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Student Loan Repayment Freeze Extended Until May
Student Loan Repayment Freeze Extended Until May
The Department of Education says the extension will allow the Biden administration time to assess the impacts of the Omicron coronavirus variant on student borrowers and provide borrowers with additional time to plan for the resumption of payments.
Online Special Coverage
Equity in Employee Benefits
Suggestions for making health and financial benefits and benefits communications equitable and inclusive.
Most Read

2023 DC Survey Standouts
Understanding Investments and Fees: A Key Part of Plan Committee Education
TIAA In-Plan Retirement Income Option Reaches $30B
Economic Events
Sales of new single‐family houses in November were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 744,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 12.4% above the revised October rate of 662,000 but is 14.0% below the November 2020 estimate of 865,000.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November increased $6.5 billion or 2.5% to $268.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up six of the last seven months, followed a 0.1% October increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.8%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.0%. Transportation equipment, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $5.0 billion or 6.5% to $82.1 billion.

In the week ending December 18, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 205,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 206,250, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 203,500.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.05% for the week ending December 23, down from the previous week when it averaged 3.12%. A year prior, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.66%. Interest on a 15-year FRM averaged 2.30%, down from 2.34% the previous week. A year prior, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.19%.
Market Mirror
Yesterday, the Dow increased 351.82 points (0.98%) to 36,302.38, the Nasdaq climbed 217.89 points (1.39%) to 15,871.26, and the S&P 500 gained 65.40 points (1.38%) to finish at 4,791.19. The Russell 2000 was up 19.88 points (0.89%) at 2,261.46, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 596.34 points (1.24%) higher at 48,767.44.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 23/32, bringing its yield down to 1.480%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 7/32, decreasing its yield to 1.881%.
PBGC Greenlights Funds for First Special Assistance Application
The first approved application is from a multiemployer pension plan that was projected to become insolvent by 2022.
DOL Clarifies Stance on Private Equity Investments in DC Plans
The supplemental statement refines its June 2020 information letter on including private equity investments in participant-directed retirement savings plans.
Plaintiffs Try Again in Prudential ERISA Lawsuit
The new amended complaint seeks to provide more detail about 14 different investment options allegedly offered in the plan and which the plaintiffs say should have been removed for excessive fees or poor performance.
Dismissal Motion Fails in Natixis ERISA Lawsuit
The lawsuit, now cleared for discovery, claims that a proclivity for proprietary mutual funds has cost plan participants millions of dollars in excess fees.
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
State Street launches new retirement income strategy, while Federated Hermes launches two new ETFs.
Retirement Industry People Moves
Transamerica selects large market retirement sales leader, while TRA completes third acquisition of 2021.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1832, citing political differences with President Andrew Jackson and a desire to fill a vacant Senate seat in South Carolina, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president in U.S. history to resign the office. In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union. In 1877, John Stevens applied for a patent for his flour-rolling mill, which boosted production by 70%. In 1902, the first professional indoor football game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse defeated the Philadelphia Nationals 6-0. In 1912, the first municipally owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco. In 1945, Congress officially recognized the “Pledge of Allegiance.” In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law. In 1975, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Drew Pearson in the waning seconds of a playoff game to beat the Minnesota Vikings, 17-14. Afterward, Staubach called the miraculous touchdown a “Hail Mary,” thus cementing the term for a desperation pass in the sports lexicon. In 1981, the first American “test-tube baby,” a child born as a result of in-vitro fertilization, was born in Norfolk, Virginia.

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