Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 21st, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Mercer Sets Goals for DC Plans for the Coming Year
Mercer has issued a white paper laying out goals for defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors for 2019. The priorities are centered around three key themes: 1) Secure your foundation, 2) Achieve greater prosperity and 3) Inspire confidence. By “secure your foundation,” Mercer means that it is imperative for plans to have a strong governance framework in place. By “achieve greater prosperity,” Mercer urges sponsors to improve participant outcomes. And by “inspire confidence,” Mercer is calling on plans to address individual needs.Read more >
Industry Voices
Insurer Selection Safe Harbor
Even though election season has passed, partisan political sparks are still flying in Washington. Yet, during this “lame duck” session, there is an opportunity for both parties to cooperate in passing important retirement-related legislation that has wide support, say Michael Mendelson, a principal of AQR Capital Management, and Charles Millard, former director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and an adviser to AQR.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Vanguard reveals fund merge; Northern Trust creates reporting tool for hedge fund trades; and Lively removes HSA investment fees.Read more >
2021 Best in Class DC Providers
Detailed Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Northwestern University Ruling
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Could Retirement Plans Become Hard to Insure?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
Economic Events

In the week ending December 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 206,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 222,000, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 224,750.


The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.62%, down from 4.63% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.07%, unchanged from one week ago.
Sponsored message from ADP
Financial Stress Impacts Employee Engagement and Productivity
Financial stress affects employee job satisfaction and productivity.Read more >
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow fell 464.06 points (1.99%) to 22,859.60, the NASDAQ closed 108.42 points (1.63%) lower at 6,528.41, and the S&P 500 decreased 39.55 points (1.58%) to 2,467.41. The Russell 2000 was down 23.23 points (1.72%) at 1,326.00, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 419.24 points (1.63%) to finish at 25,333.36.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.802%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 1 2/32, bringing its yield up to 3.031%.
EEOC Removes Incentive Sections of Wellness Program Rules
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued final rules which remove incentive sections of its final rules about wellness programs under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).Read more >
Senators Cardin and Portman Offer Another Broad Retirement Reform Bill
Among some 50 other provisions aimed at improving retirement readiness in the U.S., the bill substantially increases the tax credit under current law for small businesses that adopt a new qualified retirement plan.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1620, the Mayflower and its passengers landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts. In 1898, scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium. In 1913, Arthur Wynne published a new “word-cross” puzzle in the “New York World” in England. The name was later changed to “crossword.” In 1937, Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood—”Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” In 1945, U.S. Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident. In 1991, 11 of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States. In 1998, the first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.



And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Some of these products can make your life easier or would be great holiday or birthday presents.Read more >
“I can drive safely while using my mobile phone.” Ummm, no you can’t.Read more >
And, here is this year’s Christmas lights video.Read more >

Near Helena, Montana, a man setting up targets to shoot in a forest area ran into the trees when bul.lets nearly hit him. He was able to find and confront the shooter, who told him, “I thought you were Bigfoot,” according to the Idaho Statesman. The shooter also said, “I don’t target practice, but if I see something that looks like Bigfoot, I just shoot at it.”


In Port St. Lucie, Florida, police say a 23-year-old man went through a McDonald’s drive-thru and tried to pay for his order with a bag of mari.juana. News outlets report that the fast food worker denied the trade and the man drove off, only to return again a short time later. Police arrested him on charges of mari.juana possession and driving under the influence.


In Springfield, Missouri, a judge has ordered a creative sentence to a poacher who illegally killed hundreds of deer. The Springfield News-Leader reports that the man was ordered to watch the Walt Disney movie “Bambi” at least once each month during his year-long jail sentence.


In Waverly, Ohio, an escaped jail inmate chose an unusual place to hide. The Pike County Sheriff’s Office says the 34-year-old woman fled while being booked on drug-possession charges. She was captured by the sheriff and the local police chief several hours later when a 911 caller reported the woman sitting in the hot tub at a senior community’s activity center.


And, in Greenup, Kentucky, another inmate who was able to break free and run after an officer unlocked one of his handcuffs decided to hitch a ride from a nearby highway. Unfortunately for him, the person who stopped to pick him up was a campus officer at Morehead State University who saw handcuffs hanging off one wrist, according to The Independent. The man was driven back to jail and now faces an escape charge.


Hope everyone has a happy 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


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