Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 3rd, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Nearly One Third of Pensions Have a Funding Status of 95% or More
Nearly one third of pensions have a funding status of 95% or more, making a buyout or risk transfer deal two possibilities they could pursue, according to analysis of 500 plans with collective assets of more than $100 billion published by RiskFirst. The number of plans with this high level of funding status increased 50% in the first half of the year. Read more >
Helping Employees Select the Best Health Plan Can Benefit Employers
A recent HSA Bank survey of 100 human resources (HR) executives showed only 10% are “very confident” their employees understand the choices they are making with health insurance, while 75% believe employees are “somewhat confident.” Selecting the “wrong plan” may cause employees to pay more without getting more coverage or benefits in return,” HSA Bank says, and Chad Wilkins, president of HSA Bank, points out it could cost employers as well. Read more >
Cash Incentives Boost Financial Wellness Program Performance
According to a report from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, both employees and employers agree that financial wellness programs are effective at reducing financial stress. In fact, fully 91% of employees who participate in a workplace financial wellness program say these resources have been effective at helping them to reduce debt, increase savings or otherwise improve their financial outlook in at least one material way. The report shows employees who do not feel financially well are most concerned about shorter-term financial goals, whereas employees who do feel financially well are most concerned about long-term goals. Read more >
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Adidas Sued Over Excessive Fees for 401(k) Participants
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Yale Sued Over Wellness Program ‘Penalty’
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Employees in Two States Miss Out on One HSA Benefit
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Some Help for Women’s Retirement Savings Gap May Be Coming
MassMutual Study Scrutinizes Retirement Gender Gap
Nearly all women surveyed for a new MassMutual study say they want their investments to grow during retirement, but even so, women are less comfortable than men with investment risk and tend to believe they should become conservative investors in retirement. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Vanguard makes changes to active equity funds; Global X Funds presents TargetIncome ETFs; Northern Trust launches multi-dimensional fund; and more. Read more >
Sponsored message from Mercer
The Future of Retirement Plan Management for the Mid-Market. Mercer Wise 401(k) brings Mercer’s large market expertise to small and midsize businesses and aims to mitigate risk, reduce fees and improve participant outcomes. Click for the white paper. Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in June increased $2.5 billion or 1.0% to $251.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 0.3% May decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.4%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.5%. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $1.9 billion or 2.2% to $87.7 billion.

In the week ending July 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 218,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 217,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 214,500, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 218,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.60%, up from 4.54% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.08%, up from 4.02%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 7.66 points (0.03%) at 25,326.16, the NASDAQ gained 95.40 points (1.24%) to finish at 7,802.69, and the S&P 500 was up 13.86 points (0.49%) at 2,827.22. The Russell 2000 closed 12.84 points (0.77%) higher at 1,682.10, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 192.02 points (0.66%) to 29,454.94.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.987%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 8/32, bringing its yield down to 3.119%.

Compliance
Lawsuit Challenges Benefit Cuts Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act
Participants in a multiemployer pension plan that received permission from the Treasury Department to reduce member benefits have filed a lawsuit challenging whether the government can indeed authorize a private pension plan’s trustees to cut vested benefits. In a lawsuit that appears to be the first to challenge benefit cuts under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), the plaintiffs say, if the government allows benefits to be cut, it must pay compensation to participants who are “prevented from accessing their own financial property.” The plaintiffs intend to show that the government’s actions approving benefit cut reductions reflect a constitutional violation for several reasons. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1492, Christopher Columbus left Palos, Spain with three ships. The voyage led him to what is now known as the Americas. In 1777, during the Siege of Fort Stanwix the first U.S. flag was officially flown during battle. In 1900, Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was founded. In 1914, Germany declared war on France. The next day World War I began when Britain declared war on Germany. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as the 30th president of the U.S. after the sudden death of President Warren Harding. In 1933, the Mickey Mouse Watch was introduced for the price of $2.75. In 1936, Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals. In 1949, the National Basketball Association (NBA) was formed by the merger between the Basketball Association of America and the National Basketball League. In 1958, the Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole underwater. The mission was known as “Operation Sunshine.” In 1988, the Iran-Contra hearings ended. No ties were made between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and the Nicaraguan Rebels. In 1995, Eyad Ismoil was flown from Jordan to the U.S. to face charges that he had driven the van that blew up in New York’s World Trade Center.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

This little boy had enough of his grandparents singing the Happy Birthday song. Read more >
Jealousy among toddlers. Read more >
I bet no human could get this many babies in line. Read more >

Have a wonderful weekend!

Share the news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy. Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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