Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
May 5th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Generation Z (ages 14 to 21) are already working and saving money, according to a national study by The Center for Generational Kinetics. The Center’s “The State of Gen Z 2017” study found 12% are already saving for retirement, and 21% of this generation had a savings account before the age of ten.  Read more >
More Citing Retirement Savings Accounts as Major Source of Retirement Income
Fifty percent of non-retired Americans expect their 401(k) or another personal retirement savings account to be a major source of income in retirement—the highest percentage (by one point) that Gallup has recorded since April 2008. At the same time, the 34% of non-retirees counting on Social Security as a major source of retirement income is near its peak in Gallup’s 17-year trends data.  Read more >
Delivering Robust Retirement Communication and Education on a Budget
2022 Plan Sponsor of the Year
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Meaning and Origin of the Idiom “Watershed Moment?”
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: How Many States Are in More Than One Time Zone?
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Service Launches
Franklin Templeton launches strategic beta ETFs; Vanguard reduces expense ratios on more funds; and Thornburg Investment Management opens fixed income product to U.S. investors.  Read more >
Economic Events
In the week ending April 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 238,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 257,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 243,000, an increase of 750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 242,250.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.02%, down from 4.03% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.27%, unchanged from one week ago.

New orders for manufactured goods in March, up eight of the last nine months, increased $0.8 billion or 0.2% to $478.2 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This followed a 1.2% February increase. Transportation equipment, also up three consecutive months, drove the increase, $2.2 billion or 2.6% to $83.6 billion. New orders for manufactured nondurable goods decreased $1.3 billion or 0.5% to $238.7 billion.

Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow was down 6.43 points (0.03%) at 20,951.47, the NASDAQ was up 2.79 points (0.05%) at 6,075.34, and the S&P 500 increased by 1.39 (0.06%) to 2,389.52. The Russell 2000 closed 2.08 points (0.15%) lower at 1,388.84, and the Wilshire 5000 decreased 10.48 points (0.04%) to 24,853.78.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 10/32, increasing its yield to 2.354%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 16/32, bringing its yield up to 2.995%.

A resolution passed by the U.S. Senate is the latest step forward in the wider effort to roll back the regulatory safe harbors created by the Obama administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) to exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) state- and city-run retirement plans created for private-sector workers. Many providers have supported the moves by the House and Senate to effectively slow the creation of state- and city-run retirement plans for the private sector, but other parties are severely disappointed by these actions.  Read more >
Starwood Hotels 401(k) Excessive Fee Suit Moves Forward
While one claim was dismissed, a district court judge found the plaintiffs “have pleaded sufficient facts from which the Court can reasonably infer that Starwood employed a flawed process for selecting recordkeeping and administrative services.”  Read more >
Willis Towers Watson Supports OCIO Model for DB Plans
For defined benefit (DB) plans that do not have in-house investment capabilities, the outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) model is a means of filling the gap between the resources required to run efficient investment strategies and the typically constrained governance budget of a pension plan, Willis Towers Watson contends. In a report, the firm aims to challenge five myths about using OCIOs.  Read more >
Plan Sponsor Opportunity as Asset Managers Shift
In the midst of market volatility and projections of a prolonged low-return environment, asset managers are seeking new ways to reach institutional investment buyers, including defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. New research from Casey Quirk, a practice of Deloitte Consulting LLP, suggests this trend should present tremendous opportunity for retirement plan sponsors to take advantage of new innovations. On the flip side, it will be more important than ever for plan sponsors to monitor the marketplace of investment products to ensure they are still accessing top quality offerings. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1494, Christopher Columbus sighted Jamaica on his second trip to the Western Hemisphere. He named the island Santa Gloria. In 1798, U.S. Secretary of War William McHenry ordered that the USS Constitution be made ready for sea. The frigate was launched on October 21, 1797, but had never been put to sea. In 1862, the Battle of Puebla took place. It is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo Day. In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery in the U.S. In 1891, Music Hall was dedicated in New York City. It was later renamed Carnegie Hall. In 1925, John T. Scopes, a biology teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, was arrested for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. In 1936, Edward Ravenscroft received a patent for the screw-on bottle cap with a pour lip. In 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) became a sovereign state. In 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space when he made a 15 minute suborbital flight. In 1966, Willie Mays broke the National League record for home runs when he hit his 512th.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Sometimes it’s best to not overdo the entrance to a wedding reception.  Read more >
This dog really wants this big stick, but it is still stuck to the tree. Read more >
Sometimes you just have to dance, no matter where you are, when your ‘jam’ comes on.  Read more >
In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a businessman will get a new trial on mortgage fraud charges. A U.S. District Judge ruled the man was denied a fair trial because his defense attorney dozed during the October trial. The attorney has acknowledged that he fell asleep because he was taking cold medicines that made him drowsy, according to the Associated Press. The man has hired a new attorney.


In Taraz, Jambyl, Kazakhstan, at a gas station a man was seen trying to put diesel into a canister strapped onto the roof of his van. Because it was difficult to see, he took out a lighter, which ignited the fumes causing a mini explosion, and burning flames began flowing out of the nozzle. According to the UK’s Metro, the panicked man then dropped the nozzle, which sprayed burning fuel over the ground and other vehicles as he tried to flee for safety.


In Kiselyovsk, Russia, workers had been tasked with inflating a three-ton tire, but had forgotten about it—leaving it to over inflate. The UK’s Mirror reports the huge tire suddenly exploded into the air and landed on a car—leaving the vehicle completely flattened.


In York, South Carolina, a man has been arrested for burglary and petit larceny. The Rock Hill Herald reports a man broke into his neighbor’s house and made a sandwich. A police report lists the stolen goods as a drink of clear moonshine, a Clover Valley kosher whole dill pickle, a scoop of Newk’s pimento cheese and two slices of bread. The homeowner alerted authorities after home surveillance detected motion. He had installed the cameras after noticing things going missing. The suspect, who is renting property from the homeowner, admitted to entering the home on other occasions.


Have a great weekend!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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