Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 16th, 2016
Webcast Event
As the evolution of defined contribution (DC) plans continues, behavioral research becomes increasingly important in identifying effective ways to help DC participants save and invest for retirement. Join us for a webcast discussion exploring how behavioral finance can be integrated into a DC plan to address various participant needs and behavioral constraints.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Individuals’ Expected Retirement Age Up Slightly
Although Americans now on average expect to retire at age 66, Gallup found that many retired Americans report they stopped working much earlier at an average of 61 years of age.Read more >
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: What do the M’s stand for in M&Ms?
2022 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
Maximum Benefit and Contribution Limits Table 2023
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Small Businesses Need Action to Expand Health Benefits Options
Small businesses are limited on offering employees health benefits, but they can take action to change that, says Vanessa M. Isaacson with Zane Benefits.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Aloise will lead HR Consulting at Xerox; Cafaro Greenleaf names head of Houston office; SageView hires retirement plan consultant, and more.Read more >
Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that the combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for March, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,289.2 billion, up 0.3% from February, but down 1.7% from March 2015.

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for April, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $453.4 billion, an increase of 1.3% from the previous month, and 3.0% above April 2015. Total sales for the February through April period were up 2.8% from the same period a year ago. Retail trade sales were up 1.4% from March, and up 2.7% from last year. Non-store retailers were up 10.2% from April 2015, while gasoline stations were down 9.4% from last year.

The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand rose 0.2% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Final demand prices declined 0.1% in March and 0.2% in February. In April, prices for final demand services edged up 0.1%, and the index for final demand goods advanced 0.2%.

THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the consumer price index (CPI) for April, and the Census Bureau will report about housing starts for April. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report, and Friday, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales.
Market Mirror

Major U.S. stock indices fell Friday afternoon, giving the market its third straight week of declines. According to the Associated Press, energy companies and banks bore the brunt of the selling as the price of crude oil fell. The Dow fell 185.18 points (1.05%) to 17,535.32, the NASDAQ closed 19.66 points (0.41%) lower at 4,717.68, and the S&P 500 decreased 17.58 points (0.85%) to 2,046.53. The Russell 2000 was down 6.16 points (0.56%) at 1,102.43, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 192.04 points (0.90%) to finish at 21,117.21.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with a 2 to 1 lead for decliners. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.3 declining issues for every advancing issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 14/32, bringing its yield down to 1.701%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 7/32, decreasing its yield to 2.551%.

WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending May 13, the Dow fell 1.16%, the NASDAQ was down 0.39%, and the S&P 500 decreased 0.52%. The Russell 2000 lost 1.10%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 0.66% lower.
Court Affirms Fiduciaries' Liability for Mispriced ESOP Purchase
Among other things, the court found Herbert C. Bruister fired the ESOP’s counsel for being “too thorough,” and caused his personal lawyer to influence an appraiser’s valuations to get the highest selling price he could for himself.Read more >
ABC Requests Extension for IRS' New Mortality Assumptions
The American Benefits Council (ABC) recently sent a letter to the Internal Revenue Service requesting a meeting to discuss allowing for more time before the new mortality assumptions on defined benefit (DB) plans go into effect. In the letter, ABC says it “strongly supports” the effort to update the mortality tables, but has concerns about the date that they go into effect because of the significant changes that will have to be made.Read more >
From the Magazine
Participant Readiness: Accessing Mobile Tech
Mobile technology—specifically the recordkeeper offerings meant to improve retirement readiness—can help plan participants engage with their plan. “Digital experiences have to be engaging, motivating and trust-building to improve financial decision-making,” says Laurie Rowley, co-founder and president of the National Association of Retirement Plan Participants (NARPP) in San Francisco.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1866, the U.S. Congress authorized the first 5-cent piece to be minted. In 1868, U.S. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted during the Senate impeachment, by one vote. In 1888, the capitol of Texas was dedicated in Austin. In 1929, the first Academy Awards were held in Hollywood. In 1946, Jack Mullin showed the world the first magnetic tape recorder. In 1960, Theodore Maiman, at Hughes Research Laboratory in California, demonstrated the first working laser. In 1965, Spaghetti-O’s were sold for the first time. In 1975, Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. In 1988, a report released by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop declared that nicotine was addictive in similar ways as her.oin and coc.aine. In 1988, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police do not have to have a search warrant to search discarded garbage. In 2000, U.S. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was nominated to run for U.S. Senator in New York. She was the first U.S. first lady to run for public office.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Have you had an awkward conversation with a co-worker? If so, what was it about?” The vast majority (91.7%) of responding readers have had an awkward conversation with a co-worker. Topics of these conversations included wardrobe malfunction (12.5%), appearance (12.5%), hygiene (45.8%), an annoying habit (8.3%), work habits (4.2%), perceptions others had of him/her (8.3%), and his/her personal problems (12.5%). Nearly three in 10 (29.2%) of responding readers listed another topic of awkward conversations—most were about using too much perfume or cologne, but other responses included texting while driving, wardrobe, hickeys and inappropriate use of workspace. Those who left comments about awkward conversations with co-workers shared details of those conversations. Some noted that it is almost always a good idea to have those conversations, while a few commented about how to approach them. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I perform music at church, and once or twice have arrived home afterward to discover my zipper was down. Hoped it hadn’t been that way all morning, wished someone had told me!” A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!Read more >
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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