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PLANSPONSOR NEWSDASH LOGO October 2nd, 2020
Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy Every Weekday
Compliance
Auditors’ View of Plan Management
Auditors’ View of Plan Management
Auditors share common errors they find when doing retirement plan financial audits and what they recommend for plan sponsor processes.
Compliance
Well-Known ERISA Plaintiffs’ Attorneys Sanctioned for ‘Reckless’ Litigation
A discredited expert witness and plaintiffs who had no problem with their service provider until they were solicited to join a ‘manufactured’ lawsuit were factors in a federal judge’s decision.
Most Read
Administration
Consider Who Is Paying When Benchmarking Retirement Plan Fees
Administration
Repositioning Financial Wellness and Retirement Benefits for 2021
Compliance
Settlement Reached in Insperity 401(k) Excessive Fee, Self-Dealing Suit
Economic Events
Construction spending during August was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,412.8 billion, 1.4% above the revised July estimate of $1,392.7 billion, the Census Bureau announced. The August figure is 2.5% above the August 2019 estimate of $1,379.0 billion. During the first eight months of this year, construction spending amounted to $927.7 billion, 4.2% above the $889.9 billion for the same period in 2019.

Interest on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.88% for the week ending October 1, down from last week when it averaged 2.90%, according to Freddie Mac. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.65%. Interest on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.36%, down from last week when it averaged 2.40%. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.14%.

In the week ending September 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 837,000, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 873,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 867,250, a decrease of 11,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 879,000.
Market Mirror
Thursday, the Dow was up 35.20 points (0.13%) at 27,816.90, the NASDAQ gained 159.00 points (1.42%) to finish at 11,326.51, and the S&P 500 increased 17.80 points (0.53%) to 3,380.80. The Russell 2000 climbed 23.51 points (1.56%) to 1,531.20, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 288.39 points (0.84%) higher at 34,768.66.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 1/32, decreasing its yield to 0.676%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond was unchanged, with its yield down to 1.454%.
Compliance
New York Transit Worker Pension Plans Sue Over Fund Mismanagement
The lawsuit claims an investment manager failed to follow its stated investment strategy during the COVID-19-related market volatility, resulting in ‘astonishing’ losses for the pension plans.
Opinions
Barry’s Pickings: Is the 401(k) System Unfair? What Would Make It Fairer?
Michael Barry, president of O3 Plan Advisory Services LLC, debates whether the 401(k) system is fair or unfair and offers three ideas for making the system more just.
Data and Research
Employees Appreciate Employer Benefits, Despite Facing Financial Stress
An EBRI and Greenwald Research study found 47% of workers reported being extremely or very satisfied with their benefits package.
Products
Investment Product and Service Launches
Franklin Templeton announces new all-inclusive fee structure and SMArtX Adds Investment Strategies from Fidelity, Northern Trust and Vanguard.
PNC Debuts Financial Wellness Business
The firm already offered a number of financial wellness solutions across its lines of business.
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a stroke. In 1924, the Geneva Protocol adopted the League of Nations. In 1947, the Federatino Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) formally established Formula One racing in Grand Prix competition. In 1950, “Peanuts,” the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, was published for the first time in seven newspapers. In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first Black Supreme Court justice. In 1985, actor Rock Hudson died from complications from AIDS at age 59. In 2001, NATO, for the first time, invoked a treaty clause that stated that an attack on one member is an attack on all members. The act was in response to the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States.

And now it’s time for some FRIDAY FUN!
Dad is too clever for his daughter to get one over on him.

All bark and no bite.

In Lincolnshire County, England, a wildlife park has removed five African Grey parrots from public view because of their foul language. Lincolnshire Wildlife Park adopted the parrots about six weeks ago and put them in quarantine together, according to LincolnshireLive. During their time together, the birds shared the ability to curse. Although he and fellow park employees found the whole thing funny, Steve Nichols, the park’s CEO, said he decided it would be best to move the cursing birds out of view before visiting kids heard them. The birds have each been moved to different groups, and Nichols said the plan is to put them in separate areas of the park “so at least if they do swear it is not as bad as three or four of them all blasting it out at once,” he told the Independent newspaper. “If they teach the others bad language and I end up with 250 swearing birds, I don’t know what we’ll do,” he told BBC.

In New York City, at least three Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employees converted a storage room at Grand Central Terminal as a “man cave,” according to an internal investigation, CBS New York reports. According to the Office of the MTA Inspector General, the room had a futon couch, large flat-screen television with streaming capabilities, a refrigerator, microwave, air conditioning, workout equipment and more—including an open can of beer. The inspector general says it made an unannounced visit to the storage area in August 2019 after Metro-North officials failed to investigate complaints about workers using the space to “hang out and get drunk and party,” according to the news report. Investigators say the three MTA employees denied having ever been in the room but they left their fingerprints behind. They have been suspended without pay.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!
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