Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
August 5th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Reports about average defined benefit (DB) plans’ funded status suggest a slight bump in July. Mercer reports the funded status of S&P 1500 DB plans increased 1% in July, while Wilshire says the funded status for S&P 500 plans gained 0.8%.Read more >
Open Enrollment Not Just About Health Benefits
Mercer experts reviewed open enrollment objectives and recent developments in the health care provider market during a webcast—suggesting open enrollment can also be a time to address the retirement package.Read more >
Parents Put College Education Savings Over Retirement Savings
More parents said they had money saved for their children’s college education than for their retirement, according to a new analysis of T. Rowe Price Survey data. More than three-quarters (76%) of parents would be willing to delay their retirement.Read more >
Understanding Investments and Fees: A Key Part of Plan Committee Education

2023 DC Survey Standouts
TIAA In-Plan Retirement Income Option Reaches $30B
Products, Deals and People
Mercer Complete Care helps employees understand their health benefits and make optimal provider choices, among other things.Read more >
Investment Products and Services
BMO Global Asset Management expands availability of stable value fund; American Funds offers new fixed income funds; and Franklin Templeton offers Global Macro Strategies Fund.Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in June, down two consecutive months, decreased $9.0 billion or 3.9% to $219.8 billion, up from the previously published 4% decrease, the Census Bureau announced. This followed a 2.9% May decrease. Transportation equipment, also down two consecutive months, led the decrease, $8.5 billion or 10.5% to $72.1 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods increased $2.2 billion or 1% to $227.6 billion.

In the week ending July 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 269,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 266,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 260,250, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 256,500. 

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.43%, down from 3.48% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.74%, down from 2.78%.
Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow was down 2.95 points (0.02%) at 18,352.05, the NASDAQ was up 6.51 points (0.13%) at 5,166.25, and the S&P 500 was virtually unchanged at 2,164.25. The Russell 2000 increased by 1.03 (0.08%) to 1,213.75, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 9.29 points (0.04%) higher at 22,439.66.

On the NYSE, 3 billion shares traded, with 1.3 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.6 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 13/32, bringing its yield down to 1.502%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 31/32, decreasing its yield to 2.255%.
Neuberger Berman Accused of Self-Dealing in 401(k) Plan
The retirement plan industry has seen a trend this year in lawsuits filed against investment managers for self-dealing in their own retirement plans, and Neuberger Berman is the target of the latest filing.  The case calls out one Neuberger Berman’s 401(k) fund in particular, which it says “was larded with high fees and has suffered from consistently abysmal performance.” The complaint says each time the plan paid fees to Neuberger Berman Trust Company N.A., or other Neuberger entities, in connection with the plan’s investment in the fund, the defendants caused the plan to engage in a prohibited transaction under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Read more >
From the Magazine
When Children Leave Home
One would think that when children leave the home, parents would put much more into saving for retirement, but this may not be the case.Read more >
Institutional assets tracked by the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service (Wilshire TUCS) saw a median return of 1.89% for all plan types in the second quarter and a median one-year gain of 0.91%. “This was the fourth quarter in a row where the 60/40 portfolio beat the median plan return,” says Robert Waid with Wilshire Associates.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1833, the village of Chicago was incorporated. In 1861, the U.S. federal government levied its first income tax. The tax was 3% of all incomes over $800. The wartime measure was rescinded in 1872. In 1884, on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid. In 1914, the first electric traffic signal lights were installed in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1924, the New York “Daily News” debuted the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie” by Harold Gray. In 1963, the Limited Test Ban Treaty was signed by the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. The treaty banned nuclear tests in space, underwater, and in the atmosphere. In 1964, U.S. aircraft bombed North Vietnam after North Vietnamese boats attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1966, in New York City, groundbreaking for the construction of the original World Trade Center began. In 2011, NASA announced that its Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had captured photographic evidence of possible liquid water on Mars during warm seasons.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a bad hail storm recently made it look a lot like winter. [picture]Read more >

In Wayne, West Virginia, a woman left her dogs in her car while she shopped at a Walmart. She kept the car running to keep the pups cool. However, WSAZ reports, the dogs shifted the car out of park and took a little joyride. Shoppers watched as the slow-moving vehicle collided with the building.

In Changsha, China, a man who couldn’t wait to meet his online girlfriend took a trip from Holland to meet her. When he arrived at the Changsha Huanghua International Airport, the girlfriend wasn’t there, so he waited. Ten days later, he was taken to a hospital for exhaustion. According to the Shanghaiist, when the girlfriend contacted Hunan TV after hearing about what had happened. She explained that her boyfriend had sent her a photo of his flight information before his departure, but she had not understood the meaning of the picture. Also, she said, they had previously decided they were going to wait a year until meeting.

In Halifax, Virginia, cops are pulling over drivers for a different kind of DWI.Read more >

In Berlin, Germany, a 90-year-old woman visiting an art museum came across art work depicting part of a crossword titled “Reading-work-piece.” She then proceeded to fill in the missing words with a ballpoint pen. Officials at Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint, but according to the Associated Press, her lawyer told a court that the woman argued she hadn’t damaged the piece “but only completed it as the artist intended.” There was a phrase at the edge of the picture that said “Insert Words.” She told police that the picture even gained in value.

In Elmwood Place, Ohio, a woman was pulled over by police noticing her vehicle registration had expired. She told officers she did not have to renew her registration because she was “traveling,” not driving, according to The officer told the woman that her vehicle would be towed because of the expired registration. She told the officer the United States Constitution allowed her the right to travel without police interference. The woman then led police on a high-speed, one-mile chase that ended on her own driveway. She fought off the officer’s attempt to arrest her and asked bystanders for help.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a state trooper noticed a driver following closely behind him as he was doing 80 miles per hour on a highway. Alarmed at the possible motives of the driver, the trooper slowed down and then sped up to 90 miles per hour while activating his emergency lights in an attempt to assess the driver’s behavior and get the driver to stop following him, KTVK reports. Eventually, the trooper was able to maneuver behind the vehicle and pulled the driver over. When confronted by the trooper, the driver said he was pursuing and videotaping the trooper to document the trooper’s driving above the speed limit while seemingly not responding to anything. The driver was arrested for criminal speeding. Officials told KTVK if someone suspects a trooper is driving negligently, they should report it rather than taking the law into their own hands.

Have a happy and safe weekend, everyone!
Share the good 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


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