Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
October 6th, 2017
Benefits & Administration
Saving on Health Benefit Costs With Self-Insured Plans
To combat rising health costs, many companies have turned to self-insurance—covering their workers’ health expenses directly. Philadelphia-based Andrew Cavenagh, founder and managing director of Pareto Captive Services, a firm that helps midsize businesses self-insure, says tax and premium cost savings are one win for employers, but an even better one is gaining control to create bigger cost savings. Rob Piazza, product manager, analytics, at Benefitfocus in Charleston, South Carolina, says many employers fail to realize the cost savings they could because they overlook this opportunity. “Although they’re taking over the role of ‘insurer,’ few employers are acting like one, and they’re likely losing millions because of it,” he says. Read more >
Workers Without Retirement Plan Access Favor State-Run Option
After being educated about the option, only 13% of employees said they would likely opt out of an auto-IRA run by their state. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Products and Services Launches
American Century reorganizes income fund; Nuveen releases ESG U.S. Aggregate Bond ETF; Voya enhances ETF model; and more. Read more >
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Economic Events

New orders for manufactured durable goods in August increased $3.9 billion or 1.7% to $232.8 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced. This increase, up two of the last three months, followed a 6.8% July decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 2.2%. Transportation equipment, also up two of the last three months, led the increase, $3.6 billion or 4.9% to $77.4 billion.

 

In the week ending September 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 260,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 272,000. The four-week moving average was 268,250, a decrease of 9,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 277,750. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria impacted this week’s claims.

 

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.85%, up from 3.83% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.15%, up from 3.13%.

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Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow gained 113.75 points (0.50%) to finish at 22,775.39, the NASDAQ closed 50.73 points (0.78%) higher at 6,585.36, and the S&P 500 increased 14.33 points (0.56%) to 2,552.07. The Russell 2000 was up 4.32 points (0.29%) at 1,512.08, and the Wilshire 5000 climbed 157.45 points (0.60%) to 26,587.29.

 

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 5/32, increasing its yield to 2.344%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 14/32, bringing its yield up to 2.888%.

From the Magazine
Loan Repayment Capabilities
Increasingly, plan sponsors are permitting repayment post-separation. Overall, about 60% of providers that responded to the 2017 PLANSPONSOR Recordkeeping Survey offer loan repayment options, the most popular being checking account deductions. Read more >
Investing
A Few Tested Factors Can Explain Most Risks and Returns
The rapid move of big data has created many factor-based investment products, but institutional investors need to focus on only a few. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1866, the Reno Brothers pulled the first train robbery in America near Seymour, Indiana. They got away with $10,000. In 1889, the Kinescope was exhibited by Thomas Edison. He had patented the moving picture machine in 1887. In 1890, polygamy was outlawed by the Mormon Church. In 1949, U.S. president Harry Truman signed the Mutual Defense Assistance Act. The act provided $1.3 billion in the form of military aid to NATO countries. In 1979, Pope John Paul II became the first pontiff to visit the White House.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Dogs like the ice cream truck too. Read more >
In Henderson, Kentucky, police are having a tough time investigating a robbery of a Rally’s restaurant because the main suspect is a man who was dressed as a giant Coke bottle, The Smoking Gun reports. [pic] Read more >

In Tucuman, Argentina, an eight-year-old boy swallowed a piece of a pet toy. When he opened his mouth, he squeaked. “The whistle was stuck between the larynx and the pharynx,” a doctor told The Huffington Post by email. Using local anesthesia, the doctor was able to remove the squeaker from the boy’s throat.

 

In Taunton, Massachusetts, a man and woman were born on the same day at the same hospital. However, that isn’t the interesting part. More than two decades later, they got married. According to the Associated Press, the two did not grown up together, but met through mutual friends in high school. What are the odds?

 

In Casper, Wyoming, police were called about a publically into.xicated man who was giving a dire warning. When police arrived, the man told them “the aliens were coming next year and we needed to make sure to leave as fast as possible,” the Huffington Post reports. He refused to speak with nurses or doctors and instead insisted to meet with “the president” of the town, police said. He informed the officers that he was able to travel through time because the aliens filled his body with alcohol. He was allegedly found with a blood alcohol content of .136% and transported to the Natrona County Detention Center.

 

In Hicksville, New York, a burglar arrived after hours one night at Nelly’s Taqueria. According to Newsday, security video shows the man put on food-service gloves and started heating up a pot before hammering the register open. He pocketed the money and put a dollar in the tip jar. Then, he started cooking—beans, chicken and shrimp. After eating, he covered and refrigerated the food and wiped down surfaces.

 

Happy weekend, everyone!

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

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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