Newsdash Insight on Plan Design & Investment Strategy from PLANSPONSOR
September 27th, 2019
Benefits & Administration
Municipal DB Plans Face Increased Cost Pressures
While this is in part due to expected market performance and changing demographics, S&P Global Ratings points to plan sponsor actions that cause funding challenges for pension and OPEB costs. Read more >
Teaching Employees Skills and Practices for Retirement Confidence
Unfortunately, there are no do-overs in life, but there are ways to help employees feel confidence about their financial futures going forward. Read more >
Products, Deals and People
Investment Product and Service Launches
Global X launches cannabis ETF; Wilmington Trust announces asset management brand; Columbia Threadneedle launches strategic-beta ETFs; and more. Read more >
MOST READ ARTICLES
1
AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits
2
Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019
3
Social Security Administration Announced COLA for 2020
4
New Lawsuit Highlights Importance of Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans
5
IRS Releases 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan
Sponsored message from Northern Trust
How a Custodian Started Up a Fintech Solution for CIOs
Learn how Northern Trust Front Office Solutions developed a data integration solution for CIOs. Read more >
Economic Events

In the week ending September 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for unemployment insurance was 213,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 210,000, the Labor Department reported. The four-week moving average was 212,000, a decrease of 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 212,750.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.64%, down from 3.73% one week ago, according to Freddie Mac. The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage is 3.16%, down from 3.21%.

Market Mirror

Thursday, the Dow decreased 79.59 points (0.30%) to 26,891.12, the NASDAQ lost 46.72 points (0.58%) to finish at 8,030.66, and the S&P 500 was down 7.25 points (0.24%) at 2,977.62. The Russell 2000 fell 17.33 points (1.12%) to 1,533.33, and the Wilshire 5000 closed 111.98 points (0.37%) lower at 30,394.52.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note was up 4/32, decreasing its yield to 1.697%. The price of the 30-year Treasury bond increased 31/32, bringing its yield down to 2.144%.

Compliance
Eugene Scalia Wins Senate Confirmation as DOL Secretary
The new Labor Secretary is known for his previous work at the Department of Labor and for a successful litigation practice focused on deregulatory issues. Read more >
From the Magazine
Insights: Back to School
It’s that time of year again—back to school. Whether you’re getting your children ready, as I am, or preparing to start a new school year yourself, there’s always a combination of excitement and nervousness. Now, there’s a clear understanding that people absorb, process and comprehend information in different ways—no one approach to education will work for all. Some may be visual, others auditory, still others readers/writers, and a further group kinesthetic—or tactile. I now listen, on back-to-school nights, to the teachers regularly explain how they’re tailoring various classroom experiences, so every type of learner has the opportunity to succeed. I’m not sure we’ve gotten to that point in educating about retirement plans or in the latest initiatives discussing financial wellness. Read more >
Sponsored message from American Century Investments
The Making of a Glide Path
Understanding the impact of design decisions on retirement outcomes. Read more >
Small Talk

ON THIS DATE: In 1779, the Continental Congress appointed John Adams to travel to France as minister plenipotentiary in charge of negotiating treaties of peace and commerce with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. In 1939, after 19 days of resistance, Warsaw, Poland, surrendered to the Germans after being invaded by the Nazis and the Soviet Union during World War II. In 1954, the “Tonight!” show made its debut on NBC-TV with Steve Allen as host. In 1979, the Department of Education became the 13th Cabinet in U.S. history after the final approval from Congress. In 1986, the Senate approved federal tax code changes that were the most sweeping since World War II. In 1989, Columbia Pictures Entertainment agreed to buyout Sony Corporation for $3.4 billion. In 1989, two men went over the 176-foot-high Niagara Falls in a barrel. Jeffrey Petkovich and Peter Debernardi were the first to ever survive the Horshoe Falls. In 1995, the U.S. government unveiled the redesigned $100 bill. The bill features a larger, off-center portrait of Benjamin Franklin.

And now it’s time for FRIDAY FILES!

Hey dude, did you miss something about the gas station? Read more >
The wind or a hospital ghost? Read more >
In Wirksworth, England, a couple is growing furniture on a farm. They harvest trees which they train to grow into furniture. Currently on the farm they are nurturing 250 chairs, 100 lamps and 50 tables. Reuters reports it is their answer to what they see as the inefficient and carbon-heavy process of cutting down mature trees to create furniture. They have had to discover the most effective way to shape a tree without stunting its growth. The couple has learned to guide shoots already heading in the right direction, rather than forcing shoots the wrong way against their will. The labor and time involved in producing the organic pieces means they do not come cheap. Chairs sell for $12,480, lamps for $1,120 to $2,870 and tables for $3,120 to $15,600. The average chair takes six to nine years to grow and another year to dry out. The longest commission the company has is for 2030. It is a chair for a customer’s retirement. [pic] Read more >

In Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a couple was posing for wedding pictures at their outdoor venue, when a large black bear appeared in one of the pictures. The photographer and the couple moved away to finish the shoot, but the bear then proceeded to walk down the aisle. The photographer told the Huffington Post she wasn’t afraid at all until it began making a “huffing” noise and heading in her direction. She shared some of the images on Facebook, calling the uninvited guest a “monsterous photo bomber.” Indeed.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

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

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