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Daily Article Digest - Updated Throughout the Day

This digest contains a wide variety of the freshest source material dealing with current trends, opinion, news, legislative action, investments, marketing, sales, consulting, and legal issues regarding 401k, 403(b) and other retirement plans. Each listing contains a headline (hyperlinked to the source document), description, source of the item, and the month and year posted to this digest.

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Record Retention Requirements for ERISA Plans

Abstract: Sponsoring a plan that is covered under ERISA requires the collection of a large amount of information related to the plan itself and to the plan participants. As the years pass the amount of information grows leaving employers to wonder how long plan-level and participant-level information must be retained. ERISA Sections 107 and 209 speak to record retention of employee plans.

Source: Voya.com, June 2016

How America Saves 2016 -- Small Business Edition

Abstract: Vanguard issued this extensive report detailing the plan design and participant savings trends of the small business 401k plans. Researchers found that small businesses are employing state-of-the-art plan design features, including automatic enrollment and target-date funds, prompting encouraging savings behaviors in their employees.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2016

The DOL Fiduciary Rule and Rollover Advice

Abstract: Jamie Hopkins, Esq., and David Littell, JD, join in a conversation on the DOL's fiduciary rule with Pinnacle Advisory Group's Michael Kitces, CFP. They discuss the new level of scrutiny retirement and rollover advice will face under the DOL fiduciary rule.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, June 2016

More Small Businesses Improving DC Plan Design

Abstract: One-sixth of small business plans served by Vanguard have adopted automatic enrollment, and most chose to reenroll participants in a QDIA at conversion onto the Vanguard small business plan platform.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

Supreme Court Denies Petition for GM 401k Company Stock Case

Abstract: An appellate court's dismissal of a lawsuit against State Street Bank and Trust Company over its handling of the employee stock ownership portion of General Motors 401k plan still stands. The U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari filed by Raymond M. Pfeil and Michael Kammer, participants in the GM plan.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

Proposed Tax Reforms Would Affect Retirement, Education

Abstract: Serious tax reform efforts are not expected before the next presidential administration takes office, but a recent legislative proposal does contain some changes to retirement saving incentives, changes considered necessary by its authors in order to offset tax revenue lost in the tax rate reduction process. This article notes some findings from a preliminary examination of this proposed tax reform document.

Source: Ascensus.com, June 2016

Video: Lower DC Plan Fees? Look Again at CITs

Abstract: With increasing focus on DC plan fees by regulators, plan sponsors and participants, there's a renewed interest in a very old product format: the collective investment trust (CIT). Most of the historic barriers to using CITs in DC plans have now disappeared. So for medium and large-size DC plans, CITs may prove to be compelling, low-cost vehicles.

Source: Abglobal.com, June 2016

Podcast: DOL Rule From a Sales vs. Advisory Cultural Perspective

Abstract: Sales and advisory organizations are fundamentally different. That is the premise of the Labor Department's new conflict-of-interest rule. They have different priorities, which shape the culture and practices that exist in each. Consequently, they must be regulated differently and should be distinguishable to the public. Twelve minutes.

Source: Fi360.com, June 2016

Full Scope vs Limited-Scope Audits

Abstract: Why would one ever select a full scope audit? Usually, a full scope audit isn't selected, rather it is performed out of necessity. That necessity arises when the custodian isn't an eligible entity qualified to certify or a significant portion of the Plan's assets are not in the control of the custodian.

Source: 5500audit.com, June 2016

Good Advice for Plan Sponsors: Monitor Advisers

Abstract: Many external advisers to plans already commit in their contracts with their clients to act as fiduciaries. Some don't, though, particularly those who advise small plans. Executives responsible for overseeing these plans shouldn't just sit back and relax; rather, they should reevaluate their agreements with their advisers, experts say. And there are implications for large plan sponsors as well.

Source: Cfo.com, June 2016

Legislation to Call for Federal Mandate on Retirement Savings, Matches

Abstract: Look for a bill to be introduced in Congress next month that some have called "auto-IRA on steroids." It's not a new proposal, but it would, at a federal level, mandate that employers with 10 or more employees to open individualized retirement accounts for every employee, if they do not already offer a retirement plan.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

The Future Is Now for 401k Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Author states, "For retirement plan sponsors, the future of retirement plans is actually here and they need to know about the existing issues of their plan that could increase the potential for liability." Then lays out five 'issues' sponsors need to learn about.

