Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 10th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
A new analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) finds that demand for immediate annuities is highest at the top and bottom of the income spectrum, while remaining fairly anemic in the middle-income groups. Read more >
Couples Should Get In Sync About Retirement Savings
People are more likely to agree with their partner or spouse on daily expenses than on retirement savings, a TIAA survey finds. David Ray, senior managing director, head of institutional retirement plan sales at TIAA, says the survey reveals a need for more early engagement with couples to speak about finances. According to Ray, plan sponsors have a really big impact on this. Read more >
New Financial Audit Rule Increases Requirements for Plan Sponsors
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Participants Missing the Full Match Remains a Big Problem
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2021 Participant Survey
Low Returns, Longevity Mean Greater Retirement Savings Rate Needed
Investors facing inflated asset prices, and the lower expected future returns they imply, must accept the reality that they will need to save more to maintain their lifestyle in retirement, researchers conclude. Different scenarios mean investors may need to save one-quarter of income to achieve retirement goals due to low expected equity returns and longevity.Read more >
Millennials Need Financial Education
More than half of Millennials have retirement accounts, but many are heavily indebted and borrow against their assets. Read more >
Sponsored message from Morgan Stanley
Boutique Experience + World-Class Resources At Graystone Consulting, we take a highly thoughtful, disciplined approach to empower you to manage complexity and align your goals with your investments. Each solution is as unique as your organization.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Waddell & Reed Financial has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to register five new index funds, including the first passively managed funds that would be managed by the firm. Read more >
Economic Events
December 2016 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $464.9 billion, up 2.6% from the revised November level and up 6.8% from the December 2015 level, the Census Bureau announced. The October 2016 to November 2016 percent change was revised from the preliminary estimate of up 0.4% to up 0.5%.

In the week ending February 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance  was 234,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 246,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 244,250, a decrease of 3,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 248,000. This is the lowest level for this average since November 3, 1973, when it was 244,000. 

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.17%, down from 4.19% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.39%, down from 3.41%. 

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 118.06 points (0.59%) to finish at 20,172.40, the NASDAQ closed 32.73 points (0.58%) higher at 5,715.18, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 13.20 points (0.58%) at 2,307.87. The Russell 2000 increased 19.79 points (1.46%) to 1,378.52, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 162.16 points (0.68%) to 24,156.21.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues nearly 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 3.0 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for advancers.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 16/32, bringing its yield up to 2.397%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 3/32, increasing its yield to 3.008%. 

House Lawmakers Oppose State-Run Retirement Plan Rule
Representative Tim Walberg (R-Michigan), chairman of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and Representative Francis Rooney (R-Florida) have introduced two resolutions of disapproval to block regulations issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the set-up of state-run retirement plans for private-sector employees. Their concerns are that small businesses will be discouraged from offering retirement plans to employees, and that employees put into state-run plans will not have the protections of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and will have limited control over their retirement savings. Read more >
DOL Fiduciary Rule Wins Another Court Victory
In a decision penned by U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Lynn of the Northern District of Texas, little deference is shown to retirement industry providers’ arguments that the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule was improperly established, or that it will harm the adviser-provider-client relationship. Lynn concluded the crafting and implementation of the fiduciary rule fit squarely within the DOL’s authority. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1863, the fire extinguisher was patented by Alanson Crane. In 1870, the YWCA was founded in New York City. In 1933, the singing telegram was introduced by the Postal Telegraph Company of New York City. In 1934, the first imperforated, un-gummed sheets of postage stamps were issued by the U.S. Postal Service in New York City. In 1935, the Pennsylvania Railroad began passenger service with its electric locomotive. In 1967, the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment required the appointment of a vice-president when that office became vacant and instituted new measures in the event of presidential disability. In 1989, Ron Brown became the first African American to head a major U.S. political party when he was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee. In 1990, South African President F.W. de Klerk announced that black activist Nelson Mandela would be released the next day after 27 years in captivity. In 2005, North Korea publicly announced for the first time that it had nuclear arms. The country also rejected attempts to restart disarmament talks in the near future saying that it needed the weapons as protection against an increasingly hostile United States.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES

Otters don’t mind the winter weather. Read more >
Sometimes a motor bike just wants to be left alone. Read more >
I think the dog is trying to tell the girl to stop playing her flute. Read more >

In Gulfport, Mississippi, a man started with a lump on his stomach and it continued to grow until his quality of life declined.  For more than 12 years, Roger Logan said physicians put the non-cancerous growth that dangled from his midsection down to obesity, according to the local ABC News station. Finally, a doctor realized it was a tumor. They successfully removed the 130-pound tumor from his abdomen.

In Radcliffe, England, police were called about a burglary attempt. When they arrived at the home, they found the would-be burglar with his head stuck in a small bathroom window, his knees on the sill and feet dangling. It took fire crews about 20 minutes to extricate the man from his predicament, the Manchester Evening News reports. He injured his ear as he was being set free. He was charged with burglary with intent.

In Lakeland, Florida, a man was arrested after he allegedly set up the wire transfers from what the criminal complaint described as “a large, nationally renowned financial institution.” The man, who was unemployed, needed to pay off a debt to the federal government, prosecutors said. His alleged scheme was to provide a bank routing number that wasn’t his, according to NBC Miami. He used that routing number to make more than 70 transactions worth more than $7 billion.The TV station says the man allegedly told investigators that he believed he deserved the money, stating that “Jesus Christ created wealth for everyone.” He told them he believed his wire transfer scheme would allow him to “obtain the wealth that Jesus Christ created for him and that belonged to him,” the complaint said.

In Henryetta, Oklahoma, the town had scheduled a Valentine’s dance, but it was cancelled due to an old city ordinance. The local ABC News station reported the organizer canceled the dance because it would have taken place 300 feet from a church, in violation of an ordinance that forbids dancing within 500 feet of a place of worship.Mayor Jennifer Clason says she always knew about the old city ordinance but that it has never been enforced. Police Chief Steve Norman says his department has no interest enforcing it.The organizer canceled the dance because her husband is the city attorney, and he said his oath is to uphold the law. Clason said the city council will consider abolishing the ordinance during their meeting February 22.

In Kannapolis, North Carolina, two men robbed a Rent-A-Center of a television. Each then got into separate cars in the parking lot, then crashed into each other. Still they drove away, each driving the wrong way on a nearby boulevard. Then they each got into separate car crashes, according to the local NBC News station. Police easily caught them and booked them on several charges.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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