Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
March 4th, 2016
Benefits & Administration
Americans Lack Saving and Investing Confidence
The majority of Americans think saving for retirement today is more challenging than it was for their grandparents, in part because investing is more complex.Read more >
Disparities in Retirement Assets Growing
“The State of American Retirement,” a paper from the Economic Policy Institute, looks at the retirement prospects of working-age families, focusing especially on retirement account savings. Disparities by income, race, ethnicity, education, and marital status are growing, the report says.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Trust for Associations Launched
Through the ASAE Retirement Trust, organizations gain access to institutional pricing that’s often out of reach for many associations and nonprofit organizations, the company says.Read more >
Data and Research
Student Loan Repayments Expected to Derail Employees’ Retirement Savings
Social Security Administration Cannot Calculate 2024 COLA if Government Shuts Down
Senate Committee Passes Bill Permitting Marijuana Industry Employers to Sponsor Retirement Plans
Investment Product and Service Launches
Northern Trust subsidiary joins forces with alternatives specialist Aurora Investment Management; Vanguard Launches international high-dividend yield index fund and dividend appreciation index fund.Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured goods in January, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $7.5 billion or 1.6% to $463.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This followed a 2.9% December decrease. Shipments, up following six consecutive monthly decreases, increased $1.4 billion or 0.3% to $468.4 billion. Unfilled orders, up three of the last four months, increased $0.6 billion or 0.1% to $1,188.1 billion. The unfilled orders-to-shipments ratio was 6.93, down from 7.08 in December. Inventories, down seven consecutive months, decreased $2.7 billion or 0.4% to $637.5 billion. The inventories-to-shipments ratio was 1.36, down from 1.37 in December.

In the week ending February 27, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 278,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 272,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 270,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 272,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.64%, up from 3.62% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.94%, up from 2.93%.
Market Mirror

Stocks notched another day of modest gains Thursday as the energy sector continues to recover, according to the Associated Press. The Dow closed 44.58 points (0.26%) higher at 16,943.90, the NASDAQ was up 4.00 points (0.09%) at 4,707.42, and the S&P 500 increased 6.94 points (0.35%) to 1,993.29. The Russell 2000 gained 38.86 points (3.75%) to finish at 1,076.04, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 91.62 points (0.45%) to 20,412.78.                                       

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a 3 to1 lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.6 advancing issue for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 4/32, bringing its yield up to 1.841%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased, bringing its yield down to 2.687%.
ERISA Pre-empts State Requirements for Health Plans
In a case regarding whether Liberty Mutual Insurance Company’s health plan for employees must be compelled to comply with a Vermont law requiring reporting of payments relating to health care claims and other information relating to health care services to a state agency for compilation in an all-inclusive health care database, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pre-empts Vermont’s statute as applied to ERISA plans.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1681, England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn for an area that later became the state of Pennsylvania. In 1766, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act, which had caused bitter and violent opposition in the U.S. colonies. In 1789, the first Congress of the United States met in New York and declared that the U.S. Constitution was in effect. In 1791, Vermont was admitted as the 14th U.S. state—the first addition to the original 13 American colonies. In 1794, the 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. The Amendment limited the jurisdiction of the federal courts to automatically hear cases brought against a state by the citizens of another state. Later interpretations expanded this to include citizens of the state being sued, as well. In 1826, the first railroad in the U.S. was chartered. It was the Granite Railway in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1902, the American Automobile Association was founded in Chicago. In 1917, Jeanette Rankin of Montana took her seat as the first woman elected to the House of Representatives. In 1925, Calvin Coolidge took the oath of office in Washington, D.C. The presidential inauguration was broadcast on radio for the first time. In 1933, Labor Secretary Frances Perkins became the first woman to serve in a Presidential administrative cabinet. In 1950, Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” was released across the U.S. In 1954, in Boston, Peter Bent Brigham Hospital reported the first successful kidney transplant. In 1974, “People” magazine was available for the first time. In 1989, Time, Inc. and Warner Communications Inc. announced a plan to merge. In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court said that federal law banned on-the-job se.xual harassment even when both parties are the same gender.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!
Helpful other uses for hair dryers.Read more >
Some of these interesting paper tricks could be entertainment for kids stuck in the house.Read more >

In Richmond, Virginia, a woman at a Wendy’s drive-thru was asked to pull forward and park while her meal was being finished. Later, a worker brought out the wrong order. This made the woman angry, and she followed the worker back into the restaurant, cursing and threatening the manager, according to the local CBS news station. The woman then jumped over the counter and began a fight with the manager, at some point biting her knee. Police arrived and charged the woman with malicious wounding, as well as other charges.

In San Jacinto County, Texas, officers were dispatched to arrest a man on suspicion of credit card abuse. They found the man driving down the road in a pink Cadillac Escalade Power Wheels electric car. According to the Dayton (Texas) News, neighbors say the man used it as regular transport.
Man: Are you eyeballing my food? Dog: Not me.Read more >

In Calgary, Alberta, Canada, plumbers noticed something unusual amid a dusty pile of rubble while ripping apart a home’s bathroom. Under the bathtub was a shimmery thing, and when they dug it up, they discovered it was a cell-phone sized gold bar imprinted with a serial number and stamp of a well-known jeweler. According to the Calgary Herald, the plumbers’ research led them to believe it was worth more than $50,000. The plumbers believe the gold brick was stashed near the bathroom’s hot tub and over time was moved by the vibration of the motor. The homeowners had previously searched their bathroom for the lost treasure and said they were thrilled to be reunited with the missing chunk of money.

In Ontario, Canada, a mother, fed up with her 23-year-old son’s lack of appreciation for her supporting him, left a detailed invoice totaling more than $39,000 for her services in his room. The invoice includes charges for meals, contributions toward gifts, charges for cleaning the bathroom and vacuuming, prescription and education expenses, as well as a $1,000 charge for “not appreciating mother’s support.” According to the UK’s Metro, the mother said it was not a real invoice, but was done to prove a point. Online the son responded that it was a very effective technique for helping him realize how entitled he’s been acting.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!
Share the good 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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