Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
April 26th, 2019
Benefits & Administration
Pragmatic Strategies to Reduce PBGC Premiums This Year
October Three Consulting’s third annual PBGC Premium Burden Survey shows U.S. pension plan sponsors paid $1.2 billion less in insurance premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in 2018 versus 2017. This is despite the fact that PBGC premiums continue to increase. According to October Three’s survey report, the drop in premiums paid can be tied to record levels of voluntary contributions made for 2017, strong 2017 asset performance, continued headcount reduction via lump sum and annuity settlements, and increased adoption of best practices related to timing and recording of plan contributions. However, the report also points to some $60 million in “unnecessary payments” doled out by plan sponsors to the PBGC last year.Read more >
More Employers Embracing Student Loan Debt Programs
Among the nearly one-third that are, they are more likely than others to have measured their employees’ financial wellness.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Eaton Vance changes investment objectives and policies of funds; Transamerica launches fifth managed risk ETF; HB&T and Nottingham Advisors launch ESG CIFs; and more.Read more >
Bank of America Improves HSA Participant Experience
The new health savings account (HSA) digital platform includes a personalized experience and improved investment services, among other things.Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in March increased $6.8 billion or 2.7% to $258.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up four of the last five months, followed a 1.1% February decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.3%. Transportation equipment, also up four of the last five months, led the increase, $6.1 billion or 7.0% to $93.8 billion.

In the week ending April 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 230,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 193,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 206,000, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 201,500.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.2%, up from 4.17% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.64%, up from 3.62%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow lost 134.97 points (0.51%) to finish at 26,462.08, the NASDAQ increased 16.67 points (0.21%) to 8,118.68, and the S&P 500 was down 1.08 points (0.04%) at 2,926.17. The Russell 2000 closed 12.52 points (0.79%) lower at 1,575.61, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 38.67 points (0.13%) to 30,208.64.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 3/32, increasing its yield to 2.536%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 7/32, bringing its yield up to 2.946%.

IRS Seeks Recommendation for Guidance Priorities
The Department of the Treasury and the IRS use the Priority Guidance Plan to identify the next tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, notices and other published administrative guidance.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1514, Copernicus made his first observations of Saturn. In 1865, Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee to Sherman during the American Civil War. In 1865, John Wilkes Booth was killed by the U.S. Federal Cavalry. In 1952, Patty Berg set a new record for major women’s golf competition when she shot a 64 over 18 holes in a tournament in Richmond, California. In 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, began at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. In 1964, the Boston Celtics won their sixth consecutive NBA title. They won two more before the streak came to an end. In 1986, the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date occurred at Chernobyl, in Kiev. Thirty-one people died in the incident and thousands more were exposed to radioactive material. In 2013, legendary country singer and songwriter George Jones died at age 81 in Nashville.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Watch for hidden bee hives in your home.Read more >
Is the dog annoyed, or having sympathy for the baby?Read more >
In Doral, Florida, a road crew gets an “F” in spelling. [pic]Read more >

In Grand Haven, Michigan, a divorced man moved into his parents’ home. However, after a dispute, he left. A few months later, the parents traveled to Indiana to drop off their son’s possessions, but didn’t include his massive po.rn collection. According to the Associated Press, the man filed a lawsuit against his parents seeking a total of $86,822.16, which includes the value of the missing items and the amount it would cost to replace them.


In Jackson, Mississippi, residents of one neighborhood have a mystery on their hands. Someone is leaving bowls of mashed potatoes on their cars, porches and mailboxes. The Associated Press reports that some residents think it’s just a prank while other fear the potatoes contain poison designed to get rid of animals. News outlets report residents haven’t alerted law enforcement.


In Hamburg, Germany, the Morgenpost reported that police stopped a driver last week and told him his Porsche Panamera, sporting a reflective gold foil finish, might blind other drivers and was a danger. He was told to remove the foil and re-register the car, but police say he continued to drive it. The driver was stopped again Wednesday and police took his keys, papers and license plate, before the vehicle was towed to a garage. He was fined an unspecified amount and will have to remove the foil to make the car street legal again.


Near Zurich, Switzerland, a study by researchers at the Hirslanden Clinic suggests men’s beards have more germs than dogs’ fur. They compared the bacterial load in colony-forming units (CFU) of human-pathogenic microorganisms in specimens taken from 18 bearded men and 30 furry dogs. The researchers also compared the extent of bacterial contamination of an MRI scanner used by both dogs and humans with two other MRI scanners used exclusively by humans. Turns out all the bearded mean showed high microbial counts, compared with only 23 out of 30 dogs. Seven of the men had so much beard bacteria they were at risk of getting sick, according to the BBC. The jointly used scanner also had significantly lower bacteria counts than the scanners used only by humans. “On the basis of these findings, dogs can be considered as clean, compared with bearded men,” study author Andreas Gutzeit told the BBC.


In Wyoming, Michigan, a 5-year-old boy wanted food from McDonald’s, but his grandmother was sleeping. So, he called 911 and asked the dispatcher, “Can you bring me McDonald’s?” the Associated Press reports. The dispatcher told him no and reached out to police. The police officer says on the way to check out the boy’s home he thought, “I’m driving past McDonald’s on my way there and I might as well get him something.” The officer says the first thing the boy said to him was, “My grandma’s gonna be so mad, can you please go away?”


Have a great weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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