Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
July 7th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Employees Want a Full Suite of Benefits
Sixty-five percent of employers are asking their broker or consultant to recommend new and innovative benefits solutions, MetLife found in its 15th annual employee benefit trends study. The survey found that forty-nine percent of employees are anxious about their financial wellbeing, and 40% would like their employer to provide financial security. Fifty-eight percent of employees want customized benefit options, and 43% expect to delay their retirement due to their financial situation.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
BlackRock moving listing venue for 50 iShares ETFs, and Nuveen enters closed-end fund merger.  Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
IRS Announces 2020 Contribution and Benefit Limits
2
The Odds Are Split for Senate SECURE Act Passage This Year
3
Pension Risk Transfer Appetite Is Unabated
4
Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019
5
Why Americans Need the SECURE Act
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May decreased $2.5 billion or 1.1% to $228.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This decrease, down two consecutive months, followed a 0.9% April decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.1%. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 0.6%. Transportation equipment, also down two consecutive months, drove the decrease, $2.7 billion or 3.4% to $75.4 billion.

In the week ending July 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 248,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 244,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 243,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 242,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.96%, up from 3.88% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.22%, up from 3.17%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 158.13 points (0.74%) at 21,320.04, the NASDAQ lost 61.39 points (1.00%) to finish at 6,089.46, and the S&P 500 decreased 22.79 points (0.94%) to 2,409.75. The Russell 2000 fell 19.33 points (1.36%) to 1,400.81, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 245.59 points (0.97%) lower at 25,059.75.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 12/32, bringing its yield up to 2.364%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 2/32, increasing its yield to 2.901%.

 

Compliance
Short Window Opens for Fiduciary Rule RFI Responses
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor (DOL) last week announced it would imminently circulate a request for information (RFI) in connection with its examination of the final fiduciary rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (IRC). Today the RFI language has been formally entered into the Federal Register, officially starting the 15-day comment period that applies to some aspects of the RFI. Read more >
IRS Changes Pre-Approved Plan Opinion Letter Program
The IRS says it is modifying its historic approach to pre-approved plans in order to encourage employers that currently maintain individually designed plans to convert to the pre-approved format.  Read more >
Investing
Public Pensions Should Weigh Pros and Cons of Alternative Investments
Hedge funds have been producing low returns, but slightly less volatility, while other alternative investments are associated with more volatility, a study found. Read more >
ERISA Plans Require Strong Subadvisory Due Diligence
New research from Cerulli Associates examines how investment managers looking to enter the business of subadvising must prepare for the rigorous due diligence involved. While the findings are focused on asset managers and their business outlook, the results also should offer some insight to retirement plan professionals tasked with selecting and monitoring multi-asset-class mutual fund investments. The Cerulli analysis suggests, for example, that some asset managers struggle more than others with compliance in the institutional space.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1846, U.S. annexation of California was proclaimed at Monterey after the surrender of a Mexican garrison. In 1930, construction began on Boulder Dam, later Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River. In 1950, the U.N. Security Council authorized military aid for South Korea. In 1981, U.S. President Ronald Reagan announced he was nominating Arizona Judge Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1994, Amazon.com, Inc. was founded in Seattle, Washington under the name “Cadabra.”

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

During rainstorms, you may have to watch out for flooding, high winds—and porta-potties.  Read more >
Unfortunately, this news reporter picked a very rude young customer to interview in his piece about fireworks.  Read more >
And, in Hermosa Beach, California, this reporter got something she didn’t bargain for when covering the beer-chugging part of an Ironman competition.  Read more >
Near Concord, New Hampshire, WMUR-TV reports a minivan pulled over on Wednesday had furniture, bicycles and boxes strapped to the roof and a wheeled basket dangling over the back window. There was also a furniture dolly hanging against a driver’s side window. The items on the roof doubled the height of the van. Police issued the driver a ticket for negligent driving and having an uninspected vehicle. [pic]  Read more >

In Yunnan Province, China, a tourist was trying on a jade bracelet when a salesperson told her about the bracelet’s $44,000 price tag, according to People’s Daily. When she tried to take the bracelet off, it slipped off her wrist to the floor, where it broke into two pieces. Shoppers and staff attempted to calm the woman, but she started sweating, turned pale and fainted over the jewelry display, according to the report. Jewelry store staff told the woman they would lower the price of the bracelet to $25,000 to resolve the matter, but the woman said she could only afford to pay $1,500. Police were unable to get the two parties to reach an agreement.

In Boston, Massachusetts, a man was driving on Lake Road early in the morning, Fox 25 Boston reports. His GPS advised him to continue heading straight, which wound up plunging his car into Swan Pond. By the time emergency responders arrived, the car was completely underwater. The man and the other rider in the car were fine, though police cited the man for “operating a motor vehicle with a revoked license.”

In Little River, South Carolina, the Sun News reports that a man walked inside a convenience store and demanded money while holding a knife. A police report says the “unfazed” clerk didn’t give the man money and told him to leave. The man realized his efforts were going nowhere and apologized, put the knife back in his pocket and left.

 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Share the news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along and tell your friend/association they can sign up for their own copy.  Read more >

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

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