Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 28th, 2016
Contribution/Benefits Limits
Retirement Plan Deferral Limit Unchanged for 2017
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017 in Notice 2016-62. The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $18,000. In addition, the catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and older who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan remains unchanged at $6,000. Other limits also remained unchanged according to an IRS Notice, but the annual 415 limit increased. Read more >
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Products, Deals and People
Solution Will Make 401(k) Administration Easier for Small Businesses
AccountantsWorld announced its latest offering, Payroll Relief Retirement Solution (PRRS), in partnership with Transamerica Retirement Solutions and TAG Resources (TAG), who will be the servicers of the PRRS. AccountantsWorld says its new offering will help more small businesses offer retirement plans to their employees. Read more >
Investment Products and Services
SSGA launches new ESG strategies, and Millennium Trust expands Fund Custody Solution. Read more >
Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in September decreased $0.3 billion or 0.1% to $227.3 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This decrease, down following two consecutive monthly increases, followed a 0.3% August increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.7%. Transportation equipment, also down following two consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, down $0.6 billion or 0.8% to $77.5 billion.

In the week ending October 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 258,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 261,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 253,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 252,000.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is 3.47%, down from 3.52% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 2.78%, down from 2.79%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow was down 29.65 points (0.16%) at 18,169.68, the NASDAQ lost 34.29 points (0.65%) to finish at 5,215.97, and the S&P 500 decreased 6.39 points (0.30%) to 2,133.04. The Russell 2000 fell 14.80 points (1.23%) to 1,189.94, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 93.81 points (0.42%) lower at 22,122.69.

On the NYSE, 3.1 billion shares traded, with declining issues outnumbering advancing issues more than 2 to 1. On the NASDAQ, 2.8 billion shares changed hands, with a 2 to 1 lead for decliners.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note decreased 14/32, bringing its yield up to 1.844%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond fell 1 8/32, increasing its yield to 2.606%. 

Compliance
NTSA Supports Extending Fiduciary Rule to Governmental 403(b)s
The National Tax-deferred Savings Association (NTSA) has formally affirmed its support for a fiduciary standard for all not-for-profit organizations, and the extension of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule to governmental 403(b) plans and participants. As part of its support, NTSA developed a fiduciary education program that will be available to its members later this year. Read more >
Investing
Prime Money Market Funds Making Changes to Woo Back Investors
Prime money fund managers have begun to revert back to more normal portfolio management strategies following money fund reform implementation, as outflows from prime funds have stabilized, according to the latest Fitch Ratings Money Fund Reform Dashboard. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1636, Harvard College was founded in Massachusetts. The original name was Court of Massachusetts Bay Colony. It was the first school of higher education in America. In 1776, the Battle of White Plains took place during the American Revolutionary War. In 1793, Eli Whitney applied for a patent for his cotton gin. In 1886, the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York Harbor by U.S. President Grover Cleveland. In 1919, the U.S. Congress enacted the Volstead Act, also known as the National Prohibition Act. In 1949, U.S. President Harry Truman swore in Eugenie Moore Anderson as the U.S. ambassador to Denmark. Anderson was the first woman to hold the post of ambassador. In 1965, the Gateway Arch along the waterfront in St. Louis, Missouri, was completed.

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES

A demonstration of how elephants can love their caretakers. Read more >
Please don’t scare the children on Halloween. Read more >

In Tuscon, Arizona, a man locked himself out of his house and decided to try and get in through the chimney. However, he became stuck there for four hours until a neighbor heard his cry for help and called firefighters. By the time help arrived, he had managed to get far enough down to touch the floor, but the exit was too narrow for him to completely escape, the department said, according to the Huffington Post. Firefighters pulled him back up through the chimney.

In Gwinnett County, Georgia, a 16-year old playing high-school soccer experienced his third soccer-related concussion and fell into a coma. After several days, he woke up, but could only speak Spanish. According to the Huffington Post, the boy, whose English has since returned, said he knew a little Spanish because his friends and a brother speak the language, but he’d never felt comfortable holding a conversation in Spanish before his injury. His Spanish has gradually slipped away since he woke up.

In Blyth, Northumberland, England, a man led police on a chase after police spotted him speeding. The chase reached up to 129 miles-per-hour. When he was stopped, he told police he had stopped at a McDonald’s drive-thru and wanted to get home and eat his burger and fries while they were still warm, the UK’s Metro reports.

In Portland, Oregon, a man was arrested for dressing as a tree and standing in the middle of a busy intersection. He was arrested after refusing police orders to leave the area. According to the Portland Press Herald, the man told police his motivation was to see how people would react to what he called his “performance” and how he might impact “people’s natural choreography.” 

In Athens, Ohio, an Ohio University professor says a student checked into his class Tuesday by swiping a card, but wasn’t there when the professor took attendance at the end of the session. He emailed the student who confessed that he had ditched class because his father got him tickets to the opening game of the World Series. According to the Associated Press, the student included a picture of himself and his brother at Progressive Field. The professor responded by calling it “an impeccable excuse,” and added “no repercussions.”

 

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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