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PLANSPONSOR NEWSDASH LOGO November 30th, 2020
Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Compliance
Effect of the Biden Administration on Health and Retirement Benefits
Effect of the Biden Administration on Health and Retirement Benefits
Health and retirement benefit plan sponsors will likely see efforts to reduce health costs for Americans and a rolling back of current administration efforts, especially on ESG investing.
Administration
COVID-19 and Biden Policy Could Intertwine to Affect DB Plan Funding
The future health and political landscape could make a big difference on assumptions used for calculations and defined benefit plan funding policy.
Most Read
Participants
What Participants Want From Employers’ Retirement Plan Websites
Research
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Inside Angle
DOL’s Next Moves
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The Time Has Come to Build the Retirement Tier
It’s time for defined contribution plans to create a retirement tier. Participants want control, flexibility and spending that matches income. Liquid, income-oriented strategies may best meet these preferences.
Benefits
Financial Wellness Programs Should Be Customized for Women
Interrupted careers, greater longevity and other factors call for unique help for women in employer financial wellness programs, a paper from the Retirement Advisor Council suggests.
Economic Events
Sales of new single-family houses in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 999,000, according to estimates released jointly by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This is 0.3% below the revised September rate of 1,002,000, but is 41.5% above the October 2019 estimate of 706,000.

New orders for manufactured durable goods in October increased $3.0 billion or 1.3% to $240.8 billion. This increase, up six consecutive months, followed a 2.1% September increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.3%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.2%. Transportation equipment, up five of the last six months, led the increase, $0.9 billion or 1.2% to $77.1 billion.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.72% for the week ending November 25, unchanged from the prior week, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.68%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.28%, unchanged from the prior week. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.15%.

In the week ending November 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 748,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 748,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 743,500.

Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about construction spending for October. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report. Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will reveal the unemployment rate for November, and the Census Bureau will report about factory orders in October.
Market Mirror
Friday, the Dow was up 37.90 points (0.13%) at 29,910.37, the NASDAQ climbed 111.44 points (0.92%) to 12,205.85, and the S&P 500 increased 8.70 points (0.24%) to 3,638.35. The Russell 2000 gained 10.25 points (0.56%) to finish at 1,855.27, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 146.59 points (0.39%) higher at 38,057.37.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 26/32, bringing its yield down to 0.846%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond climbed 1 1/32, decreasing its yield to 1.576%.

For the week ending November 27, the Dow was up 2.21%, the NASDAQ gained 2.96%, and the S&P 500 increased 2.27%. The Russell 2000 climbed 3.92%, and the Wilshire 5000 finished 2.79% higher.
Compliance
$17.5M Settlement Reached Over ‘Too Conservative’ Plan Investments
The plan’s investment policy statement allegedly called for 70% of the plan’s assets to be allocated into domestic fixed income options and 30% to be put into equities.
Bath and Body Works Parent Company Sued for 401(k) Plan Excessive Fees
The lawsuit against L Brands says recordkeeping and investment fees were excessive and fiduciaries failed to use the lowest-cost share class of funds.
Ask the Experts
Terminating a 403(b) and Starting a 401(k)
“I work with an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) 403(b) plan sponsor that has a 403(b) plan in which each participant owns an individual annuity contract. We wish to replace the 403(b) plan with a 401(k) plan. Can we terminate the 403(b) plan and start a 401(k) plan immediately afterward? Are there any special legal issues in terminating the existing plan or starting the new plan, considering that participants are not terminating employment?”
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Products
Nationwide New Business Fee Waiver Extended Through March
The firm is also offering plan participants a 90-day trial period of its managed account solution.
Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Strategic Benefits Advisors hires leader of DB administration team and Nationwide hires chief data officer.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, ending the Revolutionary War. In 1928, General Mills stock debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. In 1954, in Sylacauga, Alabama, Elizabeth Hodges was injured when a meteorite crashed through the roof of her house. The rock weighed 8.5 pounds. In 1988, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co. took over RJR Nabisco Inc. with a bid of $24.53 billion. In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady handgun-control bill into law. The law requires a prospective handgun buyer to wait five business days while the authorities check on his or her background, during which time the sale is approved or prohibited based on an established set of criteria. In 1998, the Deutsche Bank AG announced that it would acquire Bankers Trust Corp. for $10.1 billion creating the world’s largest financial institution.
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