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PLANSPONSOR NEWSDASH LOGO February 11th, 2022
Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Investing
Alternatives May Have a Place in DC Plans
Alternatives May Have a Place in DC Plans
DCIIA provides potential next steps for defined contribution plan sponsors to incorporate alternative investments into their plans, with considerations for fiduciaries.  
Compliance
Fraudulent Hardship Withdrawals Draw Grand Jury Ire
A federal court has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit in which he is accused of committing wire fraud while taking allegedly fraudulent hardship withdrawals from a 401(k) plan.  
Most Read
Data and Research
Health Care in Retirement Will Cost an Average of $315,000
Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Data and Research
401(k) vs. 403(b): Different Paths to Retirement Readiness
Economic Events
In the week ending February 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 223,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 239,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 253,250, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 255,250.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69% for the week ending February 10, up from last week when it averaged 3.55%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.73%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.93%, up from last week when it averaged 2.77%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.19%.

In January, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.6%, seasonally adjusted, and rose 7.5% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6% in January (SA); up 6.0% over the year (NSA).

Real average hourly earnings for all employees increased 0.1% in January, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings increased 0.7% and CPI-U increased 0.6%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.5% over the month.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow lost 526.47 points (1.47%) to finish at 35,241.59, the Nasdaq closed 304.73 points (2.10%) lower at 14,185.64, and the S&P 500 decreased 83.10 points (1.81%) to 4,504.08. The Russell 2000 was down 32.34 points (1.55%) at 2,051.16, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 799.73 points (1.73%) to 45,517.68.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 1 13/32, bringing its yield up to 2.043%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 4/32, increasing its yield to 2.315%. 
Data and Research
Corporate DB Plan Funded Status Little Changed in January
Whether plans saw a slight increase or decrease depended on their lifecycle stage and allocation to equities.
Products
Investment Product and Service Launches
ISS ESG launches labels and standards solutions; Principal advances plan for first semi-transparent ETF offering; and Xtrackers by DWS launches ETF with exposure to high-yield corporate bonds.
Free Public Service Loan Forgiveness Support Program Announced Through Equitable
The new eligibility tool will help individuals see an estimated forgiven loan balance, detail next steps for applying for forgiveness and provide information on how to increase further savings.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1752, the Pennsylvania Hospital opened as the very first hospital in America. In 1937, General Motors agreed to recognize the United Automobile Workers Union, which ended the sit-down strike against them. In 1943, General Dwight David Eisenhower was selected to command the allied armies in Europe. In 1945, during World War II, the Yalta Agreement was signed by President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Josef Stalin. In 1975, Margaret Thatcher became the first woman to head a major party in Britain when she was elected leader of the Conservative Party. In 1989, Rev. Barbara C. Harris became the first woman to be consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. In 1990, Nelson Mandela, leader of the movement to end South African apartheid, was released from prison after 27 years. In 1993, Janet Reno was appointed to the position of attorney general by President Bill Clinton. She was the first female to hold the position. In 2012, pop music superstar Whitney Houston died at age 48. In 2020, a few months after the first known case was detected in Wuhan, China, and approximately three weeks after the first U.S. case was reported, the World Health Organization officially named the illness that would go on to cause a pandemic “coronavirus disease 2019,” shortened to the acronym COVID-19.

And now it’s time for some FRIDAY FUN!
Cars, boats, horse and buggy… there are lots of ways to pull a skier.

What is he supposed to do now?

We are all glad we graduated from baby food.

In Eagle, Idaho, the Idaho Potato Commission announced it is celebrating Valentine’s Day and the state’s signature crop with a limited-edition perfume. The fragrance, Frites by Idaho, is made from distilled Idaho potatoes and essential oils and is designed to smell like a fresh plate of French fries. According to UPI, unfortunately, the $1.89 bottles of the fragrance sold out quickly on the IPC website, but social media users can still enter an Instagram contest to win free bottles.

In Raleigh, North Carolina, a recent Pick 3 lottery drawing resulted in 12,406 tickets earning top prizes. The North Carolina Education Lottery said the combination 3-3-3 was drawn. Players who purchased 50-cent tickets will receive $250, and those who purchased $1 will receive $500. Lottery officials said Wednesday afternoon’s drawing resulted in a total $4.9 million being owed.

In Seattle, Washington, multiple drivers of 2014 through 2017 model Mazdas have reported that their radios are stuck on the local NPR station. “KUOW is aware of an apparent issue between our signal and some Mazda infotainment systems, causing radios to reboot when they connect to KUOW’s 94.9 FM signal,” the station said in a statement, according to UPI. Mazda said in a statement to the Seattle Times that affected customers should contact local dealers “who can submit a goodwill request to the Mazda Warranty department on their behalf, order the parts, and schedule a free repair when the parts arrive.”

In Stafford, England, staff at the zoo are trying a new method to encourage an increase in the number of endangered Barbary macaques in residence there. The zoo hired a Marvin Gaye impersonator to visit the monkeys’ habitat and sing love songs. “We thought it could be a creative way to encourage our females to show a little affection to males that might not have been so lucky in love,” Park Director Matt Lovatt said on the zoo’s website. UPI reports that Lovatt said the zoo will not know whether the tactic worked until birthing season arrives in late spring or early summer.

Have a great weekend!
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