Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 16th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Courage, not Literacy, Key to Financial Wellness
Helping employees become more confident about engaging in financial matters—improving their financial courage—is more critical than employers providing benefits that focus solely on financial education, a survey from Mercer suggests. Employees with a more favorable self-rating of their financial knowledge (regardless of their actual financial knowledge) were more likely to use financial wellness tools given to them by their employers. Read more >
Retirement Preparedness Requires Course Corrections
Americans are feeling unprepared for retirement but are willing to take steps to ensure more financial security later in life. Getting healthier, working longer, and reducing support for adult children were some of the many adjustments Americans said they were willing to make to address their retirement insecurity. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
House Committee Advances Bill to Establish Union Pension Lifeline Program
2
The Senate Math That Could Block SECURE Act
3
Open MEPs Not for Every Plan Sponsor
4
Adidas Sued Over Excessive Fees for 401(k) Participants
5
Employers Encouraged to Offer Multi-Dimensional Wellness Programs
Webcast Event
Join us for an informative webcast where we will present a brief update from Great-West Investments President David Musto on the state of the defined contribution (DC) market and changing participant needs; behavioral finance research that shows how participants’ needs change as they approach retirement; and considerations for fiduciaries when evaluating a dynamic qualified default investment alternative (QDIA). Read more >
Economic Events

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.6% in January after rising 0.3% in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3% in January after increasing 0.2% in December.

Real average hourly earnings decreased 0.5% in January, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings increased 0.1%, and CPI-U increased 0.6%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.4% over the month.

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for December 2016, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,356.0 billion, up 2.0% from November 2016 and up 5.2% from December 2015, the Census Bureau reported.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for January, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $472.1 billion, an increase of 0.4% from the previous month and 5.6% from January 2016. Retail trade sales were up 0.2% from December 2016, and up 5.6% from last year. Gasoline Stations sales were up 14.2% from January 2016, while Nonstore Retailers were up 12.0% from last year.

Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow climbed 107.45 points (0.52%) to 20,611.86, the NASDAQ closed 36.87 points (0.64%) higher at 5,819.44, and the S&P 500 increased 11.67 points (0.50%) to 2,349.25. The Russell 2000 was up 7.55 points (0.54%) at 1,404.20, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 106.60 points (0.44%) to finish at 24,565.53.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, 3.0 billion shares changed hands, with a 1.3 to 1 ratio of advancers to decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 7/32, increasing its yield to 2.495%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 11/32, bringing its yield up to 3.078%.

Compliance
DOL Secretary Nominee Backs Down
With his Senate confirmation hearing set to kick off tomorrow, DOL Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder has withdrawn himself from consideration. Read more >
From the Magazine
Insights: No Time Like the Present
At our Best of PLANSPONSOR National Conference (Best of PSNC) events this past November, one attorney said, “No decision is a decision.” The absence of a decision by a plan sponsor or investment committee is a decision in itself. Read more >
Investing
401(k) Participant Trading Low at Start of 2017
The new year started with light trading activity for investors in defined contribution plans, according to the Aon Hewitt 401(k) Index. But, for 13 of the 20 trading days in January, participants favored equities over fixed income funds in their trades. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1741, Benjamin Franklin published America’s second magazine, “The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle”. In 1857, the National Deaf Mute College was incorporated in Washington, D.C. It was the first school in the world for advanced education of the deaf. The school was later renamed Gallaudet College. In 1862, during the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Tennessee. In 1883, “Ladies Home Journal” began publication. In 1923, Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922. In 1937, Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon. Carothers was a research chemist for Du Pont. In 1958, the first ironing board was patented by William Vandenburg and James Harvey. In 1968, in the U.S., the first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama. In 1970, Joe Frazier began his reign as the undefeated heavyweight world champion when he knocked out Jimmy Ellis in five rounds.

SURVEY SAYS: A recent study found that for some workers, the ‘honeymoon’ is over after the first year of work. However, that study and another one show the longer a person stays on a job, the more pleased they are with it. This week, I’d like to know, “Do you love your job; has your love for your job rollercoastered over the years, and who do you think is responsible for keeping you happy on the job?” You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. Read more >
Share the 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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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