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Editor's Note
PLANSPONSOR magazine is fortunate to partner with expert attorneys for content to aid plan sponsors with administration and compliance. This edition of NewsDash includes articles in which attorneys offer insights on legal and fiduciary concerns.
ERISA Examination
Committees Need a Checkup, Too
It’s prudent for your plan committee to annually review best practices.
Most Read
Ask the Experts
Can an Alternate Payee Designate a Beneficiary?
Florida's DeSantis Joins Other GOP Pols in Opposing ‘Woke Capital’
Microsoft Latest Target of Lawsuits Over TDF Suite
Economic Events
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index declined in December, after decreasing in November. The Index now stands at 88.6 (1985=100), down from 92.9 in November. The Present Situation Index—based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—decreased sharply from 105.9 to 90.3. However, the Expectations Index—based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions—increased from 84.3 in November to 87.5 this month.

Existing-home sales fell in November, snapping a five-month streak of month-over-month gains, according to the National Association of Realtors. All major regions either took a step back or held steady in terms of their respective month-over-month status, but each of the four areas experienced significant year-over-year growth. Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, decreased 2.5% from October to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in November. However, sales in total rose year-over-year, up 25.8% from a year ago (5.32 million in November 2019).
Market Mirror
Tuesday, the Dow lost 200.94 points (0.67%) to finish at 30,015.51, the NASDAQ closed 65.40 points (0.51%) higher at 12,807.92, and the S&P 500 decreased 7.66 points (0.21%) to 3,687.26. The Russell 2000 climbed 19.55 points (0.99%) to 1,989.88, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 19.02 points (0.05%) at 39,052.99.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 0.921%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 26/32, bringing its yield down to 1.656%.
ERISA Examination
Plans Are
Eight areas to consider for potential plan amendments.
Fiduciary Duties Carry On
When it comes to following best practices, it’s business as usual.
New Benefits for the ‘Disaster’
IRC Section 139 provides expanded relief for affected employees.
Revised Rules For RMDs
Sponsors have a new reason to find missing participants.
Monitoring ­Responsibility
Delegators must periodically review the actions delegates take.
Deals and People
2021 Plan Sponsor of the Year Nominations Are Open
Nominations may be made by providers, advisers, consultants, actuaries, attorneys, third-party administrators (TPAs), employees and colleagues, or, you can even nominate yourself.
Small Talk
The true cost of Christmas decreased in 2020, due to cancellations of many live performances, according to PNC’s annual Christmas Price Index. Considering the impact of social distancing, PNC calculated the 2020 price tag for the PNC Christmas Price Index at just $16,168.10, a considerable decrease of $22,825.45 or 58.5% lower than last year’s cost. One-third of the index constituents were not available for purchase this year. While the prices for nine ladies dancing, 10 lords-a-leaping, 11 pipers piping and 12 drummers drumming were zero this year, the cost for the birds accounted for the price increases in this year’s index. The annual PNC Christmas Price Index tradition includes calculating the “True Cost of Christmas,” which is the total cost of items bestowed by a True Love who repeats all the song’s verses and purchases all 364 gifts. The total cost was 38% less than last year’s.
ON THIS DATE: In 1788, Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia. In 1823, the poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore (” ‘Twas the night before Christmas…”) was published. In 1888, following a quarrel with Paul Gauguin, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh cut off part of his own earlobe. In 1913, the Federal Reserve Bill was signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson. The act established 12 Federal Reserve Banks. In 1942, Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of the traditional Christmas shows. In 1954, the Walt Disney movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” was released. In 1972, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders 13-7 in an NFL playoff game on a last-second play that was dubbed the “Immaculate Reception.” Pittsburgh’s Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and ran it in for the winning touchdown. In 1986, after nine days and four minutes in the sky, the experimental aircraft Voyager landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California, completing the first nonstop flight around the globe on one load of fuel. In 1997, Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City.
WEDNESDAY WISDOM: “Love begins by taking care of the closest ones—the ones at home.” —MotherTeresa
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