Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 26th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Cross-Tested Plans Shoot for Similar Benefits at Retirement
Cross-testing can benefit older, highly paid employees, but can be a win for other employees too.Read more >
A Disconnect on Retirement Readiness
More than half of retirement plan sponsors (59%) say the majority of their participants are saving enough to retire with the income they will need, according to BlackRock’s DC Pulse Survey. But only 28% of the participants surveyed are confident they are saving enough. When it comes to the information plan participants need, nearly two-thirds of plan sponsors (64%) describe their participants as “very” or “extremely” informed about how much money they should be saving today for retirement, but only 37% of employees describe themselves the same way.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many Phils Have There Been?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
Report Favors National Plan Over State Efforts
A research brief looks at efforts states are taking to fill the retirement plan coverage gap for private-sector employers and argues a national auto-IRA program would be more efficient.Read more >
Most Participants Do Not Read Benefits Communications
A survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans shows that nearly half of plan participants do not understand benefits materials, and most do not even open or read the information.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
This week Northern Trust announced enhancements to services for private equity investment clients, while Franklin Templeton expanded multi-asset solutions capability with new open architecture offering.Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in January increased $11.1 billion or 4.9% to $237.5 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, followed a 4.6% December decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.8%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 4.5%. Transportation equipment, also up following two consecutive monthly decreases, led the increase, $8.2 billion or 11.5% to $79.7 billion. 

In the week ending February 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 272,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 262,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 272,000, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 273,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.62%, down from 3.65% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.93%, down from 2.95%.
Market Mirror

A late-day surge pushed U.S. stocks sharply higher Thursday, propelled by a recovery in energy companies and bank stocks, according to the Associated Press. The Dow climbed 212.30 points (1.29%) to 16,697.29, the NASDAQ was up 39.60 points (0.87%) at 4,582.20, and the S&P 500 closed 21.90 points (1.13%) higher at 1,951.70. The Russell 2000 increased 9.50 points (0.93%) to 1,031.57, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 221.48 points (1.12%) to finish at 19,908.96.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a near 3 to 1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.6 billion shares changed hands, with 3 advancing issues for every 2 declining issues.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 7/32, bringing its yield down to 1.723%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 6/32, decreasing its yield to 2.598%.
Vested Retirement Benefits Decision Overturned
The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a district court’s decision in Gallo, et al. vs. Moen Incorporated, citing a rather complex chain of precedents and reversed decisions in siding with the employer and permitting the firm to cease delivering health care benefits to some unionized retirees. The central issue in the case was whether several collective bargaining agreements entitled a class of retirees from Moen Inc. to vested healthcare benefits for life.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln signed the National Currency Act. In 1870, in New York City, the first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public. In 1919, the Grand Canyon in Arizona was established as a National Park with an act of the U.S. Congress. In 1929, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill creating the Grand Teton National Park. In 1930, New York City installed traffic lights. In 1993, six people were killed and more than a thousand injured when a van exploded in the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York City. The bomb had been built by Islamic extremists. In 1998, a Texas jury rejected an $11 million lawsuit by Texas cattlemen who blamed Oprah Winfrey for a price drop after an on-air comment about mad-cow disease. In 1998, in Oregon, a health panel ruled that taxpayers must help to pay for doctor-assisted suicides. In 2009, the Pentagon reversed its 18-year policy of not allowing media to cover returning war dead. The reversal allowed some media coverage with family approval.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Not only does this video offer interesting alternative uses for forks; the guy presenting them is kind of funny.Read more >

In Palm Coast, Florida, four people have been arrested for criminal mischief when they trashed a pizza place, causing about $1,000 in damage. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, the melee started when a customer was angry that her garlic knots had cheese on them, and even though the restaurant gave her a refund, she felt it was handed to her disrespectfully.

In Newport, Shropshire, England, concerned citizens called police about an otter in distress. Upon investigation police found the “otter” was a collar from a fur coat. According to the Evening Standard, officers found humor in the wasted call though, and posted a picture of the “otter” in a patrol car with a caption saying, “Thank you to everyone for their concerns .. Ollie the Faux Otter is safely in our van recovering from his ordeal.”

In the Muswell Hill suburb of London, England, while drinking with friends at a pub, Simon Smith was persuaded to change his name to reflect his love of food. He officially changed it to Bacon Double Cheeseburger. The 33-year-old, who said he proudly signs off his work emails as “B D Cheeseburger,” told the Evening Standard he particularly got a kick out of booking into hotels on business trips. But this fiancée is not as amused about the name change, so Bacon admitted another name change might be needed ahead of their wedding.

In Hillsdale, New Jersey, some residents are being terrorized and accosted… by wild turkeys. In some neighborhoods, they are seemingly everywhere—waddling by the dozen in the road, perched on car roofs, pecking at the tires of delivery trucks. In one instance, a letter carrier felt trapped in his truck and telephoned his boss for help. The boss called 911 and officers ran the turkeys off. The postmaster explained the turkey situation as “crazy.” “I mean, they’re actually attacking, biting,” he said. “They chase the trucks—everything.”

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Share the good 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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