Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 20th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Multiemployer Plans’ Zone Status Remains Stable
The latest Survey of Plans’ Zone Status from Segal Consulting shows that a majority of multiemployer plans are still in the green zone. The survey found 64% of plans are in the green zone, while the percentage of plans in the yellow zone and red zone remained stable at 11% and 25%, respectively. These numbers are virtually unchanged compared to data for the previous 12-month period. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
Victory Capital expands ETF platform and RBC GAM rolls out new Class R6 shares.  Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
The Senate Math That Could Block SECURE Act
2
House Committee Advances Bill to Establish Union Pension Lifeline Program
3
Open MEPs Not for Every Plan Sponsor
4
Driving Financial Wellness at Work
5
Pension Participants Claim ERISA Breaches in Dow DuPont Pension Transfer
DC Plan Sponsors Should Keep It Simple With Lifetime Income
A paper from MetLife mentions that while GLWBs, GMIBs and GMWBs offer income flexibility, ensure “retirement readiness,” and incorporate features that can solve a number of problems that participants may have—such as a shortage of liquidity and investment gains failure—many participants refuse to utilize these options because of their complicated nature, making it difficult to understand and tough for sponsors to interpret. Utilizing fixed income annuities can fix confusion over retirement planning.  Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending January 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 234,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 249,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 246,750, a decrease of 10,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 257,000. This is the lowest level for this average since November 3, 1973, when it was 244,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.09%, down from 4.12% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.34%, down from 3.3.7%.

Privately-owned housing starts in December were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000, the Census Bureau announced. This is 11.3% above the revised November rate of 1,102,000 and is 5.7% above the December 2015 rate of 1,160,000. Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 795,000; this is 4.0% below the revised November figure of 828,000. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 417,000. 

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 72.32 points (0.37%) lower at 19,732.40, the NASDAQ, was down 15.57 points (0.28%) at 5,540.08, and the S&P 500 decreased 8.20 points (0.36%) to 2,263.69. The Russell 2000 fell 12.81 points (0.94%) to 1,345.74, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 89.93 points (0.38%) to finish at 23,663.72.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues nearly 3 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.9 billion shares changed hands, with a more than 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.466%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 3.041%. 

From the Magazine
Guarding the Treasure
Strategies for encouraging participants to let their plan accounts grow.  Read more >
Compliance
Court Refuses to Dismiss Suit Against Franklin Templeton
Among other things, a federal court determined that, although the plaintiff signed a release of claims when terminated, the claims on behalf of the plan could not be released.  Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1801, John Marshall was appointed chief justice of the United States. In 1885, the roller coaster was patented by L.A. Thompson. In 1887, the U.S. Senate approved an agreement to lease Pearl Harbor in Hawaii as a naval base. In 1937, Franklin Delano Roosevelt became the first U.S. President to be inaugurated on January 20th. The 20th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution officially set the date for the swearing in of the President and Vice President. In 1981, Iran released 52 Americans that had been held hostage for 444 days. The hostages were flown to Algeria and then to a U.S. base in Wiesbaden, West Germany. The release occurred minutes after the U.S. presidency had passed from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan. In 1985, the most-watched Super Bowl game in history was seen by an estimated 115.9 million people. The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Miami Dolphins, 38 to 16. Super Bowl XIX marked the first time that TV commercials sold for a million dollars a minute. In 1986, the U.S. observed the first federal holiday in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. In 1994, Shannon Faulkner became the first woman to attend classes at The Citadel in South Carolina. Faulkner joined the cadet corps in August 1995 under court order but soon dropped out. In 2002, Michael Jordan (Washington Wizards) played his first game in Chicago as a visiting player. The Wizards beat the Bulls 77-69.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES

How to wrap a present with no tape.  Read more >
Dinosaurs still roam among us.  Read more >

In New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, a 13-year-old girl told police that her 12-year-old schoolmate asked for one of her Chicken McNuggets in a McDonald’s restaurant. When she refused, he followed her to the subway and pulled out a g.un and held it to her head. She smacked the gun away and told him to leave her alone. Police didn’t recover the g.un, but ‘numerous witnesses’ said they saw it, the police told the Huffington Post. The boy was charged as a juvenile with attempted robbery.

In San Francisco, California, a book of short stories titled “Forty Minutes Late” has been returned to a San Francisco library — 100 years late. The San Francisco Chronicle reports a man’s great grandmother had checked it out in 1917. She passed away a week before the due date. He found it in an old steamer trunk in 1996, and assumed the library wouldn’t want it back, but a recently announced “fine forgiveness program” that runs through February 14 inspired him to return it.

In Brixham, England, coast guards were called to St. Mary’s Beach by a concerned resident who said he heard cries for help. However, upon investigation, the coast guards found it was two amorous owls. They were satisfied nobody was in trouble and said the call was a false alarm with good intent, the Express reports.

In Concord, New Hampshire, police stopped a woman driving in hazardous conditions at 91 miles per hour. The usual speed limit on that Interstate ranges from 55 to 65, but the state had reduced it to 45 due to hazardous conditions. Her reason for being in such a hurry? She was late for an appointment to have a new car stereo installed.


Have a great weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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