Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
November 16th, 2018
Benefits & Administration
Despite Improved Economy, Americans Still Feel Unprepared for Retirement
Even with the economy faring well, a majority of American voters are less confident about their retirement prospects than they were five years ago, a survey by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) and Heart + Mind Strategies found. More than 60% say it is harder to retire on time now than it was in 2013. Sixty-two percent of Americans polled are confident they will be able to maintain their savings as they transition into retirement, but only 45% think their savings will last throughout their retirement. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Vanguard Partners on Offering HSAs to DC Plans
For Vanguard participants who elect to save in a HealthEquity health savings account (HSA), Vanguard’s Retirement Readiness Tool technology will integrate their HSA information with their 401(k) balance and other assets to give them a comprehensive view of their current and future retirement savings. Read more >
Square, Inc. Adds Benefit Offerings for Small Businesses
Small businesses who use Square Payroll can access affordable benefits like health insurance and retirement savings. Read more >
Investment Product and Service Launches
ABG Consultants selects Hand Benefits & Trust to establish a series of risk‐based CIFs; Russell Investments creates Income Model Portfolio strategies; Broadridge aligns with Tableau Software to deliver investment analytics; and more. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
IRS Announces 2019 HSA Contribution Limits
2
4% Rule Not a Reliable Retirement Income Withdrawal Strategy for All People
3
Lawsuit Argues MetLife Pension Calculations Use Outdated Mortality Table
4
Financially Well Employees Buoy the Bottom Line
5
401(k) Plan Sponsors Enhancing Plan Design
Economic Events

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $511.5 billion, an increase of 0.8% from the previous month, and 4.6% above October 2017, the Census Bureau reported. Total sales for the August through October period were up 5.0% from the same period a year ago. Retail trade sales were up 0.9% from September and 4.3% above last year. Gasoline Stations were up 16.2% from October 2017, while Nonstore Retailers were up 12.1% from last year.

The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for September, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,468.0 billion, up 0.4% from August and up 6.6% from September 2017.

In the week ending November 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 216,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 214,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 215,250, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 213,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.94%, unchanged from one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.36%, up from 4.33%.

Sponsored message from TIAA
A new role for DC Plans: Income for life. A new approach to retirement savings can help your employees generate lifetime income. Read more >
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 208.77 points (0.83%) to finish at 25,289.27, the NASDAQ closed 122.64 points (1.72%) higher at 7,259.03, and the S&P 500 increased 28.62 points (1.06%) to 2,730.20. The Russell 2000 was up 21.62 points (1.44%) at 1,524.12, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 305.08 points (1.10%) to 28,158.86.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 4/32, bringing its yield down to 3.109%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was up 2/32, decreasing its yield to 3.364%.

Compliance
Retirement Plan ERISA Litigation Trends Still Heating Up
It has only been about a year and a half since large U.S. universities became the target of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuits, making for a fresh crop of claims and defense strategies that matter for all types of defined contribution (DC) plans. Read more >
New Risk Assessment Required for DB Plans
Actuarial Standard of Practice (ASOP) No. 51, Assessment and Disclosure of Risk Associated with Measuring Pension Obligations and Determining Pension Plan Contributions, went into effect on November 1. ASOP 51 requires actuaries performing valuations for defined benefit (DB) plans to identify risks that, in the actuary’s professional judgment, may reasonably be anticipated to significantly affect the plan’s future financial condition, and Eric Keener, with Aon, says this may help plan sponsors avoid adverse actions. Read more >
Investing
Institutional Investors Set Principles for Firearms Industry
They are focused on reducing risk, which Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier says is a priority for institutional investors who have a fiduciary obligation to invest pension assets prudently and to monitor and manage risks. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1776, British troops captured Fort Washington during the American Revolution. In 1907, Oklahoma was admitted as the 46th state. In 1915, Coca-Cola had its prototype for a contoured bottle patented. The bottle made its commercial debut the next year. In 1933, the United States and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations for the first time. In 1973, President Richard Nixon signed the Alaska Pipeline measure into law. In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court said that union members could file discrimination lawsuits against employers even when labor contracts require arbitration. In 1999, Johnny Depp received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, Bill Clinton became the first serving U.S. president to visit Communist Vietnam.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Oh, the things children say and do! Read more >
Cat chases mouse turns into mouse chases cat. Read more >
In Pasco County, Florida, a sheriff’s deputy pulled over an unusual driver in an unusual car, for speeding. The driver was dressed as Fred Flintstone, and he was in a Smart car customized to look like the foot-powered caveman car seen in the 1960s cartoon series, according to local station WPTV. [pic] Read more >

In the Arnhem, Holland, a 69-year-old man has filed a lawsuit against the government requesting that his date of birth be switched from March 11, 1949, to March 11, 1969. He told the court that having an official age that did not reflect his emotional state was a challenge for his career and love life, according to The Guardian. He said that in exchange for being legally younger, he would agree to renounce his pension. A ruling is expected within four weeks.

In Malmo, Sweden, the Disgusting Food Museum aims to challenge perceptions of taste and help visitors contemplate why one culture’s abomination is another’s delicacy. Grasshoppers, cooked animals’ skulls and other body parts, including an eyeball, are on display in pots or on boards. European fare ranges from Iceland’s cured shark, Hakarl, to Sardinia’s Casu Marzu cheese, which is riddled with insect larvae. There is Scottish haggis, made from sheep innards, and Sweden’s smelly Surstromming fermented herring. According to Reuters, North America is represented by sweet treats: Jell-O salad and root beer. Australian visitor Nichole Courtney said she was surprised to come across Vegemite, her homeland’s sandwich spread of concentrated yeast extract which is known to divide opinion. “Things like Vegemite which we find really normal at home, like we’d eat that every day for breakfast, are next to things like the shark that I couldn’t imagine tasting and I think it is revolting so it’s quite funny for us,” she said, according to the news report. If visitors find displays too revolting, not to worry, the entry tickets are not really tickets—they’re printed on vomit bags.

In Milton, West Virginia, police have received reports of rabid raccoons terrorizing a neighborhood. However, police found they were not rabid but “drunk” on crabapples. According to the Huffington Post, police recently hauled in two drunk raccoons; they said catching them was a “community effort.” After the animals sobered up, the officers released them into the woods unharmed.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, a man has been arrested after he drove his pickup truck into a courthouse. News outlets reported that the police department said in a news release that the 28-year-old told officers he intentionally crashed into the Harrison County Courthouse early Saturday because it was the best way to let them know his drug parap.hernalia had been stolen. No one was hurt.

In Manchester City, England, a referee has been banned for three-weeks by the English Football Association for the way he asked team captains to decide the kick-off before a Women’s Super League (WSL) match. A coin toss to decide who kicks off is a requirement under the laws of the game but the referee left his coin in the dressing room and allowed the captains to play rock, paper, scissors instead, Reuters reports.

 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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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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