Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 30th, 2018
2018 Plan Sponsors of the Year
2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year Winners
The 2018 PLANSPONSOR Plan Sponsor of the Year winners in nine categories were announced at our Excellence in Retirement awards dinner last night in New York City. Profiles of the winners, as well as all finalists, can be viewed online.Read more >
Webcast Event
Join us next Tuesday for a webcast in which sources will discuss innovation in the world of financial wellness, including how health savings accounts, or HSAs, are becoming a part of the retirement conversation. The session will also cover how the combination of innovative defined contribution plan design and investment solutions can help meet the unique objectives of participants approaching or in retirement.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Americans Reflect on How Stock Market Volatility Will Affect Plans to Retire
Lately, retirement plan participants have seen how volatile markets can be, with the Dow plunging nearly 3,000 points in early February, and the markets swinging wildly since then. More than half of Americans (52%) say they are financially prepared if the Dow were to lose an additional 6,000 points, yet only 28% actually have a financial safety plan in place. Six in 10 (61%) survey respondents are simply not sure how long it would delay their ability to save for retirement should a 6,000-point drop in the Dow occur. The survey also revealed that, among those Americans with access to a retirement savings vehicle, only 46% say they are contributing as much as they would like.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?”
Study Reveals Financial Wellness Needs of Employees
Employees are racking up credit card debt and borrowing from retirement savings to pay for unexpected expenses, a survey finds. “With employees’ financial stress affecting an organization’s bottom line in terms of productivity, higher absenteeism and more health care claims, employers today are compelled to pay more attention to their employees’ financial well-being,” says Scott Rosenberg, president of Purchasing Power.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
JULY adds Stadion ETF to platform; Nationwide increases fund offerings with new ETF; and Fairpointe Capital releases ESG-centralized approach.Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending March 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 215,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 227,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since January 27, 1973, when it was 214,000. The four-week moving average was 224,500, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s revised average of 225,000.


The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.44%, down from 4.45% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.90%, down from 3.91%.
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was up 254.69 points (1.07%) at 24,103.11, the NASDAQ climbed 114.22 points (1.64%) to 7,063.45, and the S&P 500 closed 35.87 points (1.38%) higher at 2,640.87. The Russell 2000 increased 16.40 points (1.08%) to 1,529.43, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 373.66 points (1.38%) to finish at 27,410.72.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 12/32, bringing its yield down to 2.742%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 28/32, decreasing its yield to 2.977%.
ERIC and Oregon Retirement Savings Board Agree to Settle Lawsuit
Under the terms of the settlement, ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) members may inform the State of Oregon, if it asks, that they are ERIC members, and the state will verify their membership with ERIC to confirm their exemption from OregonSaves.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1822, Florida became a U.S. territory. In 1842, Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while his patient was anesthetized by ether. In 1858, Hyman L. Lipman of Philadelphia patented the pencil. In 1867, the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million dollars. In 1870, the 15th Amendment, guaranteeing the right to vote regardless of race, was passed by the U.S. Congress. In 1870, Texas was readmitted to the Union. In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge in New York City opened, linking Manhattan and Queens; it was the first double decker bridge. In 1944, the U.S. fleet attacked Palau, near the Philippines. In 1964, “Jeopardy” debuted on NBC-TV. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded by John W. Hinckley Jr. Two police officers and Press Secretary James Brady were also wounded. In 1998, Rolls-Royce was purchased by BMW in a $570 million deal. In 2009, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey confirmed that the new World Trade Center building would be officially known by its legal name of “One World Trade Center.”



And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
There’s something to be said about living on a farm—consider the extra babysitters.Read more >
This little girl provides a lesson on how to give yourself a pep talk in the morning.Read more >
This is what happens when you smack talk a goose.Read more >

In New York City, a bar has replaced a sign touting a special on shots with a new one. The new sign reads, in all caps, “Sorry but if you say the word ‘literally’ inside Continental you have 5 minutes to finish your drink and then you must leave. If you actually start a sentence with ‘I literally,’ you must leave immediately!!! This is the most overused, annoying word in the English language and we will not tolerate it.” The bar owner has since told Timeout New York that the sign is just a joke, and that his bar would be empty if he actually enforced the rule.


In New Haven, Connecticut, a suspected burglar apparently just needed a nap. A homeowner watched on surveillance video as someone broke into her home. Police were called to the scene and said they found the suspect sleeping on the homeowner’s couch. Nevertheless, according to the Associated Press, the man has been charged with third-degree burglary and first-degree criminal trespass.


In Sochi, Russia, orange snow has been falling in parts of Eastern Europe. According to the Associated Press, meteorologists said the snow from Siberia collided with dust-filled wind from the Sahara Desert in Africa. The orange snow has been spotted on mountains in Russia’s Sochi region, farther east in Georgia’s Adzharia region and at Romania’s Danube port of Galati.


In Bern, Switzerland, scientists have found those cute little rubber ducks used as bath-time toys can be dangerous. Swiss and American researchers counted the microbes swimming inside the toys and said the murky liquid released when ducks were squeezed contained “potentially pathogenic bacteria” in four out of the five toys studied. The bacteria included Legionella and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium “often implicated in hospital-acquired infections,” the authors said in a statement. The study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, ETH Zurich and the University of Illinois turned up a strikingly high volume—up to 75 million cells per square centimeter (0.15 square inch)—and variety of bacteria and fungus in the ducks, the Associated Press reports. Tap water doesn’t usually foster the growth of bacteria, the scientists said, but low-quality polymers in the plastic give them the nutrients they need. Bodily fluids—e.g., urine and sweat—as well as contaminants and even soap in bathwater add microbes and nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus and create balmy brine for bacteria. While certain amounts of bacteria can help strengthen children’s immune systems, they can also lead to eye, ear and intestinal infections, the researchers said. Among the vulnerable users: Children “who may enjoy squirting water from bath toys into their faces.”


Enjoy your weekend, everyone!
Share the news with a friend! Pass the NewsDash along and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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