Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 1st, 2019

2019 Plan Sponsor of the Year Finalists

PLANSPONSOR is pleased to announce Plan Sponsor of the Year award finalists in the Corporate 401(k) >$100MM to $500MM and Corporate 401(k) >$500MM categories.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Tying HSAs to Retirement Savings
Kelley Long, certified financial planner with Financial Finesse, shared information to help employers promote health savings accounts (HSAs) as a retirement savings tool for employees.Read more >
Q4 2018 Market Drop Did Not Deter 401(k) Participants
Long-term 401(k) participation, savings and investing trends have also been positive, due in no small part to automatic plan features, according to a report from Fidelity Investments.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Robeco adds sustainable equities model, and Morningstar creates index group targeting low-carbon economy.Read more >
Empower Aims to Reach More Millennials and Gen Z With New Social Media Campaign
Two video campaigns on Snapchat speak directly to young adults ages 18 to 34 about the idea that it’s never too early to start saving for their future financial freedom.Read more >
2021 DC Plan Benchmarking Survey
2022 Retirement Industry Trends to Follow
IRS Announces 2022 Retirement Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits
Working Past Age 65 May Seem Like a Great Idea …
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Economic Events

Sales of new single-family houses in November 2018 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 657,000, the Census Bureau reported. This is 16.9% above the revised October 2018 estimate of 562,000.

In the week ending January 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 253,000, an increase of 53,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 200,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the highest level for initial claims since September 30, 2017 when it was 254,000. The four-week moving average was 220,250, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 215,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.46%, up slightly from 4.45% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.89%, up from 3.88%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 15.19 points (0.06%) at 24,999.67, the NASDAQ gained 98.66 points (1.37%) to finish at 7,281.74, and the S&P 500 increased 23.07 points (0.86%) to 2,704.12. The Russell 2000 was up 12.48 points (0.84%) at 1,499.42, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 250.86 points (0.90%) higher at 27,992.39.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 11/32, decreasing its yield to 2.643%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 17/32, bringing its yield down to 3.006%.
ERISA Stock Drop Lawsuit Filed Against Johnson and Johnson
Participants in a Johnson and Johnson retirement plan have sued the company’s pension and benefits committee, leveling classic stock-drop allegations against plan fiduciaries. Details in the text of the complaint explain that the stock price drop that plaintiffs say unduly harmed participants is tied to revelations that certain Johnson and Johnson products contained asbestos.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1788, Isaac Briggs and William Longstreet patented the steamboat. In 1790, the U.S. Supreme Court convened for the first time in New York City. In 1861, Texas voted to secede from the Union. In 1862, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” by Julia Ward Howe was first published in the “Atlantic Monthly.” In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signed a Joint Resolution submitting the proposed 13th Amendment to the states. In 1884, the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary was published. In 1893, Thomas A. Edison completed work on the world’s first motion picture studio in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1898, the Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut, issued the first automobile insurance policy to Dr. Truman Martin of Buffalo, New York. In 1919, the first Miss America was crowned in New York City. In 1930, the New York Times published its first crossword puzzle. In 1957, P.H. Young became the first black pilot on a scheduled passenger airline. In 1960, four black college students began a sit-in protest at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, after they had been refused service. In 2003, NASA’s space shuttle Columbia exploded while re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere. All seven astronauts on board were killed.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

In Fort Lee, New Jersey, a 20-month-old boy got stuck inside a toy―which was a box designed to teach shapes. The boy’s mother found it comical, but had to call 911 after realizing she couldn’t get him out. Sergeant Rick Hernandez, the officer who responded to the call, told, “It was a priceless expression on his face.” [pic]Read more >
On the Massachusetts Turnpike, a man and an SUV driver were involved in a fender-bender. They got out of their vehicles to exchange information, then got into an argument. The SUV driver started to drive away when the other man jumped on his hood. The SUV traveled a 3-mile stretch at up to 70 miles an hour before other motorists convinced the driver to stop the car, ABC News reported. Both men have been given criminal charges.Read more >

In York Haven, Pennsylvania, a man has an emotional support animal that could actually tear his arm off. The 65-year-old says his registered emotional support animal named Wally likes to snuggle and give hugs, despite being a 5-foot-long alligator. reports the man says he received approval from his doctor to use Wally as his emotional support animal after not wanting to go on medication for depression. The man says he has never been afraid of the alligator.

In Lafayette, Indiana, a young boy called 911 and told the dispatcher he had a bad day at school. Talking to the boy, the dispatcher realized he was just having trouble with dealing with fractions in his math homework. She helped him solve a problem; the boy thanked her and apologized for calling 911.

In Tuscon, Arizona, a man probably never thought that watching the TV show The Office would one day help him save a life. The man found a woman locked in her car, not breathing. According to The Arizona Daily Star, he broke into the car, and even though he doesn’t have any emergency training, he thought of the episode of The Office where Steve Carell’s character does CPR to the tune of the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.” The news report said the song has the correct tempo for chest compressions. Within a minute, the woman was breathing.

In New Canaan, Connecticut, police found a 50-year-old woman sitting in a car at an intersection with her eyes closed. They say they detected an odor of vanilla on her breath, her speech was slurred and she was unable to answer basic questions. They found several bottles of pure vanilla extract inside her vehicle. Hearst Connecticut Media reports that vanilla extract contains a significant amount of alcohol, and the woman was arrested after failing field sobriety tests.


Have a great weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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