Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
December 9th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Americans are not up to speed on critical components of 401(k) plans, Fisher Investment 401(k) Solutions found in its 401(k) IQ in the Workplace Quiz. Seventy-one percent of respondents failed the quiz, missing three or more of nine questions. While 88% understand matches, 76% do not know what a mutual fund is and 43% don’t know how much of their salary they should save for a comfortable retirement. Read more >
One-Third of Pre-Retirees Not Saving for Health Care Expenses
More than seven in 10 Americans nearing retirement say they are ‘terrified’ of what health care costs may do to their retirement plans, according to the sixth annual Nationwide Retirement Institute survey conducted by Harris Poll. Most older Americans acknowledge they are unprepared for certain health care expenses, yet they’re not acting to save now. One in three of those nearing retirement say they are not doing anything today to save for health care costs in retirement. Read more >
IRS Updates Life Expectancy Tables for Retirees
Recent TDF Performance Lawsuits Raise Insurer Ire
Ask the Experts
Should Each Recordkeeper Use Its Own Plan Document?
Part-Timers Gain Access to Workplace Health Coverage
The number of midsize employers offering health benefits to part-time employees has nearly doubled since 2013, according to Transamerica Center for Health Studies. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Just as states are jumping in to fill the retirement plan coverage gap, a non-profit organization has announced the launch of a universal retirement plan. The National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) will launch Icon in 2017. Icon has been designed for independent contractors and ‘gig workers,’ people who work for an employer that doesn’t offer a plan, as well as employers who don’t offer a plan but want to help their employees save for retirement. Read more >
Investment Products and Services
LGIMA launches Scientific Beta funds for retirement plans; MFS launches 2060 TDF; and more. Read more >
Sponsored message from SSGA
Investment Quarterly: The New Active
The combination of big data and artificial intelligence is transforming how active managers identify new factor signals to build better alpha models.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 258,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 268,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 252,500, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 251,500.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.13%, up from 4.08% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.36% up from 3.34%. 

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 65.19 points (0.33%) higher at 19,614.81, the NASDAQ gained 23.59 points (0.44%) to finish at 5,417.36, and the S&P 500 was up 4.84 points (0.22%) at 2,246.19. The Russell 2000 climbed 21.86 points (1.60%) to 1,386.36, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 67.41 points (0.29%) to 23,553.71.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with 1.6 advancing issues for every declining issue. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 19/32, bringing its yield up to 2.406%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 15/32, increasing its yield to 3.101%. 

Institutional Investors Employing More ETF Strategies
Institutional investors are finding new avenues to use exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and they want more options for active ETF, smart beta and fixed income products. Read more >
Remedying the Misuse of TDFs
Defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors should provide education in appropriate ways and at appropriate times to help participants understand not only how target-date funds work (TDF)s, but how to select the one that’s right for them. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1793, “The American Minerva” was published for the first time. It was the first daily newspaper in New York City and was founded by Noah Webster. In 1803, the 12th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. With the amendment, electors were directed to vote for a president and for a vice-president rather than for two choices for president. In 1854, Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem, “The Charge of the Light Brigade,” was published in England. In 1884, Levant M. Richardson received a patent for the ball-bearing roller skate. In 1907, Christmas Seals went on sale for the first time, in the Wilmington, Delaware, post office. In 1955, Sugar Ray Robinson knocked out Carl Olson and regained his world middleweight boxing title. In 1960, Sperry Rand Corporation unveiled a new computer known as “Univac 1107.” In 1975, U.S. President Gerald R. Ford signed a $2.3 billion seasonal loan authorization to prevent New York City from having to default. In 1978, the first game of the Women’s Pro Basketball League (WBL) was played between the Chicago Hustle and the Milwaukee Does. In 1990, the first American hostages to be released by Iran began arriving in the U.S. In 2002, United Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing $4 billion in the previous two years. It was the sixth largest bankruptcy filing. In 2013, AMR Corporation and US Airways Group completed a merger and were listed on the NASDAQ as American Airlines Group, Inc.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES

Other uses for straws. Read more >
Why men’s bikes have a horizontal crossbar and women’s do not. Read more >
There’s more than one way to rub a dog. Read more >

In Powell, Wyoming, 45 years ago, Mike Peyton and his girlfriend broke up, and in a fit of anger, he threw the class ring she was wearing as far as he could. Bob Thomas, with the aid of his metal detector, found a Powell High School Class of 1968 ring with the initials MP engraved on it. His wife decided to search for the owner and came across the number of Mike’s mother, who returned the ring to Mike last week.


In Lakewood, New Jersey, a 70-year-old man usually picks his own numbers when purchasing lottery tickets. However, when he bought tickets for last Thursday’s Cash4Life drawing, the clerk mistakenly sold him a ticket with computer-generated numbers. Turns out it was a winner. The man and his wife chose the $1 million prize.


In Saugus, Massachusetts, a member of the town’s school committee hit another man with a bag of frozen fish patties during an argument at a veterans’ food drive at the Saugus Senior Center in May. The committee member was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and has been ordered to anger management classes.


In Forest City, North Carolina, a mother took her 9-year-old son to see Santa. As he was telling Santa what he wanted for Christmas, Santa told him he should “lay off the hamburgers and French fries.” According to the local ABC News station, the boy cried. The Santa apologized, and it isn’t known if disciplinary action was taken. Talk about a “Bad Santa.” 

Looking for an unusual holiday gift? Nordstrom is selling a stone wrapped in a leather case for $85. “A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It’s up to you,” says the description for the handmade gift. “But this smooth Los Angeles-area stone — wrapped in rich, vegetable-tanned American leather secured by sturdy contrast whipstitching — is sure to draw attention wherever it rests.” Made Solid, the company which designs the leather/rock combo, told BuzzFeed News it was “one of our most consistently popular items, actually” and insisted “it’s not a joke.” The company described the product as “really cool, labour-intensive objects that are used as everything from paperweights to doorstops to home/display accents.” [pic] Read more >
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Share the good 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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