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PLANSPONSOR NEWSDASH LOGO March 23rd, 2020
Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
UpFront
What the SECURE Act Does, and When
A timeline of effective dates for provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act.
Compliance
401(k) Plan Fiduciaries to Pay for Failure to Remit Participant Loan Repayments
A court judgment requires the fiduciaries to not only restore the unremitted repayments to the plan, but also $16,782.80 in interest on the unremitted loan repayments.
Most Read
Administration
Rules for Retaining Benefit Plan Records
Compliance
Effect of the Biden Administration on Health and Retirement Benefits
Benefits
What Happens When Student Loan Payment Deferral Ends?
SPONSORED BY: Mercer
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Mercer’s OCIO Solutions free your team from the day-to-day of managing your plan so they can focus on driving strategic value. Click to schedule a free consultation from the #1 OCIO provider.
Economic Events
Existing-home sales climbed substantially in February after a slight decline in January, according to the National Association of Realtors. Of the four major regions, only the Northeast reported a drop in sales, while other areas saw increases, including sizable sales gains in the West. Total existing-home sales, completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 6.5% from January to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5.77 million in February. Additionally, for the eighth straight month, overall sales greatly increased year-over-year, up 7.2% from a year ago (5.38 million in February 2019).

Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about new home sales in February. Wednesday, it will report about durable goods orders for February. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
Market Mirror
Friday, the Dow lost 913.21 points (4.55%) to finish at 19,173.98, the NASDAQ closed 271.06 points (3.79%) lower at 6,879.52, and the S&P 500 decreased 104.47 points (4.34%) to 2,304.92. The Russell 2000 was down 23.36 points (2.25%) at 1,014.05, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 982.71 points (4.08%) to 23,081.65.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 2 7/32, bringing its yield down to 0.880%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 8 24/32, decreasing its yield to 1.460%.

For the week ending March 20, the Dow fell 17.30%, the NASDAQ was down 12.63%, and the S&P 500 decreased 14.98%. The Russell 2000 lost 16.13%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 14.96% lower.
Benefits
Employers Can Offer Financial Help to Participants Without Dipping Into Retirement Savings
Because the coronavirus was designated a disaster under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, qualified disaster relief payments are permitted.
Investing
Retiring Soon? Stay Put in the Markets.
Hopefully participants closest to retirement are conservatively invested, but either way, the message from retirement plan sponsors should be the same—stay the course with investments.
Fidelity Shares Lessons for Enduring Market Volatility
Baby Boomers’ average 401(k) account balance in June 2007 was $115,000, but those who continued to contribute to their account saw that balance grow to $315,000 as of this past June.
SPONSORED BY: Fidelity
The Benefits Balancing Act
Offering more benefits typically leads to recruitment success, but it’s not as simple when it comes to retention.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1775, during a speech before the second Virginia Convention, Patrick Henry responded to the increasingly oppressive British rule over the American colonies by declaring, “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” In 1806, explorers Lewis and Clark reached the Pacific coast, and began their return journey to the east. 1839, the first recorded printed use of “OK” [oll korrect] occurred in Boston’s Morning Post. In 1840, the first successful photo of the Moon was taken. In 1857, Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City. In 1858, Eleazer A. Gardner patented the cable streetcar. In 1868, the University of California was founded in Oakland, California. In 1903, the Wright brothers obtained an airplane patent. In 1932, the Norris-LaGuardia Act established workers’ right to strike. In 1942, during World War II, the U.S. government began evacuating Japanese-Americans from West Coast homes to detention centers. In 1951, U.S. paratroopers descended from flying boxcars in a surprise attack in Korea. In 1965, America’s first two-person space flight took off from Cape Kennedy with astronauts Virgil I. Grissom and John W. Young aboard. The craft was the Gemini 3. In 1972, motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel broke 93 bones after jumping 35 cars. In 1990, former Exxon Valdez Captain Joseph Hazelwood was ordered to help clean up Prince William Sound and pay $50,000 in restitution for the 1989 oil spill. In 1993, U.N. experts announced that record ozone lows had been registered over a large area of the Western Hemisphere. In 1994, Wayne Gretzky broke Gordie Howe’s National Hockey League (NHL) career record with his 802nd goal. In 1998, the movie “Titanic” won 11 Oscars at the Academy Awards. In 2011, actress Elizabeth Taylor, who appeared in more than 50 films and won two Academy Awards, died from complications from congestive heart failure at a Los Angeles hospital at age 79.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NEWSDash readers, “Has your firm increased participant communication because of the coronavirus?” I also asked them to share any ideas they have for helping participants remain calm during this trying time. Half of responding readers indicated their companies have increased participant communications because of the coronavirus. An interesting recommendation, in my opinion, was to help participants focus on the shares they hold and not the balance. “Shares are still there even if the balance is going up and down,” the reader said. Communications could go further to show how by accumulating more shares with their contributions, when the market is up their balance will be even higher than if they didn’t purchase those shares. A big thank you to all who participated in the survey.
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