Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 14th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Vermont Governor Phil Scott has signed an infrastructure bill that includes a provision directing the state to study and implement the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan, a voluntary retirement program for businesses with 50 or fewer employees. According to text of the bill, the plan will be a multiple employer plan (MEP) that automatically enrolls employees while giving them the choice to opt out. The plan will be funded by employee contributions, with an option for future voluntary employer contributions.  Read more >
Some Members of Gen X, Y Are 401(k) 'Super Savers'
Principal Financial Group found that some members of Gen X and Gen Y, those under the age of 52, are either maxing out the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) limit on 401(k) contributions, i.e., $18,000, or contributing 90% or more of this limit. In order to save this large amount of money, they are making several sacrifices.  Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Residents of the Island of Misfit Toys
IRS Announces 2022 Retirement Plan Contribution and Benefit Limits
Federal Student Loan Forbearance Is Ending, but Many Employees Aren’t Prepared
To Attract and Retain
Federal Student Loan Forbearance Is Ending, but Many Employees Aren’t Prepared
Millennial Investors Overshadowed by Memories of ’08 Financial Crisis
Millennials entering the work force today share grim memories of the financial crisis that struck the globe between 2007 and 2008, when several of their adult counterparts saw their savings and investments significantly diminish. And for many Millennials, that time solidified their attitudes on investing in the market, according to a Global Investment Survey by Legg Mason Global Asset Management. The firm found that 85% of U.S. Millennials consider themselves to be somewhat or very conservative investors.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
A new tool from dailyVest will provide defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors with the ability to manage plan health, help improve employees’ financial wellness, and reduce fiduciary risk.  Read more >
Investment Products and Services Launches
John Hancock continues reducing mutual fund fees; Rise Financial opens its doors for socially responsible investing; Firms partner on portfolio analytics system; and more.  Read more >
Economic Events

The Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.1% in June after no change in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced. In June, prices for final demand services increased 0.2% and the index for final demand goods climbed 0.1%. Final demand prices advanced 2.0% for the 12 months ending in June. 

In the week ending July 8, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 247,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 250,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 245,750, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 243,500.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.03%, up from 3.96% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.29%, up from 3.22%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 20.95 points (0.10%) to finish at 21,553.09, the NASDAQ closed 13.27 points (0.21%) higher at 6,274.44, and the S&P 500 was up 4.58 points (0.19%) at 2,447.83. The Russell 2000 increased by 1.34 (0.09%) to 1,425.66, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 45.98 points (0.18%) to 25,456.99. 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 6/32, increasing its yield to 2.342%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.915%.

We previously reported that Connecticut passed a conflict-of-interest bill for non-ERISA 403(b)s. Newly obtained text of the bill as signed by the governor reveals it only pertains to plans offered by political subdivisions of the state.  Read more >
IRS Updates Procedures for Applying for Suspension of Benefits
The Internal Revenue Service (IR) has issued Revenue Procedure 2017-43 containing revised procedures for applications for a suspension of benefits under a multiemployer defined benefit pension (DB) plan that is in critical and declining status. Read more >
Stiff Prison Sentence for Retirement Plan Embezzler
A man whom the Department of Labor (DOL) says embezzled $150,000 from an employee benefit plan sponsored by a pool company has been sentenced to 12 years in prison. The DOL says the man used investor funds for a variety of ends—to renovate his home, take vacations, make credit card payments, make payments to personal iTunes and Amazon accounts, make contributions to local charitable organizations, and to make mortgage payments on his home.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1789, the French Revolution began when Parisians stormed the Bastille prison and released the seven prisoners inside. In 1798, the U.S. Congress passed the Sedition Act. The act made it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the U.S. government. In 1868, Alvin J. Fellows patented the tape measure. In 1914, Robert H. Goddard patented liquid rocket-fuel. In 1945, American battleships and cruisers bombarded the Japanese home islands for the first time. In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock’s “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care” was first published. In 1951, the George Washington Carver National Monument in Joplin, Missouri, became the first national park to honor an African American. In 1965, the American space probe Mariner 4 flew by Mars, and sent back photographs of the planet. In 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft became the first space mission to explore Pluto.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

When you just can’t get to, or afford going to, the amusement park.  Read more >
A news reporter’s frustration is caught on camera.Read more >
In Brighton, England, a Ferrari driver ignored warning signs about not parking on the ninth level of the city’s marina parking deck overnight on Saturdays. He returned Sunday morning to find his sports car surrounded by stalls, vendors and shoppers. The Marina holds a flea market on that deck on Sundays. “He had to drive through the market making sure he didn’t hit any customers or traders’ goods that they spread out on the floor,” a witness who filmed the incident told video site Newsflare.


In Muskogee, Oklahoma, police arrested a man on six felony warrants and were leading him to a police car when he made an unusual request. “I asked the officer if I could propose,” the man told CNN. “The officer said, ‘You want to do what?’ and I said, ‘I want to propose to her.’” In police body camera footage of the encounter, the man can be heard telling his girlfriend, “I love you. Will you be my wife, please?” The girlfriend agreed and an officer switched the man’s handcuffs from the back to the front so he could place the engagement ring on her finger.


In San Francisco, California, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is hearing arguments in a case about whether a monkey owns the rights to his selfies. A lower court judge ruled against the monkey last year, saying there was no indication that Congress intended to extend copyright protection to animals. According to the Associated Press, the monkey is a free-living crested macaque who snapped the pictures with an unattended camera in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2011. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) sought a court order in 2015 allowing it to administer all proceeds from the photos to benefit the monkey. British nature photographer David Slater, whose camera the monkey used, says the British copyright for the photos obtained by his company, Wildlife Personalities Ltd., should be honored worldwide.


In Bismarck, North Dakota, the state wants to preserve the 10,000-square-foot home that has housed North Dakota’s governor for 57 years, while making way for a larger $5 million mansion. It is accepting proposals from people who can have the home if they can move it. The home needs to be moved by September. A home that size and old could cost at least $250,000 to move, said a local house mover, according to the Associated Press.


In Lakefield, Massachusetts, a man has gotten drivers to slow down for years with the help of a life-sized cutout of a police cruiser posted in his driveway. He told WFXT-TV he got the life-sized Crown Victoria sign from a friend who owned a salvage yard. He puts it outside his home on weekends and during holidays to slow down drivers in the area. The sign is reflective at night. He says town police are OK with the sign, but some passing drivers have given offensive hand gestures.


In Ross, Pennsylvania, a homeowner tied the battery-operated clock to a string in September 2004 and lowered it inside the wall so the beeping alarm would pinpoint the spot he needed to drill for a TV cable. But the clock fell off the string and has been beeping at 6:50 p.m. or 7:50 p.m. each day, depending on whether it’s Daylight Savings Time. A heating and air contractor saw the story on the local CBS news station, and went to the homeowners to offer to remove it. After nearly 14 years, the clock has been removed through a garage vent.


In Mankato, Minnesota, a couple had their dream wedding and asked the bride’s 92-year-old grandmother to be the flower girl. According to the local NBC News station, pushing her walker down the grass aisle, she tossed a path of flower petals as guests cheered and applauded. As she finished her duties and sat down, she said with a laugh, “That was hard work!”


Have a wonderful weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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