Source: Jdsupra.com, June 2016*

Retirement Calculators Show 'Dramatically Different' Results

Abstract: Calculators used by investors to gauge their probability of retirement success may not actually be good gauges of that success. Comparing the outputs from several retirement planning programs shows a huge dispersion of results, underpinning how investors and advisers should use them as a guide rather than take them at face value.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Retirement Assets Total $24.1 Trillion in First Quarter 2016

Abstract: Total U.S. retirement assets were $24.1 trillion as of March 31, 2016, up 0.6 percent from the end of December. Retirement assets accounted for 34 percent of all household financial assets in the United States at the end of the first quarter of 2016.

Source: Ici.org, June 2016

Evaluating Auditor Proposals: Audit Quality

Abstract: Evaluating responses to your plan auditor request for proposals can be done simply and efficiently if you lay out the criteria you consider most critical in advance and assign a weight in terms of importance to each. This approach creates a framework of objectivity before you begin reviewing the proposals.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, June 2016

Overpaid Former Plan Participant Found to Be a Fiduciary

Abstract: A federal court said that by not repaying the overpaid funds, the former participant became a fiduciary and breached her ERISA fiduciary duties by not returning the funds.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

Using Auto-Enroll to Improve Participant Outcomes

Abstract: Having a competitive retirement program is essential to attracting and retaining employees for not just a corporation or not for profit entity, but for governmental entities as well. Employers can set an important precedent by offering an automatic enrollment arrangement and impressing upon employees how important it is to begin saving for retirement as soon as possible.

Source: Nagdca.org, June 2016

Brexit: How to Manage Client Fears

Abstract: Author writes, "I am frank with my clients and readily admit that I know I don't know the future. That's why I typically put them in balanced portfolios and stress the importance of sticking with that balanced allocation no matter what they read, hear or see."

Source: Financial-Planning.com, June 2016

401k Providers See Participant Calls Surge in Wake of Historic Brexit

Abstract: Retirement plan participants phoned their providers in a frenzy Friday morning as news of Britain's exit from the European Union caused severe market gyrations and investors wanted to know what it meant for their nest eggs. Fidelity Investments, the largest record keeper of defined contribution plans, saw call volume for its 401k business increase 50% over regular levels for the first hour of business Friday morning.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Average Investors Shouldn't Panic Over Brexit Storm

Abstract: Britain's unprecedented decision to leave the European Union sent global financial markets into tailspins Friday, but analysts say that average investors shouldn't panic over their personal investments or retirement plans.

Source: Detroitnews.com, June 2016

How 403(b) Plans Can Inform 401k Plans

Abstract: A properly designed defined contribution plan can provide a retiree with an income stream for life. Article identifies five characteristics of a well-designed plan that can help participants pursue lifetime income.

Source: Cfo.com, June 2016

Because of Brexit, Don't Check Your 401k

Abstract: What does all this mean for you, the ordinary person saving for retirement? First, it was a good day not to look at anything financial. Instead of asking yourself what is going to happen to the value of your retirement accounts, the question to ask is: How does this play out for me financially, years down the road?

Source: Bankrate.com, June 2016

Will Fiduciary Rule Survive Rising Tide of Lawsuits?

Abstract: Regardless of the probability of success of these legal challenges, it seems this result was inevitable, if for no other reason than that this guidance has been accompanied by more controversy than the industry has seen in a very long time. The plaintiffs' arguments for an injunction are numerous, but may not be so easy to prove to a court's satisfaction.

Source: Erisanews.blogspot.com, June 2016

ETFs and Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: This 7-page paper's self-described objective is to provide a high level perspective on why ETFs are not more broadly held in retirement plans, and to summarize solutions developed to address the issue. It was written with ETF stakeholders in mind.

Source: Vmsholdings.com, June 2016

The New Fiduciary Regs: A Practical Review -- Part II

Abstract: This 5-page paper looks at the potential for self-dealing if you are an advice fiduciary, and how the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) can help.

