Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 26th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Single premium pension buy-out sales totaled $1.4 billion in the first quarter of 2017, according to data shared by the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, taken from its quarterly U.S. Group Annuity Transfer Survey. This represents a 31% increase compared with prior year’s results. In fact, this is “only the second time first quarter buy-out sales have exceeded $1 billion since 2008 and marks the highest first-quarter results in at least 15 years.”  Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Putnam Investments will release several mutual funds that adhere to three alternative strategies aiming to provide advisers and their clients with portfolio construction tools designed to help them navigate varying market conditions. These funds will be sub-advised by PanAgora Asset Management and are expected to be available in the marketplace in the third quarter of this year.Read more >
EARN Act Clears Senate Finance Committee
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
2022 Best in Class 401(k) Plans
StayWell Offers Guide to Improve Wellness Program Incentives
Many plan sponsors use health wellness programs to cut down on health care costs, and some use incentives to get people to participate. According to an incentives guide from The StayWell Company, employers could use incentives more effectively. The report offers pros and cons of common incentive approaches and easy action steps employers can take to effectively integrate incentives into well-being programs.  Read more >
Application Aims to Give Plan Sponsors Fee Negotiating Power
Greenspring Wealth Management has introduced FeeMetri(k)s, a technology offering (with plans to spin it out as a separate company) designed specifically for plan sponsors (not advisers, recordkeepers or TPAs) that monitors and benchmarks 401(k) fees A feature of FeeMetri(k)s that gives plan sponsors incentive and information to bargain is a vendor analysis, which compares the fees a plan sponsors is paying to, for example, a recordkeeper to what plans in other percentiles are paying to that recordkeeper.  Read more >
Sponsored message from PNC
Assess Your Organization’s Retirement Plan With PNC’s No-Cost Evaluation Your employees deserve high standards, and at PNC Retirement Solutions®, we believe you deserve the same. That’s why we’re offering a no-cost retirement plan evaluation, to help you build a plan that fits the needs of your organization and employees. Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending May 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 234,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 233,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 235,250, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 241,000. This is the lowest level for this average since April 14, 1973, when it was 232,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.95%, down from 4.02% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.19%, down from 3.27%.

Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow closed 70.53 points (0.34%) higher at 21,082.95, the NASDAQ increased 42.23 points (0.69%) to 6,205.26, and the S&P 500 was up 10.68 points (0.44%) at 2,415.07. The Russell 2000 was virtually unchanged at 1,383.38, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 95.31 points (0.38%) to finish at 25,105.22.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.256%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 3/32, decreasing its yield to 2.921%.

Participants Sue Princeton Trustees for ERISA Breaches
Princeton University is accused of failing to leverage its size and sophistication to ensure a fair deal on recordkeeping for plan participants, among other claims.Read more >
In-Plan Retirement Income Products Benefit Participants, Plan Sponsors
A paper from Prudential Retirement discusses the benefits of offering lifetime income products in defined contribution (DC) plans and how plan sponsors can overcome the fear of using them. Read more >
Managed Account Users Plan More Confidently
According to the Fidelity Managed Accounts Survey, the overwhelming majority of investors who use them (89%) believe that using a managed account simplifies their investing process. Survey respondents cite the top three benefits of owning a managed account as “having confidence my portfolio is properly diversified; being able to talk to a financial professional about my investments; and having confidence I’m on track to meet my investing goals.” Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1647, a new law banned Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty was banishment or death for a second offense. In 1864, the Territory of Montana was organized. In 1865, arrangements were made in New Orleans for the surrender of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi. In 1868, U.S. President Andrew Johnson was acquitted, by one vote, of all charges in his impeachment trial. In 1946, a patent was filed in the United States for an H-bomb. In 1959, the word “Frisbee” became a registered trademark of Wham-O. In 1961, civil rights activist group Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee was established in Atlanta. In 1969, the Apollo 10 astronauts returned to Earth after a successful eight-day dress rehearsal for the first manned moon landing. In 1972, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) was signed by the U.S. and USSR. The short-term agreement put a freeze on the testing and deployment of intercontinental and submarine-launched ballistic missiles for a five-year period. In 1975, American stuntman Evel Knievel suffered severe spinal injuries in Britain when he crashed while attempting to jump 13 buses in his car. In 1977, George H. Willig was arrested after he scaled the South Tower of New York’s World Trade Center. It took him 3 1/2 hours. In 1978, the first legal casino in the Eastern U.S. opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In 1994, U.S. President Bill Clinton renewed trade privileges for China, and announced that his administration would no longer link China’s trade status with its human rights record.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

A news anchor in Russia was startled when she was interrupted by an unlikely source. Read more >
This is why I will NOT live in Australia. (Warning to those horrified by spiders and rodents.)  Read more >
You know the head bob when you try to stay awake, but keep dozing? It’s amazing how human-like this dog seems.  Read more >
In South Haven, Michigan, a family believed their cat perished in a house fire. However, when they returned to the home two months later, the family dog went to a part of the house that used to be a bathroom and started sniffing it, licking it and scratching at it. When the homeowners investigated, they found the cat alive.


In Titusville, Florida, a woman stopped into a CVS at 9:50 p.m. to buy a birthday card. When she went to the checkout counter a little after 10, she triggered an alarm and was locked in the store. She stood in front of a security camera and called police who had to wait for the store manager to come and free her.


In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a man was charged with leaving the scene after his car was found in a swimming pool at an apartment complex. The man, who later turned himself in, says he was trying to find a parking spot but the lot was full. He stopped his car to turn around, then got out of the car to check and see if he had enough room to make the turn without hitting another car. He says he thought his car was in park when got out, but when he turned around, he saw it rolling towards the pool.


In Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the owner of Moose Watch Café awoke to find the bumper torn off her car. The car is used to deliver doughnuts. Apparently, although there were no doughnuts in the car at the time, a bear smelled the sweet odor and ripped the bumper. The bear also made and attempt to claw away the insulation in the trunk to get to the smell, the Associated Press reports.


In Memphis, Tennessee, a couple leaving a barbeque festival were pulled over on the highway by police. The officer asked them if they were aware that the body of an unconscious man was on their trunk. They thought the officer was joking and got out of the car to see there was a man on the trunk. The driver said there’s a slight lip on the trunk that likely saved the man’s life. According to the Associated Press, when the police office woke up the man, he was disoriented and said he did not remember leaving the festival.


Have a great long weekend, everyone! NewsDash will be back in your inbox on Tuesday.

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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