Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 20th, 2018
Webcast Event
Join us February 27 for an exclusive webcast that will address retirement security and the major forces influencing opportunity for change, key drivers of retirement outcomes by life stage, and how research identifies needs and informs plan design solutions.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Tax Reform Linked to More Retirement Confidence
Nearly half of respondents to a LendEDU survey said they believe they will be able to retire sooner as a result of greater take-home pay due to tax reform.Read more >
Allegations Against Northrop Grumman Pared Down in Excessive Fee Suit
A federal judge has found that Northrop Grumman was not a fiduciary with respect to acts specified in an excessive fee suit regarding its 401(k) plan. However, Northrop did not escape the failure to monitor fiduciaries complaint, and complaints against individual defendants were not dropped.Read more >
ERISA Does Not Preempt State ‘Slayer’ Laws
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) does not preempt the Illinois slayer statute, and that statute bars even those found not guilty by reason of insanity from recovering from the deceased, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, affirming a lower court decision. Citing other courts, the appellate court agreed that “Congress could not have intended ERISA to allow one spouse to recover benefits after intentionally killing the other spouse.”Read more >
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
The Growing Interest in Guaranteed Income Options
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Employers Feel the Strain of Rising Labor Costs
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Economic Events

Privately-owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,326,000, the Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced. This is 9.7% above the revised December estimate of 1,209,000 and is 7.3% above the January 2017 rate of 1,236,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 877,000; this is 3.7% above the revised December figure of 846,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 431,000.


THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales for January. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow finished 19.01 points (0.08%) higher at 25,219.38, the NASDAQ was down 16.97 points (0.23%) at 7,239.47, and the S&P 500 increased by 1.02 points (0.04%) to 2,732.22. The Russell 2000 closed 6.35 points (0.41%) higher at 1,543.55, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 6.45 points (0.02%) at 28,337.62.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 11/32, bringing its yield down to 2.870%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 23/32, decreasing its yield to 3.129%.


WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending February 16, the Dow was up 4.25%, the NASDAQ climbed 5.31%, and the S&P 500 increased 4.30%. The Russell 2000 gained 4.45%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 4.34% higher.
Products, Deals and People
Providers Seek an Edge through Fee Reductions, Share Class Simplifications
Interviews with product development leaders at Charles Schwab Investment Management and Putnam underscore the fierce competition that drives providers’ evolving approach to setting fees and crafting new services.Read more >
Retirement Industry People Moves
Voya employs executive for Large Corporate Markets; T. Rowe Price offers Financial Engines services to clients; Wells Fargo Asset Management adds to Multi-Asset Solutions team; and more.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1792, U.S. President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act that created the U.S. Post Office. In 1809, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the power of the federal government was greater than that of any individual state. In 1815, the USS Constitution, under Captain Charles Stewart fought the British ships Cyane and Levant. The Constitution captured both, but lost the Levant after encountering a British squadron. In 1872, Luther Crowell received a patent for a machine that manufactured paper bags. In 1872, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in New York City. In 1880, the American Bell Company was incorporated. In 1944, “Big Week” began as U.S. bombers began raiding German aircraft manufacturing centers during World War II. In 1952, Emmett L. Ashford became the first black umpire in organized baseball. He was authorized to be a substitute in the Southwestern International League. In 1962, John Glenn made space history when he orbited the world three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes aboard the Friendship 7 Mercury capsule. He was the first American to orbit the Earth. In 1998, American Tara Lipinski, at age 15, became the youngest gold medalist in winter Olympics history when she won the ladies’ figure skating title at Nagano, Japan.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Did your retirement plan participants make transfers related to the recent market plunge, and did you?” The majority of responding readers (55.3%) reported they do not know if their retirement plan participants made transfers related to the recent market plunge, while 31.6% said their participants did not. “Yes, some moved out of equity” and “Yes, some moved into equity to take advantage of low purchase prices” each were selected by 7.9% of respondents. Asked if they themselves made a transfer in their retirement accounts related to the recent market plunge, 94.7% said no, but 2.6% each reported they moved out of equity and they moved into equity to take advantage of low purchase prices. Among readers who chose to leave comments, many reported that participants were calmed by good advisers and providers, but one reader noted, “Despite all our communications efforts, participants still take a short-term approach to investing. If I had any hair left I would be pulling it out!” Others shared advice to stay the course during such corrections. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I got lucky in that my ROTH IRA contribution hit my account at the low point! I bought it on sale! :)” A big thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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