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Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Closer Workforce Examination Is Key to Plan Sponsor Goal-Setting
Closer Workforce Examination Is Key to Plan Sponsor Goal-Setting
Examining workforce demographics and using benchmarks are helpful when setting goals for a retirement plan.
DOL Issues Warning About Crypto Assets in DC Plans
The lead regulator of employer-sponsored retirement plans says cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are subject to a variety of issues that make them untenable—at least at this stage—for investment by plan participants.
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Data and Research
Student Loan Repayments Expected to Derail Employees’ Retirement Savings
Social Security Administration Cannot Calculate 2024 COLA if Government Shuts Down
Data and Research
Defined Contribution Plans Climb for 4th Straight Quarter
Economic Events
In February, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers rose 0.8%, seasonally adjusted, and rose 7.9% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.5% in February (SA); up 6.4% over the year (NSA).

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.8% in February, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings were essentially unchanged, and the CPI-U increased 0.8%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.5% over the month.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.85% for the week ending March 10, up from last week when it averaged 3.76%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.05%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.09%, an increase from last week when it was 3.01%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.38%.

In the week ending March 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 227,000, an increase of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 216,000, the Labor Department reported.  The four-week moving average was 231,250, an increase of 500 from the previous week’s revised average of 230,750.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow closed 112.18 points (0.34%) lower at 33,174.07, the Nasdaq lost 125.58 points (0.95%) to finish at 13,129.96, and the S&P 500 decreased 18.36 points (0.43%) to 4,259.52. The Russell 2000 was down 4.62 points (0.23%) at 2,011.67, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 184.44 points (0.43%) to 42,943.91.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 25/32, bringing its yield up to 1.992%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 28/32, increasing its yield to 2.368%.
Data and Research
Corporate DB Plans See Slight Funded Status Improvement in February
Discount rate and equity market volatility is expected to continue.
Many Women Investors Report Increased Retirement Readiness Confidence
While making more progress on retirement readiness, women still value professional help to reach their financial goals.  
Study Shows the Value of DC Plans for Employees
An ICI survey also found defined contribution plan participants want to maintain control of their investments. Fortunately, most plans offer guardrails for those that would harm themselves by doing so.
Small Talk
SURVEY SAYS: A better work-life balance is what some employees are looking for during this period called the “great resignation.” Some people were able to achieve better work-life balance while working remotely; however, sometimes working remotely can blur the lines between work and life. This week, I’d like to know, how do you feel about your work-life balance and how often do you work outside of normal business hours? I’d also like you to share some “rules to live by” for achieving better work-life balance. You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.
ON THIS DATE: In 1779, Congress established the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help plan, design and prepare environmental and structural facilities for the U.S. Army. In 1888, one of the worst blizzards in American history slammed the Northeast, and more than 400 people died when the storm dumped as much as 55 inches of snow in some areas. In 1903, Lawrence Welk, a multifaceted entertainer and bandleader, and the host of the long-running eponymous variety show bearing his name, was born. In 1997, Paul McCartney, a former member of The Beatles rock band, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his “services to music.”  In 2009, the Toyota Motor Company announced it had sold over one million gas-electric hybrid vehicles in the U.S. under its six Toyota and Lexus brands. In 2020, in a primetime Oval Office address, then-President Donald Trump announced a 30-day travel ban on foreign travel to the U.S. from most European countries as COVID-19 cases surged across the globe.

And now it’s time for some FRIDAY FUN!
This little boy perfectly shows how we all feel sometimes going to work or school.

A donkey finds it humorous when a dog gets shocked pinged by an electric fence.

In Orlando, Florida, a restored version of the world’s longest car broke its own Guinness World Record when it was officially measured at 100 feet and 1.5 inches long. UPI says the super limousine, known as the American Dream, was originally built in 1986 by car customizer Jay Ohrberg and measured 60 feet long. He later extended the vehicle to 100 feet long to obtain the Guinness World Record for the longest car. It has a putting green and a pool. The vehicle made appearances in film before eventually ending up in a New Jersey warehouse, where it sat for several years. A couple of purchases later, the limo is now restored.

If you’re a fan of the “Edward Scissorhands” movie, you can obtain the ultimate memorabilia in Lutz, Florida. The home used for the movie is on sale for just under $700 thousand. UPI reports that the house has been remodeled to make the interior resemble the sets that served as the inside of the house in the film, and it is stocked with memorabilia including authentic and reproduced props, an original script used by the movie’s pop master and a life-sized Edward Scissorhands mannequin.

And speaking of movies, in McKinney, Texas, a screening of “The Batman” came to life for moviegoers when a bat caused chaos in the theater. According to UPI, Videos captured by people there show the bat flying across the screen and fleeing from pursuing cinema employees. The theater confirmed that a moviegoer released the bat as a prank.

Wishing you all a safe and happy weekend!
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