Source: Ferenczylaw.com, June 2016

Best Interest Contract Exemption

Abstract: The DOL has issued a prohibited transaction exemption (BICE) to permit an advisor to receive increased compensation or third party payments under certain circumstances. This 8-page paper discusses the BICE and the more accessible version of the BICE that is available to level fee advisors.

Source: Ferenczylaw.com, June 2016

Great-West Loses Another Round in ERISA Class Action

Abstract: Great-West lost another battle in a lawsuit challenging the money it makes off annuity contracts sold to 401k investors. A federal judge in Colorado certified the case as a class action on behalf of more than 270,000 investors in about 13,600 different retirement plans. The judge also denied Great-West's attempt to block expert testimony on the amount of money at stake in the lawsuit.

Source: Bna.com, June 2016

TIAA Breaks With Rivals to Support DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Roger Ferguson, the former Federal Reserve vice chairman who is chief executive officer of TIAA, is breaking from industry groups that sued the U.S. Labor Department to challenge increased government oversight of retirement products.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

The Cold Comfort of the Best Interest Contract Exemption

Abstract: The BIC Exemption comes at a steep price, imposing extensive compliance costs in the form of new disclosure requirements, as well as new policies and procedures requirements, discussed in depth in this 10-page brief prepared by the law firm Latham & Watkins. The exemption also substantially increases litigation risk by providing IRA and other retirement plan investors a new private enforcement right against financial advisers.

Source: Lw.com, June 2016

Plan Fees Still Lawsuit Trigger for Retirement Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The legal landscape continues to be unforgiving for many retirement plan sponsors who find themselves defendants in excess plan fee lawsuits. Plan sponsors can work with their recordkeepers to reverse the negative perception surrounding fees, a fiduciary benchmarking practitioner said.

Source: Bna.com, June 2016

A Federal Lost and Found for Retirement Accounts?

Abstract: U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Steve Daines have teamed up to introduce legislation that would create a federal lost and found designed to help stem leakage from retirement accounts. According to its sponsors, the bill uses the data employers are already required to report to create a national online lost and found for Americans' retirement accounts.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Stands as Veto Override Falls Short

Abstract: House Republicans have failed -- by a wide margin -- to overturn President Barack Obama's earlier veto of legislation to block enforcement of final U.S. Labor Department pension plan fiduciary rules.

Source: Businessinsurance.com, June 2016

The Problem With Investment Committees

Abstract: The decisions which have the most negative impact on investment results tend to be associated with capitulating on a good strategy after a stretch of bad performance. In fact, capitulation can evolve into a pattern of selling low and buying high as the investor seeks to recoup foregone returns.

Source: Russell.com, June 2016

The Ease of Automation and Guaranteed Lifetime Income

Abstract: Are there plan design features plan sponsors could use to drive better participant behaviors and outcomes? This 16-page paper offers answers. It is aimed at CFOs, HR directors and other plan sponsor decision-makers who want to get the most from their DC plans.

Source: Prudential.com, June 2016

DOL and Lifetime Income

Abstract: The DOL can take certain regulatory actions to facilitate the adoption of lifetime income programs by sponsors of defined contribution retirement plans. This article outlines the simple steps the DOL can take, without the need of legislative change, that would support plan sponsors in these efforts.

Source: Iijournals.com, June 2016

The ABCs of 401k Retirement Savings Plans: DIY vs. TDFs

Abstract: About half of workers invested in a 401k plan rely on target-date funds, and most plans now offer them. But is putting your investments on autopilot the best approach to retirement planning? It depends on whom you ask.

Source: Cnbc.com, June 2016

401k Trends and Tips for 2016

Abstract: It may be quite surprising to some is that participants' best interests are not necessarily the top motivation for plan sponsors' shifting strategies. Rather, research shows that many decisions about plans, including shifting the mix of investment options available to participants, are made primarily with an eye to avoid being sued. And that's sparking discussion as to whether companies' plan or investment committees, often headed by CFOs, are properly exercising their fiduciary duties.

Source: Cfo.com, June 2016

Steps Employers Can Take to Help Women Close the Retirement Savings Gap

Abstract: Men and women are on equal footing when it comes to 401k plan participation, but research from Aon Hewitt shows that this equality doesn't hold true when evaluating overall retirement readiness. Suggests three steps employers can take to help women close the retirement savings gap.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

2016 Recordkeeping Survey

Abstract: PLANSPONSOR's 18th annual Recordkeeping Survey questionnaire was distributed to known providers of full-service and unbundled recordkeeping for both qualified and nonqualified DC plans. The survey data provides insight into each provider's experience, services, and capabilities.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2016

Is the Time Ripe for a Move to Custom Target-Date Funds?

