or reading or watching television), and more. In verbatim comments, a couple of readers expressed the feeling that people who work from home don’t’ work as much. I can tell you from experience, it is just the opposite, and many who left comments said they also work more when working at home than in the office. Commenters also cited perks of working from home, such as fewer distractions and no commuting. There were also some suggestions for countering the negatives of working from home. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I’m an introvert. Working from home might turn me into a hermit.” Thanks to all who participated in the survey!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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