Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
June 30th, 2017
From the Magazine
Shaking Things Up: The Case for Re-enrollment
Re-enrollment is a plan design strategy that helps many employees better their retirement outcomes by increasing participation and deferral rates and/or improving investment allocations. “If a plan sponsor cares about the financial well-being of its work force, [it] should care about this. And if a plan sponsor cares about employees transitioning into retirement in an orderly way, [it] should care about this,” says Jerry Patterson, senior vice president of retirement and income solutions at Principal Financial Group.  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
Goldman Sachs and Wisdom Tree introduce ETFs, and Manning & Napier and SEI roll out CITs.  Read more >
2021 Best in Class DC Providers
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Detailed Analysis of the Supreme Court’s Northwestern University Ruling
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
Could Retirement Plans Become Hard to Insure?
Economic Events

In the week ending June 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 244,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 242,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 242,250, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 245,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.88%, down from 3.90% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.17%, unchanged from one week ago.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow decreased 167.58 points (0.78%) to 21,297.03, the NASDAQ fell 90.06 points (1.44%) to 6,144.35, and the S&P 500 lost 20.99 points (0.86%) to finish at 2,419.70. The Russell 2000 was down 9.07 points (0.64%) at 1,416.19, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 204.49 points (0.81%) lower at 25,193.90.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 12/32, bringing its yield up to 2.270%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 25/32, increasing its yield to 2.817%.

Labor Secretary Says SEC Will Work With DOL on Fiduciary Rule
In addition, Acosta said the Department of Labor (DOL)’s budget proposal funds an effort to improve Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) disclosures to retirement plan participants.  Read more >
Asset-Based Fees Questioned in Nationwide ERISA Challenge
The text of the complaint takes a deep dive into the services generally provided by recordkeepers and administrators of ERISA plans—pushing the conclusion that asset-based fees are less rational or fair than per-participant fees.  Read more >
ESOP Did Not Meet Burden of Proof in Case Regarding Failed Transaction
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has found that an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) sponsor was required to prove a transitional trustee was at fault for a failed transaction and failed to do so. The appellate court first discussed where the burden of proof lies in ERISA cases.  Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1859, Charles Blondin became the first person to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. In 1921, U.S. President Warren G. Harding appointed former President William Howard Taft chief justice of the United States. In 1936, Margaret Mitchell’s book, “Gone with the Wind,” was published. In 1950, U.S. President Harry Truman ordered U.S. troops into Korea and authorized the draft. In 1953, the first Corvette rolled off the Chevrolet assembly line in Flint, Michigan. It sold for $3,250. In 1958, Congress passed a law authorizing the admission of Alaska as the 49th state in the Union. In 1971, the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment lowered the minimum voting age to 18. In 1994, the U.S. Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the 1994 national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan. In 1998, officials confirmed that the remains of a Vietnam War serviceman buried in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery were identified as those of Air Force pilot Michael J. Blassie. In 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the E-Signature bill to give the same legal validity to an electronic signature as a signature in pen and ink.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Irish weather man experiences winds he’s reporting.  Read more >
Unwanted visitors make this man run back on the porch.  Read more >
You won’t believe this gymnast is 91.  Read more >
In Chelsea, Massachusetts, a 2-year-old boy owes his life to a stuffed cow. The Boston Globe reports that the boy was bouncing on his bed and accidentally sailed right through an open window. He landed on a concrete slab in the backyard, but avoided serious injury because he was clutching his two-foot tall stuffed cow.

In Orlando, Florida, a man was stopped for driving without headlights. Police found a white power substance in his car and said a field test showed it tested positive for co.caine. The man said he repeatedly told officers that it was drywall, according to the Associated Press. He spent 90 days in jail before lab results determine it was drywall. The news report did not say whether the man is seeking restitution.

In Alpharetta, Georgia, police stopped a man for speeding. But the officer was not prepared for what he saw in the car. In the passenger seat was a life-sized alien doll with a seatbelt on. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the man did not explain why he had this “passenger.” The driver got off with a verbal warning—and some laughs from the officer—who took pictures and posted them on social media.

In Sydney, Australia, Opal cards are part of the smartcard ticketing system used for public transport services in the greater Sydney area and can be used for transport via bus, rail, light rail and ferry services within the city. The near-field communication chip within each of the cards is required for entering and exiting the transport stations. To avoid losing his card, a man had the near-field communication chip from an Opal card cut down, encased in bio-compatible plastic, and inserted into his body just beneath the skin on the side of his left hand, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. But, that wasn’t what struck me about the story. The man’s name is Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow.

At Shanghai Pudong International Airport in China, an airplane passenger’s superstitious actions ended up grounding a China Southern Airlines flight for several hours. The woman threw a handful of coins into an Airbus 320’s engine to “wish a safe flight,” according to police. Fellow travelers said they saw the elderly woman toss the change from halfway up the boarding staircase. Crew members ordered passengers who had already boarded off the aircraft so engineers could inspect the engine. They found one coin inside the engine and eight on the ground nearby, the South China Morning Post reports. The flight eventually departed about five hours later than scheduled.

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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