Abstract: As target-date fund assets swell, a growing number of large plans have moved to custom TDFs -- the idea is custom target-date funds are just better than off-the-shelf target date funds. But plan sponsors shouldn't assume they ought to follow this trend.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

The Obama Administration Signals an Open Mind About Open MEPs

Abstract: Some in the industry wonder if the Labor Department's late 2015 guidance on state-run retirement plans, which gave the okay for states to use the MEP approach, indicates that its opposition to private sector open MEPs could change. And President Obama's 2017 Budget indicated support for Congress to develop a legislative solution that would open up multiple-employer defined contribution plans to any unrelated employer.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

Is DOL Rule Slowing Service Provider Changes?

Abstract: Though proposal activity is high, it seems like advisors and plan sponsors are reluctant to make a change. Could the new DOL conflict of interest rule be the culprit?

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

How to Conduct an Annual Investment Review

Abstract: A well-established and implemented investment policy statement is one of your best defenses against potential legal challenges in light of recent court rulings. But it's not enough just to create an investment policy statement, you must follow through on the review procedures it outlines.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Defined Contribution Plan Participants' Activities, 2015

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through defined contribution plans in 2015, according to ICI's latest study of retirement plan savers' actions. The study is based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 26 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans.

Source: Ici.org, June 2016

Breach of Fiduciary Duty Class Action Targets Relatively Small 401k Plan

Abstract: A new class action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota raises concerns that plan sponsors and fiduciaries of relatively small 401k plans may also become targets of 'breach of fiduciary duty' suits.

Source: Haynesboone.com, June 2016

403(b) and the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: A close look at the DOL's fiduciary rule reveals interesting twists in the manner in which the rule affects (or doesn't) 403(b) plans, which simply do not apply to other participant directed defined contribution plans. Two really are the most obvious.

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, June 2016

401k Plan Fees: Can Benchmarking Determine Value and Reasonableness?

Abstract: 401k plan fees have been the hot topic of discussion amongst both plan sponsors and the industry. With fee disclosure regulations, a growing number of lawsuits and the press all swirling around the issue the need for plan fiduciaries to have a process to both understand and evaluate plan fees for reasonableness has never been more important. Tom Kmak, the CEO and co-founder of the firm Fiduciary Benchmarks, shares his experience and perspective on how to create a meaningful fee benchmarking process.

Source: 401kfridays.com, June 2016

Retirement Plan Options for the Self-Employed

Abstract: Being self-employed gives you a certain measure of freedom, but it doesn't get you out of saving for retirement. In fact, in many ways, it makes putting money away that much more crucial. There are five main retirement account options for the self-employed.

Source: Nerdwallet.com, June 2016

Under New Fiduciary Rule, DOL Has Reason to Pay Attention to Reverse Churning

Abstract: In a nutshell, reverse churning occurs when an adviser places client assets in an advisory account, charges an ongoing management fee, and gets paid for doing little or nothing thereafter. The SEC and Finra have had this regulatory matter on their radar for years. Now, under the new fiduciary rule, the DOL has reason to pay attention to the problem and it's clear they will.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Fiduciary Financial Advice to Retirement Savers: Don't Overlook the Prudent Investor Rule

Abstract: This essay calls attention to the regulatory imposition of the prudent investor rule on financial advisers to retirement savers. The essay also canvasses the basic tenets of the prudent investor rule, highlighting its nature as principles-based rather than prescriptive, and the customary role of an investment policy statement in compliance by professional fiduciaries.

Source: Ssrn.com, June 2016

401k Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts: A Cautionary Tale

Abstract: A recently filed lawsuit rekindled some old concerns about self-directed brokerage accounts. The lawsuit in question is Fleming v Fidelity Management Trust Company which was filed by a group of participants in the Delta Airlines retirement plan against Fidelity alleging breach of fiduciary responsibility for excessive fees charged to their brokerage accounts.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, June 2016

The Importance of a Private Retirement System

Abstract: EPI Economist Monique Morrissey, an economist at the Economic Policy Institute, delivered this testimony before the Philadelphia City Council's Labor and Civil Service Committee on the topic of our private retirement system.

