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Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Plan Profile
Building Short-Term Savings
An employer’s foundation helps the workers start saving for emergencies.
Using Nudges to Improve Employee Decisionmaking
Indirect, tactical ways to move employees to make the best retirement savings decisions can help overcome behavioral biases.
Most Read
How Plan Sponsors Can Shift Focus to Decumulation
Robust Retirement Tiers Can Help Keep Participants In-Plan

Interest Grows Among Employers in Retaining Retiree Assets In-Plan
Economic Events
September 2021 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 $603.1 billion, up 1.1% from the revised August level and up 22.0% from the revised September 2020 level, the Census Bureau announced. The July to August percent change was revised from the preliminary estimate of down 1.1% to down 0.9%.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 2.98% for the week ending November 10, down from last week when it averaged 3.09%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 2.84%. Interest on a 15-year FRM averaged 2.27%, down from last week when it averaged 2.35%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.34%.

In October, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted (SA) basis; rising 6.2% over the last 12 months, not seasonally adjusted (NSA), the Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed. The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.6% in October, SA; up 4.6% over the year, NSA.

Real average hourly earnings for all employees decreased 0.5% in October, SA. Average hourly earnings increased 0.4% and CPI-U increased 0.9%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.9% over the month.

In the week ending November 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 267,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 271,000, the Labor Department reported. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. The four-week moving average was 278,000, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 285,250. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.
Market Mirror
Wednesday, the Dow dropped 240.04 points (0.66%) to 36,079.94, the Nasdaq lost 263.84 points (1.66%) to finish at 15,622.71, and the S&P 500 closed 38.54 points (0.82%) lower at 4,646.71. The Russell 2000 decreased 37.71 points (1.55%) to 2,389.58, and the Wilshire 5000 fell 519.62 points (1.07%) to 48,268.11.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 1 9/32, bringing its yield up to 1.573%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 2 26/32, increasing its yield to 1.929%.
Data and Research
Rebounding Markets Give DB Plan Funded Status a Boost in October
Improved funded status and a potential interest rate hike ahead signal a time for rebalancing and de-risking for corporate defined benefit plan sponsors.
Small Talk
A new survey published by Willis Towers Watson (WTW) shows over three-quarters of employers (77%) in the U.S. report having problems finding and keeping employees. All over the world, people are reevaluating what they want from their working lives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a survey by job search site Joblist, 19% of workers cite unhappiness as the primary reason for quitting, 17% say low pay or lack of benefits, and 13% say the lack of work-life balance drove them to quit.
ON THIS DATE: In 1851, the telescope was patented by Alvan Clark. In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state of the United States. In 1918, World War I ended. In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia during an Armistice Day ceremony presided over by President Warren G. Harding. In 1940, the Jeep made its debut. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan accepted the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a gift to the nation from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. In 1993, in Washington, D.C., the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated to honor the more than 11,000 women who had served in the Vietnam War.
SURVEY SAYS: The pandemic caused many people and families to put Thanksgiving traditions on hold. This week, I’d like to know, will you resume your Thanksgiving traditions this year? I’d also like you to share some things you are thankful for. You may respond to this week’s survey by 6 p.m. Pacific time today.
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