Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 22nd, 2019
Benefits & Administration
Participants Stay the Course With Their DC Plans
Defined contribution (DC) plan participants remained committed to their plans in the first three quarters of 2018, data from the Investment Company Institute (ICI) shows. A mere 2.2% of participants stopped contributing to their DC plans and only 2.9% took withdrawals, with the latter figure up only slightly from the 2.8% that took withdrawals in the first three quarters of 2017.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
AXA Launches Asset-Allocation Program for 403(b) Plans
AXA Equitable Life has announced the availability of Semester Strategies, a new asset-allocation investment program designed for K-12 403(b) retirement plan participants. Semester Strategies is said to combine an asset-allocation plan commonly found in target-date funds (TDFs), with some downside market protection and the financial guidance of a licensed professional.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Participants Will Need Support to Understand Lifetime Income Projections
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
DB Plans Retain Cost Advantage Over DC Plans
Economic Events

In the week ending February 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 216,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 239,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 235,750, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 231,750. This is the highest level for this average since January 20, 2018 when it was 237,500.


New orders for manufactured durable goods in December increased $3.0 billion or 1.2% to $254.4 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up two consecutive months, followed a 1.0% November increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 1.8%. Transportation equipment, up four of the last five months, led the increase, $2.8 billion or 3.3% to $90.2 billion.


The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.35%, down from 4.37% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.78%, down from 3.81%.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow dropped by 103.81 points (0.40%) to 25,850.63, the NASDAQ inched down by 29.36 points (0.39%) to 7,459.71, and the S&P 500 shed 9.82 points (0.35%) to 2,774.88. The Russell 2000 lost 6.11 points (0.39%) to end at 1,575.55 and the Wilshire 5000 trimmed 106.19 points (0.37%) from its value, to end at 28,799.30.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 14/32, bringing its yield up to 2.697%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 1/32, increasing its yield to 3.048%.
From the Magazine
Let It Grow
A recent Spectrem Group report, “Millennial and Generation X Investors,” suggests that these two generations are significantly more attuned to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing than are their older counterparts. In fact, survey results show that more than half of Millennial investors (52%) and 42% of Gen X investors see the social and environmental responsibility of their investments as important selection criteria. As plan sponsors consider the excitement about ESG investing voiced by younger participants, they naturally have some concerns.Read more >
When a Part-Timer Is Hired Full Time
When an employer offers a full-time job to a part-time or seasonal employee, this person needs to get treated somewhat differently than other new hires. Past service, plan document provisions and the law are critical to determining retirement plan eligibility and vesting.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: 1819 – Spain ceded Florida to the United States. 1855 – The U.S. Congress voted to appropriate $200,000 for continuance of the work on the Washington Monument. The next morning the resolution was tabled and it would be 21 years before the Congress would vote on funds again. 1859 – U.S. President Buchanan approved the Act of February 22, 1859, which incorporated the Washington National Monument Society “for the purpose of completing the erection now in progress of a great National Monument to the memory of Washington at the seat of the Federal Government.” 1860 – Organized baseball’s first game was played in San Francisco, CA. 1879 – In Utica, NY, Frank W. Woolworth opened his first 5 and 10-cent store. 1885 – The Washington Monument was officially dedicated in Washington, DC. 1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge delivered the first presidential radio broadcast from the White House. 1997 – Scottish scientist Ian Wilmut and colleagues announced that an adult sheep had been successfully cloned. Dolly was actually born on July 5, 1996. Dolly was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell.



And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
No telling what you have to watch out for on the highway.Read more >
In Colorado Springs, Colorado, a bear didn’t want to just pilfer for snacks, he wanted it all.Read more >
In Windsor, North Carolina, a motorist called Bertie County 911 on about a bear hanging off of a garbage truck on U.S. Route 17, according to news reports. Apparently, the bear climbed into the trash truck during a stop and became trapped after the driver secured the netting that prevents garbage from blowing out. A sheriff’s deputy stopped the truck with the bear perched on top. The driver, who hadn’t been aware of the stowaway, pulled back the net and the bear ran off. [pic]Read more >

In Berlin, Vermont, Joanne and William met each other while working at Walmart. So, it just made sense they would get married there. According to, the ceremony was set for the employee break-room area with assistant manager Todd Soble, who is also a minister, officiating. But at the last minute, the wedding was moved to the area of the store where fresh flowers are on display.


In Munich, Germany, a man’s dog ruined his chances of carrying a fir.earms license. In 2016, while hunting, the dog managed to release the trigger of a loaded ri.fle lying in the man’s car, shooting the man. Recently, a court decided to withdraw his license to own a rif.le, as well as his hunting permit. According to the Associated Press, a court in Munich dismissed the man’s appeal saying “it must be assumed that he will handle fir.earms and amm.unition carelessly in future as well.”


In Newark, New Jersey, a man sleeping in his car thought he was dreaming, but he wasn’t. The man told the News Journal he had spent a night playing music with friends, went to sleep in his vehicle and had a dream involving someone jumping in his front seat. A Newark police statement says someone drove off in the car and bailed after seeing the man sleeping in the back. The car crashed and the man awoke and realized he hadn’t been dreaming. He says police appeared ready to take him away before another officer said a neighbor had security camera footage of the incident.


In El Paso, Texas, the zoo ran a very popular promotion on Valentine’s Day called “Quit Bugging Me.” According to the Associated Press, the promotion allowed people to name cockroaches after ex-spouses or boyfriends, former friends or anyone else on their “nope” list. On Valentine’s Day, the cockroaches were fed to various animals. Zoo officials said the response to the promotion was so overwhelming they had to cut short the submission period.


Have a wonderful weekend!
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


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