Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 13th, 2018
We’d Like to Profile a Plan Sponsor
In an article last November, we covered the idea of so-called “side-car” accounts—workers who do not yet have emergency savings will be directed to first fund a short-term savings account reserved for emergencies, before funding their retirement account. If you are a plan sponsor who offers such an account to employees or if you know a plan sponsor that offers one, and would be willing to speak to us about it, please send an email to rebecca.moore@strategic-i.com. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Simpler Retirement Plan Communications Make No Difference in Employee Decisions
IZA Institute of Labor Economics conducted a study to determine whether presenting retirement plan information in a more compact and accessible way increases participation and results in better investment decisions. In conclusion, IZA says, “the data do not support the idea that presenting optional 401(k) plan information in a simpler, more compact way will improve employees’ retirement planning choices. However, we did find that financial literacy was positively associated with better choices.” Read more >
Small Businesses Embracing Progressive Retirement Plan Design Features
The How America Saves Small Business edition focuses on trends relevant to Vanguard Retirement Plan Access (VRPA) clients, who include full-service plan fiduciaries for plans with less than $20 million in assets. In the report, Vanguard notes a significant increase in its work with small business clients—from roughly 1,400 small business plans in 2013 to nearly 8,900 in 2017. In addition to increased coverage, Vanguard reports that small business plans are broadly adopting progressive design features that can lead to improved retirement readiness of their employees. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
J.P. Morgan Agrees to Settle Stable Value Funds Suit
2
SECURE Act Passes House, Bringing Calls for Senate Collaboration
3
Individuals, Employers and Government All Play a Part in Retirement Readiness
4
Participant Loans: A Fiduciary Storm Brewing?
5
What to Know About Financial Audits Filed with Form 5500s
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Vanguard expands commission-free ETF transactions; MassMutual and T. Rowe Price create TDF collaboration; Johnson Investment Counsel adds Charles River as wealth management business; and more. Read more >
Lincoln Introduces Financial Wellness Tool
Goals like paying off student loans, reducing debt and saving for college can be linked to the tool so users can keep track of their progress. Read more >
Sponsored message from MetLife
MetLife’s Roberta Rafaloff Discusses How Responsibility for a Secure Retirement Rests with Employees. Read more >
Economic Events

In June, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted (SA); rising 2.9% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted (NSA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveled. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in June (SA); up 2.3% over the year (NSA).

Real average hourly earnings increased by 0.1% in June, SA. Average hourly earnings increased 0.2% and CPI-U increased 0.1%. Real average weekly earnings increased 0.1% over the month.

In the week ending July 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 214,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 232,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 223,000, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 224,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.53%, up from 4.52% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.02%, up fro 3.99%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 224.44 points (0.91%) to close at 24,924.89, the NASDAQ closed 107.31 points (1.39%) higher at 7,823.92, and the S&P 500 increased 24.27 points (0.87%) to 2,798.29. The Russell 2000 increased 6.61 points (0.39%) to 1,690.28, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 250.79 points (0.87%) to finish at 29,234.45.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.850%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 4/32, bringing its yield up to 2.945%.

Compliance
Church Plan Operating Under Rules of ERISA Has Not Elected to Be an ERISA Plan
Since the Supreme Court decision about the definition of church plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued several private letter rulings concerning entities’ church plan status, including an organization with a 403(b) plan. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1585, a group of 108 English colonists, led by Sir Richard Grenville, reached Roanoke Island, North Carolina. In 1754, at the beginning of the French and Indian War, George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French. In 1787, Congress, under the Articles of Confederation, enacted the Northwest Ordinance, which established the rules for governing the Northwest Territory, for admitting new states to the Union and limiting the expansion of slavery. In 1836, John Ruggles received patent #1 from the U.S. Patent Office for a traction wheel used in locomotive steam engines. All 9,957 previous patents were not numbered. In 1863, opponents of the Civil War draft began three days of rioting in New York City, which resulted in more than 1,000 casualties. In 1954, in Geneva, the United States, Great Britain and France reached an accord on Indochina which divided Vietnam into two countries, North and South, along the 17th parallel. In 1978, Lee Iacocca was fired as president of Ford Motor Co. by Chairman Henry Ford II. In 2000, Sprint Corp. and WorldCom canceled their planned merger due to opposition by regulators in the United States and Europe.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

This little boy thinks the command, “Sit!” is for him. Read more >
Apparently, his sister does not appreciate his singing. Read more >
In Poland, historian and political scientist Jerzy Targalski was speaking to Nieuwsuur ‏journalist Rudy Bouma about Poland’s Supreme Court crisis when his cat decided to join in. Bouma said Targalski was “completely unruffled” by the interruption. [pic] Read more >

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a Phillies fan got a black eye during a game. No, it wasn’t from a foul ball; it was from a frankfurter shot out of a hot dog-shaped cannon into the stands above home plate by the team’s mascot, Phillie Phanatic. “It came down with such force, like a ton of bricks,” she told Inside Edition. “My glasses flew off, and I started bleeding.” The Phillies apologized to the woman and offered her tickets to a future game. She says she’s such a big fan, she is not going to sue.

In Tuku, Finland, as part of a promotion by Fortum, a clean energy company based in northern Europe, music festival attendees will be able to ride around the festival grounds in an electrically-powered BMW i3 for free. The catch is that they have to sing for the driver and keep singing or the ride is over. According to the Huffington Post, the car has a tablet that offers song choices and lyrics.

In Kirkwood, Missouri, a minivan driver pulled away from a gas pump with the nozzle still attached. According to the Associated Press, a Kirkwood Police Detective says a valve is supposed to shut off when that happens, but instead, fuel sprayed into the engine of a nearby Lamborghini, causing it to erupt in flames. The Lamborghini driver was inside the gas station getting a water at the time. The detective says it was “completely an accident” and no one was charged.

In Hudson, Florida, a couple were rushing to finish the yard work in time to avoid a fine from their homeowner’s association when the husband had a heart attack. The wife said her husband was so worried about meeting the deadline that while he was drifting in and out of consciousness on the way to the hospital, he begged her to keep the grass from dying. According to the Associate Press, the rescue team took notice. After leaving the couple at the hospital, seven firefighters returned to their home and finished the job.


Enjoy your 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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