Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 23rd, 2018
Benefits & Administration
2017 Was a Good Year for DC Plan Metrics
Investment Company Institute (ICI) recordkeeper data shows that in the first nine months of 2017, the amount of participants contributing or taking a withdrawal held steady, while the number of outstanding loans slightly decreased.Read more >
Want Employees to Invest Tax Savings? Act Now
It will only take a few pay cycles for folks to get used to seeing the extra money come in; thus the impetus is on plan sponsors to act today to directly encourage employees to consider putting some or all of their additional take-home pay into the retirement plan.Read more >
Institutional Investors Were Prepared for Market Volatility
Investors surveyed by Natixis cited strategies they’ve been using to diversify their portfolios.Read more >
Institutions Hungry for Dependable ESG Investing Data
Some investors cite the concern that publicly owned companies may be “greenwashing” reported data to enhance their image from the environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing perspective.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
Putnam announces new pricing for TDFs; First Trust to launch AI and Robotics ETF; and Vanguard launches factor-based ETFs.Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Economic Events

In the week ending February 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 222,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 229,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 226,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 228,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.40%, up from 4.38% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.85%, up from 3.84%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 164.70 points (0.66%) to finish at 24,962.48, the NASDAQ was down 8.14 points (0.11%) at 7,210.09, and the S&P 500 increased 2.63 points (0.10%) to 2,703.96. The Russell 2000 decreased 1.85 points (0.12%) to 1,529.99, and the Wilshire 5000 was up 7.33 points (0.03%) at 27,980.30.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 8/32, bringing its yield down to 2.921%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 7/32, decreasing its yield to 3.211%.

California Proposal Seeks Shift from Public DB to DC
California State Senator Steve Glazer, who serves the state’s 7th senate district, introduced a bill earlier this month to allow new state employees the option of opting out of pension plan benefits and instead choose a “self-directed and portable retirement plan.”Read more >
Court Affirms Dismissal of Fidelity Stable Value Fund Suit
The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that Fidelity’s decision to obtain more secure wrap coverage for the stable value fund was reasonable.Read more >
SEC Deadline for Open-End Fund Liquidity Classification is Extended
However, the deadlines for creating a liquidity risk management program and to limit illiquid investments to 15% of a fund’s portfolio remain unchanged: December 1, 2018, for larger fund groups and June 1, 2019, for smaller fund groups.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1792, the Humane Society of Massachusetts was incorporated. In 1813, the first U.S. raw cotton-to-cloth mill was founded in Waltham, Massachusetts. In 1821, the Philadelphia College of Apothecaries established the first pharmacy college. In 1836, in San Antonio, Texas, the siege of the Alamo began. In 1839, William F. Harnden organized the first express service between Boston and New York City. It was the first express service in the U.S. In 1847, Santa Anna was defeated at the Battle of Buena Vista in Mexico by U.S. troops under Gen. Zachary. In 1861, Texas became the 7th state to secede from the Union. In 1870, the state of Mississippi was readmitted to the Union. In 1874, Walter Winfield patented a game called “sphairistike.” More widely known as lawn tennis. In 1886, Charles M. Hall completed his invention of aluminum. In 1896, the Tootsie Roll was introduced by Leo Hirshfield. In 1904, the U.S. acquired control of the Panama Canal Zone for $10 million. In 1905, the Rotary Club was founded in Chicago by Attorney Paul Harris and three others. In 1927, the Federal Radio Commission began assigning frequencies, hours of operation and power allocations for radio broadcasters. On July 1, 1934, the name was changed to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In 1940, Walt Disney’s animated movie “Pinocchio” was released. In 1945, the 28th Regiment of the Fifth Marine Division of the U.S. Marines reached the top of Mount Surabachi. A photograph of these Marines raising the American flag was taken. In 1954, the first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1963, the 24th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It prohibited poll taxes in federal elections. In 1968, Wilt Chamberlain (Philadelphia 76ers) became the first player to score 25,000 career points in the NBA. In 1991, during the Persian Gulf War, ground forces crossed the border of Saudi Arabia into the country of Iraq. Less than four days later the war was over due to the surrender or withdraw of Iraqi forces.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

The dog doesn’t like an intruder in his bed.Read more >
This little boy is thankful for… nothing.Read more >
Take a stroll through memory lane of Windows start-up sounds.Read more >

In Vienna, Austria, a plane was forced to make an emergency stop after some passengers got into a fight. Apparently, one passenger kept passing gas and two men sitting in the row with him complained to the flight crew. When the crew did nothing, a fight broke out, according to the Dutch language newspaper De Telegraaf. In Vienna the two men who complained were removed from the aircraft, as well as two women sitting in the same row as the angry men. All four have been banned from flying Transavia Airlines in the future. The two women are suing the airline. According to De Telegraaf, they said, ”We had no idea who these boys were, we just had the bad luck to be in the same row and we didn’t do anything.”

In New York City, residents are still waiting to see who will become the first-ever “night mayor.” The nightlife ambassador position was announced last fall by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the Associated Press. He says the position would serve as a point of contact between city agencies and the city nightlife industry. The New York Post reports Democratic City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who sponsored legislation creating the position, says he hasn’t heard any word about a confirmed appointee. Espinal says the city is vetting a candidate and the post will be filled in the next few weeks.

In Mainz, Germany, officers were called after cries were heard from an apartment. Police found the 58-year-old tenant and a 61-year-old visitor “hopelessly locked together” with a toy car and a mannequin—which was dressed in a knight’s costume, according to the Associated Press. Officers were able to free the men, who were too drunk to explain how their unfortunate predicament had come about.

In Ferndale, Michigan, a man wanted to rid skunks from the crawlspace of his rental home. So, he thought it a good idea to smoke them out. His attempt to use a smoke bomb sparked a fire that quickly spread from the crawlspace to the first floor, the Detroit Free Press reports. The fire eventually spread through the walls and attic of the rental property. Not only was the house a complete loss, but no skunk carcasses were found.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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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