Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 11th, 2015
Benefits & Administration
Misconceptions Fog Fiduciary Rule’s Upside
Owners of small-balance individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are not who most people think they are, the Department of Labor (DOL) says in a new Q&A document. Defending objections to its fiduciary rule proposal, the DOL says it is particularly concerned with those low- and middle-income workers and families who enter the IRA marketplace through rollovers from a workplace-based retirement plan. These workers depend heavily on these plans to do most of their saving, so rolling over their assets is one of the most important financial decisions they can make. Right now, the DOL contends, many retirement investment advisers do not have to adhere to fiduciary standards when giving rollover advice, and depending on the arrangement, their advice does not have to be in the saver’s best interest.Read more >
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Products, Deals & People
Investment Product Launches for the Week
This week’s new investment products and services include an absolute return fund from Goldman Sachs; a book about stable value investing from Stable Value Consultants; and the launch of Tideline, a consulting firm designed to provide tailored advice about institutional impact investing.Read more >
Economic Events

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that July sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers’ sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $449.5 billion, down 0.3% from the revised June level and down 4.2% from the July 2014 level. July sales of durable goods were up 1.2% from last month and up 0.2% from a year ago. Sales of machinery, equipment, and supplies were up 5.2% from last month and sales of computer and computer peripheral equipment and software were up 3.2%. Sales of nondurable goods were down 1.7% from June and down 8.0% from last July. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 8.2% from last month and sales of farm product raw materials were down 2.2%.

In the week ending September 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 275,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 275,750, an increase of 500 from the previous week’s revised average.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.90%, up from 3.89% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.10%, up from 3.09%.

Market Mirror

Yesterday, the Dow closed 76.83 points (0.47%) higher at 16,330.40, the NADAQ climbed 39.72 points (0.84%) to 4,796.25, and the S&P 500 gained 10.23 points (0.53%) to finish at 1,952.27. The Russell 2000 was up 4.80 points (0.42%) at 1,153.02, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 93.36 points (0.46%) to 20,610.16.

On the NYSE, 3.2 billion shares traded, with a slight lead for advancers. On the NASDAQ, 2.7 billion shares changed hands, with 1.4 advancing issues for every declining issue.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was down 8/32, increasing its yield to 2.229%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond decreased 20/32, bringing its yield up to 2.995%.

Compliance
PBGC Issues Final Rules for Reportable Events
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued final rules for reportable events, focusing on the minority of plans and sponsors that pose the greatest risk of defaulting on their financial obligations. The final rules make the funding level for satisfying the well-funded plan safe harbor lower and tied to the variable-rate premium. It also adds company waivers for five events.Read more >
Legislators Hear Arguments About Fiduciary Reform
Two subcommittees of the United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services held another round of fiduciary rule hearings in Washington, D.C., adding still more commentary to an impressively long-running fiduciary rule debate. The hearing was hosted by the Subcommittees on Oversight and Investigations and Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises. Taken together, the latest round of commentary closely matched earlier hearings at the Department of Labor (DOL). As with the previous commentary, experts cited pros and cons in the DOL’s exemption-based rulemaking package, largely based on the financial interests of the type of service provider or advocacy organization for which they work.Read more >
Terex Corporation Settles Stock Drop Lawsuit
A federal court has approved a settlement of a class action Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) lawsuit against Terex Corporation alleging fiduciary breaches related to holding company stock investments in its 401(k) plan. Terex has denied any wrongdoing, but has agreed to fund a settlement account.Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1609, explorer Henry Hudson sailed into New York harbor and discovered Manhattan Island and the Hudson River. In 1789, Alexander Hamilton was appointed by U.S. President George Washington to be the first Secretary of the Treasury. In 1910, in Hollywood, the first commercially successful electric bus line opened. In 1936, Boulder Dam in Nevada was dedicated by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt by turning on the dam’s first hydroelectric generator. The dam is now called Hoover Dam. In 1941, in Arlington, Virginia, the groundbreaking ceremony for the Pentagon took place. In 1952, Dr. Charles Hufnagel successfully replaced a diseased aorta valve with an artificial valve made of plastic. In 1954, the Miss America beauty pageant made its network TV debut on ABC. Miss California, Lee Ann Meriwether, was the winner. In 1959, the U.S. Congress passed a bill authorizing the creation of food stamps. In 1967, The Carol Burnett Show premiered on CBS. In 1974, “Little House On The Prairie” made its television debut. In 1974, the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets set a National League record when they played 25 innings. It was the second longest game in professional baseball history. In 1977, the Atari 2600 was released. It was originally sold as the Atari VCS. In 2001, four airliners were hijacked and intentionally crashed. Two hit the World Trade Center in New York City, one hit the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and another crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. About 3,000 people were killed.                                 

 

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES! 

Travelmath sent a microbiologist to explore both airports and airplanes, testing a variety of normally used items to come up with a list of the dirtiest ones of all, based on “colony-forming units.” The dirtiest parts of an airplane, in order from most to least dirty, are tray tables, overhead air vents, lavatory flush buttons and seatbelt buckles. The dirtiest places in airports are drinking fountain buttons and bathroom stall locks.

This video of an elderly man greeting his sweetie at the airport will warm your heart.Read more >
This little girl finally gets some love back from Siri.Read more >

In Magnitogorsk, Russia, two five-year-old boys hatched a plan to escape kindergarten. The two disappeared during a supervised walk on the kindergarten grounds. They used spades to dig a tunnel under a fence. According to The Rakyat Post, after they escaped, they walked two kilometers to a car dealership. A woman noticed the unaccompanied boys and asked them what they were doing. They said they had left kindergarten to buy a Jaguar, but didn’t have money. The women took the boys to a police station.

In Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, a woman’s son was caught in a downpour while jogging at a park, so she went to take him an umbrella. The son soon received a call from a pedestrian saying that his mother had been found unconscious on a bridge with burn marks on her chest. The woman was taken to a hospital and eventually woke up to learn that she’d been hit by lightning on the way to meet her son. According to the Shanghaiist, a report says the metal umbrella likely acted as a conductor for the lightning, while the metal underwire in the woman’s bra diverted the surge of energy away from her vital organs, possibly saving her life.

In Denver, Colorado, a day after a vandal had thrown a rock at his windshield, a man made an appointment at a local auto glass shop to have it replaced. Just as he was about to pull into the shop, an Adams County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled the man over and issued him a ticket for an “unsafe vehicle.” The man tried explaining to the Adams County deputy he had an appointment to repair the windshield, but it didn’t make difference. According to the local NBC News station, the shop owner has offered to pay the ticket if it is not dismissed in court.

Have a great 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 alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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