Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 7th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Janus Henderson Outlines Next-Generation Automatic Plan Features
Now that automatic and default features have gained widespread acceptance in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, it may be time to consider additional steps to further enhance participant retirement preparedness. For example, Janus Henderson says employers should consider linking automatic escalation to retirement income replacement projections.Read more >
Workers in ESOPs Have Double the Retirement Savings
S Corporations are likely to be fully employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) owned, and S Corporation ESOPs, in particular, tend to prepare workers much better for retirement than other types of workplace retirement savings plans, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO). ESOP participants have an average retirement balance of $170,326, more than twice the $80,339 that other workers have saved, NCEO says. Even for ESOP employees making less than $25,000 a year, their balances average $55,526, compared to the $22,447 that their counterparts have saved at other companies.Read more >
Steps to Prepare for a DB Plan Termination
There are goals and deadlines during the termination process, so a plan sponsor doesn’t want to hit a roadblock and have to start the process all over again.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Pushback and Applause for Obama’s Fiduciary Comments
Products, Deals and People
Transamerica Updates Website for Spanish-Speaking Retirement Plan Participants
Plan sponsors may now elect to enable participant website navigation in Spanish, as well as full translation of select pages.Read more >
Investment Product and Service Launches
Northern Trust purchases FX software provider; Nuveen incorporates ESG funds to fixed-income lineup and Nuveen launches quantitative strategies affiliate.Read more >
Sponsored message from State Street Global Advisors
The Happiness Formula. Leveraging our Global Retirement Reality Report data, we are examining what makes for retirement happiness.Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October decreased $11.5 billion or 4.4% to $248.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This decrease, down three of the last four months, followed a 0.1% September decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 1.2%. Transportation equipment, down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $11.7 billion or 12.2% to $84.7 billion.

In the week ending December 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 231,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 235,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 228,000, an increase of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 223,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.75%, down from 4.81% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.21%, down from 4.25%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 79.40 points (0.32%) lower at 24,947.67, the NASDAQ increased 29.83 points (0.42%) to 7,188.26, and the S&P 500 was down 4.11 points (0.15%) at 2,695.95. The Russell 2000 slipped 3.30 points (0.22%) to 1,477.45, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 21.21 points (0.08%) to 27,775.71.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 7/32, decreasing its yield to 2.889%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 10/32, bringing its yield down to 3.155%.

Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2019
Our maximum benefit and contribution limits table has been updated to reflect the Social Security taxable wage base for use in permitted disparity contribution formulas in defined contribution (DC) plans. A PDF of the table may be downloaded.Read more >
IRS Provides Do-Over for 403(b) Plans Not Following Once-In-Always-In Condition
Industry comment letters argued that many 403(b) plan sponsors were unaware of the rule that once a part-time employee is eligible to make elective deferrals, he cannot be excluded from the plan in subsequent years.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the U.S. constitution becoming the first of the United States. In 1796, John Adams was elected to be the second president of the United States. In 1836, Martin Van Buren was elected the eighth president of the United States. In 1926, the gas operated refrigerator was patented by The Electrolux Servel Corporation. In 1941, Pearl Harbor, located on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, was attacked by nearly 200 Japanese warplanes. The attack resulted in the U.S. entering into World War II. In 1972, Apollo 17 was launched at Cape Canaveral. It was the last U.S. moon mission. In 1987, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev set foot on American soil for the first time. He had come to the U.S. for a Washington summit with President Ronald Reagan. In 1989, East Germany’s Communist Party agreed to cooperate with the plan for free elections and a revised constitution. In 1996, the space shuttle Columbia returned from the longest-ever shuttle flight of 17 days, 15 hours and 54 minutes.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

This dog has a future as a soccer goalie.Read more >
Interesting and surprising food facts.Read more >
Secrets behind certain product logos.Read more >

In Greensburg, Pennsylvania, a man only enjoyed a few minutes of freedom from prison. Westmoreland County Prison officials say that moments after the man was released, he attacked a woman in the parking lot and stole her car. The Tribune-Review reports the man crashed about 15 minutes later and ran into the woods, where he was apprehended and put back in custody.

In Arnhem, Holland, a 69-year-old man who filed a lawsuit against the government requesting that his date of birth be switched from March 11, 1949, to March 11, 1969, has lost. The court rejected his age-changing application, saying that while he “is at liberty to feel 20 years younger than his real age and to act accordingly,” actually changing the birth certificate is not possible. “Amending his date of birth would cause 20 years of records to vanish from the register of births, deaths, marriages and registered partnerships. This would have a variety of undesirable legal and societal implications,” the court said, according to the New York Post.

In Severance, Colorado, a 9-year-old boy has convinced town leaders to overturn a nearly century-old ban on snowball fights. He presented his arguments at a town board meeting, and members voted unanimously to lift the ban. “I think it’s an outdated law,” he said in the lead-up to the meeting. “I want to be able to throw a snowball without getting in trouble.” According to the Associated Press, the assistant to the Severance town administrator said the rule was part of a larger ordinance that made it illegal to throw or shoot stones or missiles at people, animals, buildings, trees, any other public or private property or vehicles. Snowballs fell under the town’s definition of “missiles.”

In Austin, Texas, a holiday display meant to re-create a scene from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” looked a little too real and caused a veteran to spring into action. A family placed a dummy representing Clark Griswold dangling from the gutter of their home, with a ladder tipping beneath him. A veteran passing by thought it was the real thing and wrestled the ladder up while shouting, “Can you reach it?” KVUE-TV reports the man called police, who arrived and advised the family they were getting calls about the display. They have since put up a sign that says “Clark G is part of our Christmas display please do not call 911.”

In Scotland, a 7-year-old boy sent a birthday card to his father in heaven. A Royal Mail official saw the card addressed: “Mr. Postman, Can you take this to heaven for my dad’s birthday,” and decided to respond with a letter saying, “This was a difficult challenge avoiding stars and other galactic objects on route to heaven. However, please be assured that this particular important item of mail has been delivered.” The boy’s mother said he is very emotional knowing his dad got the card.


Hope everyone has a happy weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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