Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 13th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Participants Fear Loss of Employer Mandate to Offer Health Care Coverage
An annual survey from the national nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies (TCHS) shows that one of the three biggest fears of Americans aware of the health care debates in Washington, D.C., is the loss of employers’ mandate to offer health care coverage.Read more >
Savings Rates Drop in the U.S.
Savings rates in the U.S. have plummeted to a five-year low, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. A recent study by financial services firm PurePoint finds that Americans cite rising health care costs and living expenses as the main drivers of their financial pessimism.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
Columbia Threadneedle Premieres Strategic Beta ETF; and Change Finance Launches New Sustainable Investing ETF.Read more >
IRS Announces 2020 Contribution and Benefit Limits
The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b) and most 457 plans is increased from $19,000 to $19,500.
The Odds Are Split for Senate SECURE Act Passage This Year
“Overall, it is an uncertain picture, but the SECURE Act is not dead in the water,” says Bradford Campbell, former EBSA head from 2006 to 2009. “I would say it is a little less than 50-50 that it happens this year.”
Pension Risk Transfer Appetite Is Unabated
They are trying other strategies, but DB plan sponsors are concluding that they and their employees would be better served by shifting risks to life insurers.
Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019
Based on the conversations industry advocates are having in Washington, none of the leadership in the Senate or the House opposes passage of the SECURE Act.
Why Americans Need the SECURE Act
The president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Financial makes a case for how passage of the SECURE Act will improve Americans’ retirement security.
Economic Events

The Producer Price Index for final demand advanced 0.4% in September, as prices for final demand services rose 0.4% and the index for final demand goods climbed 0.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The final demand index increased 2.6% for the 12 months ended in September.


In the week ending October 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 243,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 258,000, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average was 257,500, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 267,000.


The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.91%, up from 3.85% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.21%, up from 3.15%.
Sponsored message from SSGA
The Participant magazine, the Longevity Issue
The Participant takes a deeper look at longevity, exploring new opportunities for retirement savers.Read more >
Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow closed 31.88 points (0.14%) lower at 22,841.01, the NASDAQ decreased 12.04 points (0.18%) to 6,591.51, and the S&P 500 was down 4.31 points (0.17%) at 2,550.93. The Russell 2000 decreased by 1.76 (0.12%) to 1,505.16, and the Wilshire 5000 lost 42.76 points (0.16%) to finish at 26,559.35.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 2/32, increasing its yield to 2.328%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 4/32, bringing its yield up to 2.855%.
ERIC Files Lawsuit Against Oregon Retirement Savings Board
The ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] Industry Committee (ERIC) today filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board for obstruction of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). In the complaint, ERIC requests an injunction against the reporting requirement OregonSaves imposes on employers that provide a retirement plan.Read more >
From the Magazine
Allocating Benefit Dollars
Employers’ total cost for the benefits they provide—health care, retirement and post-retirement medical—rose from 14.8% of pay in 2001 to 18.3% in 2015, a jump of 24%, according to the “Shifts in Benefit Allocations Among U.S. Employers” analysis by Willis Towers Watson. During that period, employer health care costs for active employees more than doubled, rising from 5.7% to 11.5% of pay.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1775, the U.S. Continental Congress ordered the construction of a naval fleet. In 1792, the cornerstone of the Executive Mansion was laid in Washington, D.C. In 1854, the state of Texas ratified a state constitution. In 1951, in Atlanta, a football with a rubber covering was used for the first time. Georgia Tech beat Louisiana State 25-7. In 1953, an ultrasonic burglar alarm was patented by Samuel Bagno. In 1967, the first game of the new American Basketball Association was played. In 1998, the National Basketball Association (NBA) canceled regular season games, due to work stoppage, for first time in its 51-year history.



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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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