Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 22nd, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Many Investors Plan to Increase Retirement Plan Contributions in 2018
Forty percent of investors want to increase contributions to their retirement plan in 2018, up from 34% in 2016, according to E*TRADE’s “StreetWise,” its quarterly survey of investors. Nearly 40% want to adjust their asset allocation in response to market conditions, on par with last year. Also consistent with last year, 35% want to learn more about investing, trading and the markets.Read more >
Employees Need and Want Benefits Other Than Retirement Plans
“If you want to reduce compensation and benefits spending without leaving your workforce financially vulnerable, you may need to take a closer look at the degree of choice and value provided in your benefits package,” according to Heather Garber, vice president of voluntary benefits & technology at Hub International Insurance Services Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. “Keep in mind that your average American today probably isn’t buying insurance outside of the workplace, aside from auto/home. Employees really look to employers to provide everything they will need to protect their families.” And that’s where voluntary benefits come into play, Garber says. Voluntary benefits are a great way to provide employees with the benefits they want and desire with little or no cost to the company and can help employees better manage financial risks.Read more >
EARN Act Clears Senate Finance Committee
Plaintiffs Rebuffed by Appeals Court in Active Management Lawsuit
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
BNY Mellon releases fund focused on income generation, and AI Insight announces new liquid alternative research.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 245,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 225,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 236,000, an increase of 1,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 234,750. 

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.94%, up from 3.93% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.38%, up from 3.36%.

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Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 55.64 points (0.23%) higher at 24,782.29, the NASDAQ was up 4.40 points (0.06%) at 6,965.36, and the S&P 500 increased 5.32 points (0.20%) to 2,684.57. The Russell 2000 climbed 7.03 points (0.46%) to 1,547.11, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 68.27 points (0.25%) to finish at 27,876.70.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 5/32, decreasing its yield to 2.483%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 26/32, bringing its yield down to 2.837%.

Tax Bill Impacts Provisions of ERISA Plans
The tax bill currently awaiting President Trump’s signature does not fundamentally change the tax breaks retirement plan participants receive, according to a law alert that The Wagner Law Group issued. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act does make some changes to Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans and nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans. Currently, if an employee has taken out a loan from their retirement plan and has an outstanding balance when leaving the company, they have up to 60 days to roll over the outstanding loan balance to an IRA to avoid having the loans treated as taxable distributions. The tax bill extends this rollover period to the due date for filing their tax returns.Read more >
CalPERS’ Ongoing Push Into ESG Drives a Healthy Debate
The debate started when the American Council for Capital Formation published a sharply written report alleging that, as the group puts it, “CalPERS has prioritized relatively poor performing environmental, social and governance [ESG] investments at the expense of other investments more likely to optimize returns.”Read more >
GASB Issues Implementation Guide for OPEB Reporting Standards
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued a new Implementation Guide that contains questions and answers about the GASB’s new standards on accounting and financial reporting for post-employment benefits other than pensions. Those benefits (primarily retiree health care) are referred to as other postemployment benefits (OPEB).  The guide provides answers to questions intended to clarify, explain, or elaborate on the requirements of GASB Statement No. 75, but also addresses a limited number of issues related to Statement No. 74.Read more >
PBGC Expands Missing Participants Program
Beginning in January, terminating defined contribution (DC) plans will have the option of transferring missing participants’ benefits to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) instead of establishing an individual retirement account (IRA) at a financial institution.Read more >
Fiduciary Concerns to Know When Debating Managed Accounts
Before implementing managed accounts—either as a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) or voluntary option—plan sponsors should consider potential fiduciary issues.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1775, a Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins. In 1894, the United States Golf Association was formed in New York City. In 1895, German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife’s hand. In 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1976, the last show of “Let’s Make A Deal” was aired.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Cats and Christmas trees have always had a battle.Read more >
Maybe we should leave the scooters for the children to ride.Read more >
These children’s answers to test questions cracked me up. [pic]Read more >

In New York City, a man faces charges for taunting his son-in-law—with a toupee. The son-in-law says he has had a fear of the Tasmanian Devil his entire life and claims his father-in-law has repeatedly scared him since 2013 with a toupee that looks like the cartoon character. The New York Post reports the father-in-law was arrested in November for violating a restraining order filed by his son-in-law. The 36-year-old says his father-in-law terrorized him at a funeral by waving the hair piece and snarling. The father-in-law faces charges of criminal contempt and aggravated harassment.


In Sedalia, Missouri, the town unveiled a Christmas stocking it hopes will make the cut for the world’s largest. Sedalia’s red-and-white stocking was officially measured Tuesday as 177 feet (53.95 meters) tall for entry to Guinness World Records, the Sedalia Democrat reported . The city is trying to beat a record set by the Italian city of Carrara in 2011. Sedalia radio show host Charlie Thomas came up with the idea for the giant stocking as a way to promote Community Santa, a local program that gives presents to children during the holidays. He expects verification of the record to take about 12 weeks.


Happy Holidays, everyone! NewsDash will be back in your inbox on Tuesday.

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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