Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 2nd, 2017
Benefits & Administration
A survey definitively found that employees want and expect their employers to help them manage their finances.  Read more >
Using the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 database as of October 28, 2016, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) finds that for single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans, using the smoothed assets as allowed and smoothed bond rates require by current law to discount the liability, the 2014 total funding target liability of $1.9 trillion was 98% funded, with and unfunded liability of $30 billion.  Read more >
Financial Stress Often Tied to Family Structure
According to an MFS survey, just four in 10 women are confident in their ability to address financial concerns and just one-third of women surveyed are confident they’ll be able to save enough for retirement.  Read more >
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
Defined Benefit Plans May Have New Life
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Which are the most northern, southern, eastern and western U.S. States?
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Technology Reshaping Participant Communications
A new study finds plan providers are turning to cloud-based technology and other solutions to enhance targeted communications toward different age groups.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Mutual of Omaha Retirement Services launched a new website to supplement its Imagine Retirement Right participant engagement methodology. “Once an employee understands what he or she is saving for, that individual is more motivated to engage in their retirement planning process and seek out a meeting with their plan adviser,” says John Corrieri with Mutual of Omaha.  Read more >
Investment Products and Services Launches
MFS adds R6 Shares to 20 more mutual funds; T. Rowe Price releases High Yield Fund; Vanguard announces latest fund expense changes; and more.  Read more >
Sponsored message from Milliman
Imagine a retirement plan with predictable contributions and lifelong income. Sound impossible? We’re actuaries – we’ll show you the math.Read more >
Economic Events

Construction spending during April was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,218.5 billion, 1.4% below the revised March estimate of $1,235.5 billion, the Census Bureau reported. The April figure is 6.7% above the April 2016 estimate of $1,142.5 billion. During the first four months of this year, construction spending amounted to $359.5 billion, 5.8% above the $339.7 billion for the same period in 2016.

In the week ending May 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 248,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 235,000, the Labor Department announced. The four-week moving average was 238,000, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 235,500.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.94%, down from 3.95% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.19%, unchanged from one week ago.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was up 135.53 points (0.65%) at 21,144.18, the NASDAQ closed 48.31 points (0.78%) higher at 6,246.83, and the S&P 500 increased 18.26 points (0.76%) to 2,430.06. The Russell 2000 climbed 25.85 points (1.89%) to 1,396.05, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 234.86 points (0.94%) to finish at 25,276.20.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 2/32, increasing its yield to 2.212%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 3/32, bringing its yield up to 2.867%.

Industry Voices
Barry’s Pickings Online: The End of PAYGO?
Michael Barry, president of the Plan Advisory Services Group, contemplates what will happen to the pay-as-you-go retirement systems as demographics change.Read more >
Automatic Savings Plans Drive Better Investment Returns
During the five-year period through December 31, 2016, a Morninstar study found that investor returns across the globe varied from stated returns, on average, by a range of -1.40% to 0.53% per year. However, investors achieved better outcomes when using systematic investment programs and invested in lower-cost funds. In the U.S., target-date funds (TDFs) have consistently had positive gaps because U.S. investors contribute to their 401(k) savings with every paycheck. “This is a structure that many regulators around the world are considering as a way to encourage retirement savings,” the report says.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1774, the Quartering Act, which required American colonists to allow British soldiers into their houses, was re-enacted. In 1835, P.T. Barnum launched his first traveling show. In 1886, Grover Cleveland became the second U.S. president to get married while in office. He was the first to have a wedding in the White House. In 1924, all American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship by the U.S. Congress. In 1935, George Herman “Babe” Ruth announced that he was retiring from baseball. In 1954, U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy charged that there were communists working in the CIA and atomic weapons plants. In 1966, Surveyor 1, the U.S. space probe, landed on the moon and started sending photographs back to Earth of the Moon’s surface. It was the first soft landing on the Moon. In 1985, R.J. Reynolds Company proposed a major merger with Nabisco that would create a $4.9 billion conglomerate. In 1995, Captain Scott F. O’Grady’s U.S. Air Force F-16C was shot down by Bosnian Serbs. He was rescued six days later.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

I think in baby talk this means, “Get off the couch!”Read more >
Minor league baseball player strikes out with one pitch.  Read more >
Google has released its 2017 top searched “how to spell” words by State. [pic]  Read more >
In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a man loves resting on the rocks by the sea—wearing a colorful mermaid tail. “It’s a lifestyle, a way of expressing my love and respect for the sea and this encounter between two worlds. When I’m in the water I feel like another person,” he told Agence France-Presse as he leisured on rocks with his handmade tail glittering in the sun.


In Brentwood, Tennessee, a high school girl got acceptance to Yale University with an essay written about ordering pizza. The Tennessean reports she was accepted to the Ivy League school in March, with an admissions officer noting her standout answer to a short-essay prompt to write about something she loves to do: order pizza from Papa John’s. However, she’ll be attending Auburn University, saying she felt it was a better fit and liked the scholarships.


In New York City, a nursing student was on a train to attend his graduation ceremony at Manhattan’s Hunter College. He was dressed in his cap and gown, but the subway got stuck. He told CBS New York he was upset at first as minutes turned to hours. Finally, his friend played a graduation song and the whole subway car got in on the act. His friend handed him a mock diploma and shook his hand as passengers wished him well. He finally arrived at the real commencement just as it was ending.


In Sussex, Wisconsin, a water tower just has the word “S.EX” on it. A contractor told TODAY’S TMJ4 that it wasn’t their initial intention to leave the tower in that state, but explained that workers ran into a venting issue, and had to stop the job in order to let the paint dry. The tower is getting a new logo and workers were applying a layer of primer. Workers are expected to cover up the unfortunate message, but still have to work on the other side of the tower that still reads “Sussex.”  And, the contractor couldn’t guarantee that the same thing won’t happen again.


Have a great weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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