Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 18th, 2017
Awards Nominations
2018 Annual Plan Sponsor and Adviser Award Nominations Are Open
Nomination forms for the 2018 PLANSPONSOR Plan Sponsor of the Year awards and Retirement Plan Adviser of the Year awards are now available.Read more >
Benefits & Administration
Helping Workers Struggling With Student Loan Debt
While a pestering task, paying off student loans requires fulfillment and consistency, says Matt Sommers, vice president and retirement strategy group leader at Janus Henderson. A survey from IonTuition found 57.8% of employees said it would be helpful if employers provided information and online tools, including a hotline for repayment education and one-on-one student loan counseling. Additionally, 35.6% of respondents are unaware of their student loan repayment options. Providing access to an adviser who can offer tailored solutions—including refinance, auto-debit programs and alternative restructuring—can provide employees with relief from overwhelming payments or disband uncoordinated payment planning, according to Sommers. Several providers have also come out with student loan repayment benefits.Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
T. Rowe Price hires senior DC strategist; Lockton adds retirement consultant to Northeast Practice; Mercer offers student loan repayment benefit as part of wellness program; and more.Read more >
2021 DC Plan Benchmarking Survey
Working Past Age 65 May Seem Like a Great Idea …
2022 Retirement Industry Trends to Follow
TRIVIAL PURSUITS: Residents of the Island of Misfit Toys
2021 Recordkeeping Survey
Economic Events

Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for August, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $474.8 billion, a decrease of 0.2% from the previous month, and 3.2% above August 2016, the Census Bureau announced. Retail trade sales were down 0.3% from July, and up 3.3% from last year. Nonstore Retailers were up 8.4% from August 2016, while Building Materials and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers were up 7.5% from last year.


The combined value of distributive trade sales and manufacturers’ shipments for Jul, adjusted for seasonal and trading-day differences but not for price changes, was estimated at $1,358.8 billion, up 0.2% from June and up 4.9% from July 2016.


THE ECONOMIC WEEK AHEAD: Tomorrow, the Census Bureau will report about housing starts for August. Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors will report about existing home sales for August. Thursday, the Labor Department will issue its initial claims report.
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Market Mirror

Friday, the Dow climbed 64.86 points (0.29%) to 22,268.34, the NASDAQ closed 19.38 points (0.30%) higher at 6,448.47, and the S&P 500 was up 4.61 points (0.18%) at 2,500.23. The Russell 2000 increased 6.69 points (0.47%) to 1,431.71, and the Wilshire 5000 gained 42.55 points (0.16%) to finish at 25,939.46.


The price of the 10-year Treasury note was decreased 5/32, bringing its yield up to 2.205%, and the price of the of the 30-year Treasury bond was down 1/32, increasing its yield to 2.770%.


WEEK’S WORTH: For the week ending September 15, the Dow gained 2.16%, the NASDAQ was up 1.39%, and the S&P 500 finished 1.58% higher. The Russell 2000 climbed 2.31%, and the Wilshire 5000 increased 1.58%.
DOL Announces Additional Relief for Hurricane Irma Victims
The relief regards verification procedures for plan loans and distributions, participant contributions and loan payments, blackout notices, and group health plan compliance.Read more >
From the Magazine
De-Risking Windows
Defined benefit (DB) pension plans are complex arrangements, building up assets in investment portfolios over many years and then conferring lifetime retirement income on employees. Underlying each plan are the sponsors’ generosity in terms of benefits, their investment philosophy and their capacity to fund the portfolio, as well as the complex, changing and costly structures of regulation and administration. It all adds up to a tangle of risks for sponsors, shareholders and employees past and present. For 30 years and more, sponsors have sought to trim these risks, although with increasing difficulty posed by the Pension Protection Act (PPA) and rising Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) insurance premiums. Sponsors have responded with an array of tactics.Read more >
August Uptick in Trading Favors Fixed Income
The majority of outflows from retirement plan participant accounts came from U.S. equities and company stock, despite powerful stock market returns for the year thus far.Read more >
Small Talk
ON THIS DATE: In 1789, Alexander Hamilton negotiated and secured the first loan for the United States. The Temporary Loan of 1789 was repaid on June 8, 1790 at the sum of $19,608.81. In 1793, U.S. President George Washington laid the actual cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol. In 1837, Tiffany & Co. was founded in New York City. In 1891, Harriet Maxwell Converse became the first white woman to ever be named chief of an Indian tribe. The tribe was the Six Nations Tribe at Towanda Reservation in New York. In 1927, Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System made its debut with its network broadcast over 16 radio stations. The name was later changed to CBS. In 1946, Mound Metalcraft was founded in Mound, Minnesota. The company later changed its name to Tonka Toys Incorporated. In 1947, the United States Air Force was established as a separate military branch by the National Security Act. In 1955, the “Ed Sullivan Show” began on CBS-TV. The show had been “The Toast of the Town” since 1948. In 1963, “The Patty Duke Show” premiered on ABC-TV. In 1965, the first episode of “I Dream of Jeannie” was shown on NBC-TV. In 1981, a museum honoring former U.S. President Gerald Ford was dedicated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2003, Robert Duvall received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
SURVEY SAYS RESPONSES: Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, “Which season is your favorite?” Many responding readers agreed with me, as 45.6% identified Fall as their favorite season. One-quarter selected Spring, while 23.5% selected Summer and 5.9% chose Winter. In Verbatim comments, respondents shared what exactly they like about their favorite season. For Fall, other than what I mentioned, the start of football was a big reason, and everyone seems to like sweaters. Spring is popular for everything’s emergence and growth after Winter, and of course, Summer is for swimming and vacation time. One reader chose Summer, saying, “I live in New England and Summer is only 2-3 months long. Other seasons are Winter, Winter, and Winter. I hate wearing 4 layers of clothes for 9 months. I’ll take a hot & humid summer any day. Can’t wait to move South when I retire!” There weren’t many reasons given for liking Winter, although one reader likes a cold, and snowy, Christmas. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I wonder if you would get more ‘spring’ responses if you did this same survey in the spring.” How did that person know Spring would not be the top response? Thanks to all who participated in the survey!Read more >
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer


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