Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 25th, 2019
Benefits & Administration
More Local Governments Should Adopt Financial Wellness Programs for Employees
Pointing out that local governments have changed their retirement benefits since the Great Recession, and that these changes require more decision-making by employees, the Center for State & Local Government Excellence has issued a new practitioner-oriented report, “Financial Literacy Programs for Local Government Employees.” Only 26% of human resource directors report that their local government offers a financial literacy program and a mere 13% say their local government is planning one. Among those that do offer financial literacy programs, 51% say workers increase their contributions to supplemental savings plans, 43% say workers become more engaged with compensation issues, and 41% say they see cost savings for the jurisdiction that at least partially offset the expense of offering the program. The Center offers best practices for practitioners.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Securian Asset Management introduces name changes to mutual funds; First Trust adds fixed-income ETF; and Citi creates bond funding environmental and climate finance.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?”
Economic Events

In the week ending January 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 199,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 212,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000. The four-week moving average was 215,000, a decrease of 5,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 220,500.


The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.45%, unchanged from one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is also unchanged from 3.88%.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 22.38 points (0.9%) at 24,553.24, the NASDAQ closed 47.70 points (0.68%) higher at 7,073.46, and the S&P 500 was up 3.63 points (0.14%) at 2,642.33. The Russell 2000 gained 10.15 points (0.70%) to finish at 1,464.41, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 66.88 points (0.25%) to 27,323.83.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 9/32, decreasing its yield to 2.712%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 20/32, bringing its yield down to 3.031%.
University of Rochester Excessive Fee Suit Voluntarily Dismissed
A participant in the University of Rochester Retirement Program has voluntarily dismissed a lawsuit alleging that plan participants have paid an estimated $72 million in in recordkeeping, distribution, and mortality risk fees to provider TIAA. According to the complaint, TIAA has been able to extract “grossly excessive fees” because its fees are tethered not to any actual services it provides to the plan, but rather, to a percentage of assets in the plan.Read more >
Churches Seek Clarification for Which Entities Can Adopt Pre-Approved Plans
An informal position taken by the IRS is indicated by it excluding mention of non-qualified church-controlled organizations (non-QCCOs) from the ability to rely on pre-approved plans.Read more >
American Century Defeats Self-Dealing ERISA Lawsuit
A federal district court judge has ruled in favor of the defendants on all counts in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit alleging American Century inappropriately favored its own investment products in the company’s retirement plan. Plaintiffs tried three claims before the court over 11 days, from September 4 to 20, 2018. As noted in the decision, all of plaintiffs’ claims rested on the need to establish definitively that defendants committed a breach of fiduciary duties relating to loyalty and prudence.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1858, Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was presented for the first time at the wedding of the daughter of Queen Victoria and the Crown Prince of Prussia. In 1881, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and others signed an agreement to organize the Oriental Telephone Company. In 1890, the United Mine Workers of America was founded. In 1915, in New York, Alexander Graham Bell spoke to his assistant in San Francisco, inaugurating the first transcontinental telephone service. In 1924, the 1st Winter Olympic Games were inaugurated in Chamonix in the French Alps. In 1949, the first Emmys were presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club. In 1959, in the U.S., American Airlines had the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707. In 1961, John F. Kennedy presented the first live presidential news conference from Washington, D.C. The event was carried on radio and television. In 1964, Nike was founded. The company was originally named Blue Ribbon Sports. In 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage by Iran for 444 days arrived in the United States and were reunited with their families. In 1999, in Louisville, Kentucky, a man received the first hand transplant in the United States. In 2010, in Arlington, Texas, the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame had its grand opening.



And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Cat pets bird.Read more >
“Healthy” foods that are not so healthy.Read more >
I’d say one driver should have parked a little closer to the curb.Read more >

In Round Lake Park, Illinois, employees at an elementary school told the Lake County News-Sun they saw a young girl pull up to the school drop off zone driving a car. The girl, 11-years-old, and another, 9-years-old, who was in the back seat, got out of the car. Then, a grown man moved into the driver’s seat and drove away. The man is wanted on two counts of child endangerment and driving with a suspended license.


In Madison, Wisconsin, a man took an axe and destroyed the family car, as well as a television and laptop in the house. According to the Associated Press, he was retaliating because he thought his wife had damaged his action figures. The man called police himself and told them he overreacted (you think?). He was arrested and faces charges of disorderly conduct and felony damage to property.


In Kutztown, Pennsylvania, police got more than they bargained for when they asked for the public’s help with some officer training. On Facebook, the police department asked for 3 volunteers to drink hard liquor to the point of inebriation so officers could be trained how to administer field sobriety tests during traffic stops. The Facebook post accumulated hundreds of responses and more than 1,000 shares in less than a day, the Associated Press reports.


In Falmouth, Maine, an inebriated man tried to get a Lyft home. However, the Lyft driver was actually ordered by his next door neighbor, so when the man arrived, he tried to get into the wrong house. Police were called, and the man was taken to jail to sober up. The neighbor did not press charges.


Have a happy 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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