Source: Epi.org, June 2016

Safe Harbor 401k Plans: Answers to Common Questions

Abstract: Safe harbor 401k plans aren't for everybody. They are subject to special contribution and vesting requirements that can make them more expensive for small businesses than a traditional 401k plan. This is a FAQ with some common questions regarding safe harbor 401k plans.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, June 2016

MassMutual Settles 401k Fee Lawsuit for $31M

Abstract: Massachusetts Mutual will pay nearly $31 million to settle a lawsuit claiming that it mismanaged its 401k plan, according to recently filed court documents.

Source: Bna.com, June 2016

How the Fiduciary Rule Affects Investment Manager Marketing

Abstract: A significant limitation of the "hire me" exception of the DOL's fiduciary rule may raise issues for many investment managers looking to rely on this exception in connection with the marketing of their services.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2016

Fiduciary Rule's Impact on IRAs Should Be No Surprise

Abstract: During the course of the DOL's development of its recently released final fiduciary rule, a common industry challenge has been whether IRAs should be covered by the rule. Considering the DOL was given rule making authority over Code section 4975 in 1978, it should come as no surprise that IRAs are subject to the same recently issued final rule.

Source: Ascensus.com, June 2016

A Second Look at How Target-Date Funds Change Their Allocations

Abstract: Target-date funds offer the premise of a one-stop solution for investors seeking professional allocation strategies. Despite this, there remains confusion about how to use target-date funds. Given this backdrop, author revisits target-date funds and notes some changes that came to light.

Source: Aaii.com, June 2016

Exemptive Relief May Soften Impact of Fiduciary Advice Regulations

Abstract: The DOL has issued sweeping regulations that will require parties that provide invest. advice to plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, plan participants, beneficiaries, and IRAs and IRA owners to make prudent investment recommendations, without regard to their own interests. This 15-page paper will help you understand the implications of this ruling, along with the various exemptions.

Source: Wolterskluwerlb.com, June 2016

Employees Want DC Plans and Want to Be Auto Enrolled

Abstract: Automatic enrollment is not being embraced by a majority of employers according to a new report from the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. By comparison, 71% of employees would like to be auto-enrolled into their plan, and 67% would like it to include auto-escalation.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2016

Don't Use Your Payroll Provider as Your 401k TPA

Abstract: There has been much change in the retirement plan business over the last 6 years including law changes, fee disclosure, and a new definition of fiduciary rule. What hasn't changed according to this writer is that it's still a bad idea to use your payroll provider as a TPA.

Source: Jdsupra.com, June 2016

The Recent Wave of ERISA Litigation Is Turning Into a Tsunami

Abstract: In the last six months, the number of ERISA fiduciary breach lawsuits has increased to levels not seen since the fall of 2006. The genesis of this new wave of cases is not clear. The recent cases tend to fall into three categories and provide some insight.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, June 2016

No SEC Fiduciary Rule Till After Obama Departs: SEC Chief White

Abstract: A uniform fiduciary rule by the SEC will not be released before the end of the Obama administration, but the agency will watch the unfolding of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule to see if a "conflict develops," SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White told Senate lawmakers.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, June 2016

Safe Harbor IRAs: Searching for an Appropriate IRA Provider

Abstract: When selecting a provider for a safe harbor IRA, a plan sponsor is acting as a fiduciary. The provider's fees must be fair and the plan sponsor must supply information about the automatic rollover provision by distributing to participants a summary of material modification.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2016

Must Participant Loans Be Paid Upon Termination?

Abstract: If the plan (and recordkeeper) permits, loan repayments may continue to be made by the participants; however, if a participant was previously making repayments via payroll reduction, he/she would be required to make arrangements with the recordkeeper for direct repayment via check or electronic payments such as automated clearing house deduction from a participant's bank account.

Source: Plansponsor.com, June 2016

Rollovers Under the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Article answers this question, "I'm an adviser who provides investment advice to ERISA plan committees. I also provide wealth management and financial planning services to individuals. Under the final DOL fiduciary rule, will I be able to advise plan participants or wealth management clients about their distribution options under a plan or an IRA?"

