Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
January 4th, 2019

Easy Access

Anyone new to administering a retirement plan or to serving on a plan committee—as well as any plan fiduciary who wants to review his role—has access to the perfect collection of learning tools: the various documents, notices and disclosures that comprise the written plan. More than information, each policy and rule, when formally recorded, must be followed, or methodically revised, says the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Partial and Deferred Annuitization Makes Sense for Many
A new Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) analysis shows purchases of a deferred income annuity at age 65 (deferring 20 years with no death benefits) result in an overall improvement in retirement readiness when purchasers annuitize 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20% of their 401(k) balance. Read more >
Distrust in Finance Institutions Can Dampen Auto-Enrollment Success
Results of a new Pew survey show about four in 10 non-investing individuals who express distrust in their primary financial institution said they would opt out of an automatic retirement plan enrollment. Read more >
Americans Paint a Rosy Retirement Outlook
Nearly two-thirds, 65%, of Americans are confident they have saved enough, or will save enough, to retire comfortably, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance learned in a survey. However, 22% are worried about high health care costs in retirement. On average, Americans have saved $327,090 for retirement, saving an average of 13.3% of their annual income. Overall, people are contributing an average of $11,910 to their workplace retirement plans each year. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
The Senate Math That Could Block SECURE Act
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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
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
American Beacon Advisors creates mutual fund with multi-asset program, and Vanguard closes million-dollar securities fund to new clients. Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending December 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 231,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 221,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 218,750, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s revised average of 219,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.51%, down from 4.55% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.99%, down from 4.01%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow fell 660.02 points (2.83%) to 22,686.22, the NASDAQ closed 202.43 points (3.04%) lower at 6,463.50, and the S&P 500 decreased 62.14 points (2.48%) to 2,447.89. The Russell 2000 was down 24.97 points (1.84%) at 1,330.94, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 594.35 points (2.30%) to finish at 25,200.38.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 20/32, bringing its yield down to 2.550%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 1/32, decreasing its yield to 2.902%.

Industry Voices
Barry’s Pickings Online: Trump DOL Mid-Term Report Card
Michael Barry, president of October Three (O3) Plan Advisory Services LLC, offers his opinions about retirement plan issues addressed—and not addressed—by the Department of Labor under President Donald Trump. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1896, Utah became the 45th U.S. state. In 1936, the first pop music chart based on national sales was published by “Billboard” magazine. In 1951, during the Korean conflict, North Korean and Communist Chinese forces captured the city of Seoul. In 1962, New York City introduced a train that operated without conductors and motormen. In 1974, President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee. In 1982, Bryant Gumbel moved from NBC Sports to the anchor desk where he joined Jane Pauley as co-host of the “Today” show on NBC. In 1999, former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was sworn in as Minnesota’s 37th governor. In 2007, Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. She was the first woman to hold the position.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

How do you react when someone says you have a bug on you? Read more >
Being a child can be tough sometimes. Read more >

In Ontario, Canada, a 7-year-old boy was unhappy with one of his Christmas gifts. Young children rarely like to receive clothing, but this boy was so upset about receiving snow pants, he called 911. He said he was upset and wanted the police to help. No one was dispatched to his house, but a police sergeant tweeted that the boy was put on the naughty list.

In Helena, Montana, a state representative has asked the 2019 legislature to declare “Hippy Hippy Shake” Montana’s official rock and roll song. Montana already has a state song, a state ballad and a state lullaby. According to the Associated Press, the bill’s introduction borrows from the song’s lyrics in saying: “WHEREAS, Montanans shake it to the left and shake it to the right and do everything with all of their might.” The song was written in 1959 by Chan Romero when he was a 17-year-old student at Billings Senior High School.

In East Vincent Township, Pennsylvania, an armed man recently held off SWAT members for 10 hours, but agreed to surrender after an unusual request. The negotiator sang “White Christmas” to him. He was then taken into custody and charged with multiple counts.

In Ulysses, Kansas, a 16-year-old boy will soon earn his high school diploma, and a few days later, he’ll travel to Harvard to collect his bachelor’s degree. The Ulysses High School senior will attend both commencement ceremonies in May, becoming the only student to successfully pursue a four-year high school degree and a bachelor’s degree from Harvard at the same time, The Hutchinson News reported. He simultaneously studied at the high school and the Harvard Extension School—a program that typically serves adults who work and can’t attend classes on campus full time. He is on track to graduate from the Bachelor of Liberal Arts program, with a major government and a minor in English, said Harry Pierre, associate director of communications for Harvard’s Division of Continuing Education. The teen said he hopes to attend Harvard Law School next.

In Perth, Australia, a person was walking past a neighbor’s house and hear a man repeatedly yelling, “Why don’t you die?” as well as a toddler screaming. Obviously alarmed, the person called police, and multiple officers responded. According to media reports, a law enforcement communication log said “police spoke with all parties who advised that husband had only been trying to kill a spider (has serious fear of spiders)”.

 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

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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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