Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 16th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Bill Redefines Small Employers Under ACA
Earlier this month, President Barack Obama signed into law the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees (PACE) Act. The bill amends the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Public Health Service Act to include employers with 51 to 100 employees as large employers for purposes of health insurance markets.Read more >
Products, Deals & People
AXA Schools Teachers About 403(b)s
For educators who like to learn the way they teach, AXA U.S. has launched the 403(b) Learning Lab, a retirement savings tool designed and developed specifically for K–12 employees.Read more >
EBSA Head Lisa Gomez Says DOL Continues Honing Retirement Security Rule
Data and Research
Early Withdrawals Found to Exacerbate 401(k) Account Disparities Across Race, Gender
Final Fiduciary Rule Expected Soon
Economic Events

On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) declined 0.2% in September after decreasing 0.1% in August, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2% in September after rising 0.1% in August. 

Real average hourly earnings increased 0.1% in September, seasonally adjusted. Average hourly earnings were essentially unchanged, and CPI-U decreased 0.2%. Real average weekly earnings decreased 0.2% over the month. 

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.82%, up from 3.76% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.03%, up from 2.99%. 

In the week ending October 10, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 255,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 265,000, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 15, 1973 when it was 256,750.

Market Mirror

Gains for financial companies helped push the stock market toward its biggest gain in almost two weeks on Thursday, according to the Associated Press. The Dow closed 217.00 points (1.28%) higher at 17,141.75, the NASDAQ increased 87.25 points (1.82%) to 4,870.10, and the S&P 500 was up 29.37 points (1.47%) at 2,023.61. The Russell 2000 climbed 25.80 points (2.27%) to 1,162.77, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 321.31 points (1.54%) to finish at 21,201.42.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, and on the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with advancing issues outnumbering declining issues more than 4 to 1 on both exchanges.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 12/32, increasing its yield to 2.018%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 19/32, bringing its yield up to 2.865%.

No Social Security COLA for 2016
Monthly Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for nearly 65 million Americans will not automatically increase in 2016, the Social Security Administration announced. The Administration explained why.Read more >
From the Magazine
Saxon Angle: The Rule Marches On
The retirement services industry continues to be consumed with the Department of Labor (DOL)’s proposal to amend its regulations regarding when a person becomes an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary by providing investment advice. The DOL conducted hearings in August, during which it received testimony from numerous influential members on both sides of the debate. Interested persons have one last chance to comment on the rule before the department issues final regulations. We expect the DOL will make every effort to issue those regulations sometime early next year.Read more >
Investment managers are less optimistic about the prospects for U.S. economic growth in the near term and more concerned about the potential impact of an emerging markets slowdown on stock prices, according to a quarterly survey by Northern Trust Asset Management. The survey found a sharp drop-off in expectations for U.S. growth: Only 29% expect growth to accelerate over the next six months, down from the 54% who expected accelerating growth in the previous quarter’s survey and the smallest portion in the past three years with that view. With global market volatility in August and early September as a backdrop, investment managers ranked a slowdown in emerging markets as the top risk to equity markets. Investment managers were also asked about the impact of an interest rate hike.Read more >
Plan Sponsors Should Stay the Course Amid Volatility
Asked if there is something retirement plan sponsors and participants should do to alter their portfolios in light of the recent market volatility, sources who spoke with PLANSPONSOR agreed on actions they should take. And, if these are all in check, plan sponsors and participants shouldn’t make any changes. The key is to remember that the goal of a retirement plan—whether defined benefit or defined contribution—is long-term investing.Read more >
A quarterly update from BlackRock shows estimated cost of future retirement income rose slowly but steadily in the third quarter.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1829, in Boston, Massachusetts, the first modern hotel in America opened. The Tremont Hotel had 170 rooms that rented for $2 a day and included four meals. In 1928, Marvin Pipkin received a patent for the frosted electric light bulb. In 1943, Chicago’s new subway system was officially opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony. In 1962, U.S. President Kennedy was informed that there were missile bases in Cuba, beginning the Cuban missile crisis. In 1995, the “Million Man March” took place in Washington, D.C. In 2002, the Arthur Andersen accounting firm was sentenced to five years probation and fined $500,000 for obstructing a federal investigation of the energy company Enron.


And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

You’ve heard of “Driving Miss Daisy”? Well, this is Daisy (a dog) driving Oliver.Read more >
This little girl’s dive into the pool failed, but she ended up doing a cool move anyway.Read more >

In New York City, a woman sued her nephew—now 12 years old—for causing her to injure her wrist four years ago. According to the New York Daily News, the woman was invited to her nephew’s birthday party when he turned eight. When she arrived, he ran to her, yelling her name and saying he loved her, then jumped up, causing her to have to catch him. They both fell to the ground, and the aunt broke her wrist. In a lawsuit, the aunt says her life has been seriously affected—she has trouble walking up the steps to her Manhattan apartment and holding hors d’oeuvres plates at parties. She sought $127,000 in damages, but the court has ruled in the boy’s favor.                     

In Lakeland, Florida, a 23-year-old woman decided to broadcast herself driving into.xicated on Periscope, Twitter’s live video application. The video quickly spread online, the local CBS News station reports, and concerned viewers sent the woman text messages begging her to stop driving. The Lakeland, Florida, police were also contacted by a viewer who was able to identify a few landmarks near the woman. Police found her and she was arrested for D.UI.

These guys thought launching a wheel with an airbag would be cool, but soon realized they didn’t think it through.Read more >

In Brahehus, Sweden, a person called police to report the sighting of a possible I.SIL group. Police responded to the scene and found 30 bearded men holding a flag—members of a beard club called the Bearded Villains.

In Bonn, Germany, a 43-year-old man entered a home with the intention of robbing it. He went into a storeroom, and the doors slammed shut behind him. There was no way to open it from the inside, The Local reports. The man finally called police, who rescued him before arresting him.

In Clay County, Kansas, a man was burning garbage in a field when he noticed that the fire was getting out of control. In an attempt to put the fire out, he drove his van back and forth over the flames. However, the tires of the van caught fire. That’s when it dawned on the man that since his van was loaded with firearms ammunition and had a full tank of gas, it may not be safe. According to the Kansas City Star, the man evacuated the area, and a Clay County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the scene after he saw smoke coming from the field while he was on a traffic stop. The deputy did not cite the man for anything.

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
Share the good news with a friend! Pass the Dash along – and tell your friends/associates they can sign up for their own copy.Read more >

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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