Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
February 27th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Americans Support Advantages of DC Plans
U.S. households “strongly favor preserving retirement account features and flexibility.” For example, the vast majority (89%) of all households disagree with the statement that the “government should take away the tax advantages of DC [defined contribution] accounts,” and 90% “disagree with the idea of reducing the amount that individuals can contribute to DC accounts,” according to a new survey released by the Investment Company Institute (ICI).Read more >
Employers Shifting to Programs That Include Financial Well-Being
Employers are almost unanimously shifting to an approach of total “well-being” that includes emotional and financial well-being, rather than the traditional approach, which only addressed physical health, according to a survey from Shortlister of the well-being subject matter experts at the nation’s top employee benefits consultants.Read more >
EARN Act Clears Senate Finance Committee
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Plaintiffs Rebuffed by Appeals Court in Active Management Lawsuit
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Products, Deals and People
ICMA-RC Provides Materials for America Saves Week
ICMA-RC is recognizing America Saves Week, which will take place February 27 to March 4, 2017, by publishing an educational website for novice investors working for public-sector employers.Read more >
Retirement Industry People Moves
HealthSavings Administrators appoints industry vets to national sales team; The Standard hires plan consultant; American Benefits Council names new board leader; and more.Read more >
Sponsored message from Vanguard
An examination of global asset allocation and home bias
Research has found that asset allocation is the key driver of return variability for a diversified portfolio. Vanguard offers clarity with two questions: How does asset allocation affect risk/return expectations? And how much home bias is reasonable?

Read more >
Economic Events

Sales of new single-family houses in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 3.7% above the revised December 2016 rate of 535,000 and is 5.5% above the January 2016 estimate of 526,000.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Today, the Census Bureau will report about durable goods orders for January. Tomorrow, the Conference Board will release its Consumer Confidence Index for February, and the Census Bureau will report about wholesale traded for January. Wednesday, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending in January. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow increased 11.44 points (0.05%) to 20,821.76, the NASDAQ was up 9.80 points (0.17%) at 5,845.31, and the S&P 500 inched up 3.53 points (0.15%) to 2,367.34. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,394.52, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 30.76 points (0.13%) higher at 24,689.93.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares changed hands, with a slight lead for advancing issues. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 17/32, bringing its yield down to 2.315%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 6/32, decreasing its yield to 2.952%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending February 24, the Dow gained 0.96%, the NASDAQ was up 0.12%, and the S&P 500 finished 0.69% higher. The Russell 2000 was down 0.38%, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 0.48%.
Is It Time to Add Real Estate Investments to Your DC Plan?
In order to weather potential storms like market downturns, plan sponsors are looking to diversify portfolios with alternative investments. These asset classes aim for returns less correlated to market swings than stocks, bonds and other traditional assets. Among them is real estate. And even though defined benefit (DB) plans have been investing in real estate for decades, this asset class is relatively new to the defined contribution (DC) plan space. But it has been gaining traction in the past few years.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1801, the city of Washington, D.C., was placed under congressional jurisdiction. In 1827, New Orleans held its first Mardi Gras celebration. In 1922, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 19th Amendment that guaranteed women the right to vote. In 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed sit-down strikes. In 1951, the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, limiting U.S. Presidents to two terms. In 1974, “People” magazine was first issued by Time-Life (later known as Time-Warner). In 1986, the U.S. Senate approved the telecast of its debates on a trial basis. In 1990, the Exxon Corporation and Exxon Shipping were indicted on five criminal counts in reference to the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. In 1991, U.S. President George H.W. Bush announced live on television that “Kuwait is liberated.” In 1997, Don Cornelius received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1998, Britain’s House of Lords agreed to give a monarch’s first-born daughter the same claim to the throne as any first-born son. This was the end to 1,000 years of male preference.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Which activity in your daily routine do you look forward to the most?” ‘Exercising’ was selected by 15.9% of responding readers, and ‘watching TV’ was selected by 13%. More readers chose ‘other’ than anything on the list (29%). Most of those responses were a combination of or variation of things on the list. In verbatim comments, the majority of readers stressed how important it is to destress and unwind. Many described how their most-anticipated daily activity makes them feel. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who reminded me of the part of the day I most anticipated when my children weren’t grown: “Specifically, the moment I pick my kids up each day. They’re (usually) so happy to see me and so excited to tell me about their day. All of my worries are temporarily suspended.” Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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