Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 11th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Providers, Call Centers Strive to Educate Against Hardship Withdrawals
This time of year is a peak time for hardship withdrawal requests, providers say, and call center staff and provider websites can help educate participants about implications and other options.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
CUNA Mutual Offers Easier Administration for Plan Sponsors
CUNA Mutual Retirement Solutions has launched a new business expansion called PlanOnTarget. Plan sponsors will see a revamped and more intuitive website. Through a few clicks, they can add employees and approve withdrawals. And, PlanOnTarget provides more robust reporting.  Read more >
2021 DC Plan Benchmarking Survey
Working Past Age 65 May Seem Like a Great Idea …
2022 Retirement Industry Trends to Follow
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Residents of the Island of Misfit Toys
Satisfying Electronic Disclosure Requirements for SPDs to New Hires
Paper Discusses Principles for Offering Real Estate in DC Plans
The Defined Contribution Real Estate Council (DCREC), an advocacy group promoting the inclusion of direct commercial real estate and real estate securities as a way to improve define contribution (DC) retirement plan outcomes, has published “Direct Real Estate in DC Plans: 10 Key Principles for Product Structure and Investor Eligibility.”  Read more >
Investment Products and Services Launches
Vanguard updates benchmarks for bond funds; USA Financial adds asset managers to platform; Voya cuts fees on Large-Cap Growth Fund; and more.  Read more >
Economic Events
The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.1% in July, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced. Final demand prices inched up 0.1% in June and were unchanged in May. On an unadjusted basis, the final demand index increased 1.9% for the 12 months ending in July.

In the week ending August 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 244,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 241,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 241,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 242,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.90%, down from 3.93% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.18%, unchanged from one week ago.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow lost 204.69 points (0.93%) to finish at 21,844.01, the NASDAQ closed 135.46 points (2.13%) lower at 6,216.87, and the S&P 500 decreased 35.80 points (1.45%) to 2,438.22. The Russell 2000 was down 24.40 points (1.75%) at 1,372.54, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 382.41 points (1.49%) to 25,251.87. 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 10/32, decreasing its yield to 2.205%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 29/32, bringing its yield down to 2.781%.

Study Suggests Fiduciary Rule Will Hurt Retirement Investors
Along with its comment letter to the Department of Labor, SIFMA sent study results that showed advisers have reduced access to retirement advice and products.  Read more >
DC Participant Investment Trading Dives in July
According to Alight Solutions, only 0.012% of defined contribution (DC) plan participant balances were traded each day in July, with only one day of above normal trading. When participants did trade, most inflows went to non-U.S. funds.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1877, the two moons of Mars were discovered by Asaph Hall, an American astronomer. He named them Phobos and Deimos. In 1896, Harvey Hubbell received a patent for the electric light bulb socket with a pull-chain. In 1924, newsreel pictures were taken of U.S. presidential candidates for the first time. In 1934, Alcatraz, in San Francisco Bay, received federal prisoners for the first time. In 1941, the Atlantic Charter was signed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In 1951, the first major league baseball game to be televised in color was broadcast. The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves 8 to 1. In 1984, Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics. In 1984, the Cincinnati Reds honored major league All-Star and Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench by retiring his uniform (#5). In 1990, Egyptian and Moroccan troops joined U.S. forces in Saudia Arabia to help protect from a possible Iraqi attack. In 1992, in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Mall of America opened. It was the largest shopping mall in the United States. In 1994, a U.S. federal jury awarded $286.8 million to about 10,000 commercial fishermen for losses as a result of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1995, all U.S. nuclear tests were banned by President Bill Clinton. In 2002, US Airways announced that it had filed for bankruptcy.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Dad video bombs daughters’ dance off.  Read more >
In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a traffic reporter tries, and fails, to rap the traffic report.  Read more >

In Sioux City, Iowa, a man entered a bank to make a deposit. But, what he handed the teller was a $1 million bill. Police were called and they asked the man if he had any more of the bills. When he reached in his pocket, a baggie fell out that contained illegal drugs. He was arrested. 

In New York City, two men faced the same judge in the same court room on the same day. But, that’s not all they had in common—both men are named Martin Shkreli, not a common name. According to the Associated Press, one is accused of deceiving investors in two failed hedge funds; the other is best known for raising the price of a life-saving drug by 5,000%.

In Hamden, Connecticut, a 13-year-old boy was awakened by an unpleasant surprise. A skunk had climbed into bed with him. Police say the skunk apparently got into the home when it climbed through a hole in a trash can and a resident brought the can inside, the Associated Press reports. An animal control officer said he arrived “to the poignant smell of skunk, which emanated throughout the house.”

In Perth, Australia, a woman went to the hospital because of upper abdominal cramping. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, at first, doctors thought the pain was caused by her gall bladder and sent her home after it stopped. But two days later, the woman returned to the hospital and doctors did a CT scan on her. They found a wire-shaped object in her small intestine. Doctors performed emergency surgery on the woman and removed a 2.8-inch-long piece of orthodontic wire from braces the woman had removed 10 years ago that had pierced through several parts of the small intestine, causing the organ to twist around itself.

In Providence, Rhode Island, a 19-year employee of The Miriam Hospital was working the laundry room last month when he noticed $50 and $100 bills billowing out of an open dryer. He gathered up $9,100 in all and turned it over to administrators, who made sure it was returned to an unnamed patient. He will be honored by the hospital’s president later this month.

In New York City, Frito-Lay is opening a pop-up eatery with a menu full of Cheetos-themed cuisine. The Spotted Cheetah opens its doors in lower Manhattan for just three days next week. Some of the dishes on the three-course menu created by chef Anne Burrell include Cheetos Crusted Fried Pickles, Mac n’ Cheetos and Cheetos Sweetos Crusted Cheesecake. Prices run from $8 to $22 per dish. According to the Associated Press, Frito-Lay says recipes created by fans inspired the company to “bring a full Cheetos culinary experience to life.” The Spotted Cheetah is completely booked for its brief run that begins Tuesday, but Cheetos fans can add their names to an online waitlist.


Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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