Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 10th, 2018

2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year: United Hardware Distributing Company

Full Profiles of our 2018 Plan Sponsor of the Year award winners are now online. Read about the effort United Hardware Distributing Company puts into helping employees save for retirement, despite mostly modest incomes of employees and a high turnover rate. Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Simple Steps to Provide Successful Student Loan Repayment Benefits
Student debt management is a complex and delicate issue that has a significant impact on employees’ broad financial wellness—but providing support can be straightforward from the plan sponsor perspective. Read more >
FedEx Transfers Some Pension Obligations to MetLife
MetLife has banded together with FedEx to offer annuity benefits to 41,000 retirees and beneficiaries in FedEx’s defined benefit (DB) pension plans. According to MetLife, the pension risk transfer (PRT) agreement involves pension obligations of $6 billion—a grouping of cash and assets from the pensions plans. Read more >
Increased Interest Rates Boost DB Plans’ Funded Status in April
Firms that track defined benefit (DB) plan funded ratios also noted that slight gains in equity markets improved plans’ funded status during the month. Read more >
Workers Willing to Pay More for More Generous Retirement Benefits
Sixty-six percent of U.S. workers said they would be willing to pay higher costs for more generous retirement benefits, and 61% would pay more for a guaranteed retirement benefit, according to the 2017 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey by Willis Towers Watson. However, only 38% are willing to pay more for an improved health care plan, and 49% are willing to pay more to have lower, predictable health care costs. More than half (55%) say they believe their retirement plan meets their needs, but only 27% say that educational programs, such as financial wellness, meet their needs. Read more >
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Economic Events

March sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $497.9 billion, up 0.3% from the revised February level and up 7.3% from the March 2017 level, the Census Bureau announced. The January to February percent change was revised from the preliminary estimate of up 1% to up 1.1%.

 

The Producer Price Index for final demand rose 0.1% in April, as prices for final demand services advanced 0.1%, while the index for final demand goods was unchanged, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The final demand index increased 2.6% for the 12 months ending in April.

Sponsored message from Wells Fargo
Minds, Hearts, and Souls: ESG as a Catalyst for Plan Success
New research: Actions you can take to meet the changing ESG needs of your participants. Read more >
Market Mirror

Wednesday, the Dow increased 182.33 points (0.75%) to 24,542.54, the NASDAQ climbed 73.00 points (1.00%) to 7,339.91, and the S&P 500 gained 25.87 points (0.97%) to finish at 2,697.79. The Russell 2000 was up 9.66 points (0.61%) at 1,596.05, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 250.02 points (0.90%) higher at 28,078.62.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 6/32, increasing its yield to 3.001%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 17/32, bringing its yield up to 3.159%.

Compliance
ESOP Fiduciaries to Pay More Than $2 Million to Settle DOL Lawsuit
In ongoing litigation filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont has entered a consent judgment requiring the fiduciaries of the Sonnax Industries’ employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to pay $2,225,000 to the plan. The judgment resolves alleged violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) stemming from the ESOP’s 2011 purchase of Sonnax Industries Inc., a Bellows Falls, Vermont, supplier of automotive drivetrain products. Read more >
IRS Warns Nonprofits Not to Lose Tax-Exempt Status
Organizations that fail to file annual Form 990 returns for three consecutive years will see their federal tax exemptions automatically revoked, which will have an effect on offering 403(b) retirement plans. Read more >
Investing
BNY Mellon Master Trust Universe Sees First Negative Result in 10 Quarters
The BNY Mellon U.S. Master Trust returned a median -0.39% in the first quarter of this year, the first negative result in 10 quarters. Corporate and health care plans fared the worst, with quarterly returns of -1.14% and -0.71%, respectively. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1503, Christopher Columbus discovered the Cayman Islands. In 1773, the English Parliament passed the Tea Act, which taxed all tea in the U.S. colonies. In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irvinville, Georgia. In 1869, Central Pacific and Union Pacific Rail Roads met in Promontory, Utah. A golden spike was driven in at the celebration of the first transcontinental railroad in the U.S. In 1872, Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for the U.S. presidency. In 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1942, U.S. forces in the Philippines began to surrender to the Japanese. In 1943, U.S. troops invaded Attu in the Aleutian Islands to expel the Japanese. In 1960, the U.S.S. Triton completed the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip started on February 16. In 1962, Marvel Comics published the first issue of “The Incredible Hulk.” In 1969, the National and American Football Leagues announced their plans to merge for the 1970-71 season. In 2011, it was announced that Microsoft had closed a deal to purchase the internet phone service Skype for $8.5 billion.

SURVEY SAYS: Moms are good at offering words of wisdom, advice or comfort—from the clichéd ones all moms use to more personal ones that come from experience. This week, I’d like to know, what words of wisdom, advice or comfort do you remember your mom telling you? You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today. Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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