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

Lehman Brothers Again Found Not Liable in Stock Drop Suit

Abstract: The 2nd Circuit used the same logic in prior decisions to determine plaintiffs had not proven Lehman plan fiduciaries violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

DOL's Fiduciary Rule and Fee-Only Advisers

Abstract: Many advisers who are already fiduciaries under the Investment Advisers Act assume that the final rule has no impact on them. While the fiduciary final rule may have less of an impact on such advisers, as compared with those who are registered representatives of a broker/dealer, advisers should not assume they will be unaffected.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

What's Next for the Determination Letter Program?

Abstract: This article describes the recommendations in a recent IRS on the Determination Letter Program and related considerations for individually designed plan sponsors in light the recommendations.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, June 2016

62% of Canadians Would Pay for Better Retirement Benefit

Abstract: Nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of Canadian employees would be willing to pay more out of their paycheque in order to receive a more generous retirement benefit, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey, which polled more than 2,000 Canadian employees, found a slightly higher number (65 per cent) would be willing to pay more in order to receive a pension that was guaranteed for life.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, June 2016

More Retirees Get Less Satisfaction

Abstract: In the late 1990s, six out of ten retirees found retirement "very satisfying." Today, not even half do, according to a recent analysis of a long-term survey of older Americans. The news isn't all bad, since the "moderately satisfied" share rose and moderately satisfied is probably a more realistic goal for most people anyway.

Source: Bc.edu, June 2016

IRS Issues Guidance on Payments Received During Phased Retirement

Abstract: The IRS has issued guidance on whether distributions received during a phased retirement are amounts received as an annuity. The IRS issued the guidance in Notice 2016-39 and Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2016-36 on June 10 in response to inquiries on the matter.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2016

The Current State of 401ks: The Employer's Perspective

Abstract: This 45-page report examines the state of retirement plan offerings, automatic enrollment, leakage from retirement savings, differences between part-time and full-time workers and other topics.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, June 2016

The Devil May Be in the Default Option

Abstract: In order to provide the highest level of protection to fiduciaries, the default option should be appropriately analyzed, selected and monitored. Increasingly, sponsors are signing up for managed accounts, rather than target-date funds or diversified balanced funds, as the default option.

Source: Pionline.com, June 2016

QDIA Fiduciary Red Flags 401k Plan Sponsors Must Look Out For

Abstract: The only way to guard against excessive fiduciary liability exposure is to have a fully informed workforce. In addition, plan participants must be repeatedly notified of their QDIA exposure and reminded of their ability to opt out of the investment at any time. But, like the proverbial horse, you can lead employees to a periodic education meeting, but you can't get them to learn.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, June 2016

DOL Rule Means Lots of Homework This Year

Abstract: More communications with retirement investors will be considered fiduciary in nature. Moreover, ERISA's fiduciary advice protections are being extended, from employer-sponsored 401k plans to the many millions of IRAs advised by brokers, advisors, banks and insurers. Article highlights six potential questions for RIAs to consider.

Source: Fa-mag.com, June 2016

SDBAs: Undesired Elements for Plan Fiduciaries

Abstract: Some retirement plans are utilizing Self-Directed Brokerage Accounts as the primary investment vehicle for plan participants, but using this element instead of a recordkeeping platform is potentially formulating undesired results. There are numerous fiduciary and participant related considerations that typically outweigh the investment flexibility benefit that SDBAs offer.

Source: Bpp401k.com, June 2016

How Lawsuits Are Reshaping 401k Plans

Abstract: The rash of excessive fee lawsuits started over a decade ago has picked up with over a dozen filed since September 2015. BNA asked a panel of ERISA lawyers how these suits are reshaping 401k plans and the industry as a whole.

Source: 401ktv.com, June 2016

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule -- Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: While the rule's most dramatic effects are likely to be on IRAs and their investment providers, ERISA plan fiduciaries need to be cognizant of the provisions directed towards them and the actions they will need to take given the sea change in this area.

Source: Morganlewis.com, June 2016

Make Benchmarking Your Plan an Annual Exercise

Abstract: Plan benchmarking is an effective way to help plan sponsors stay abreast of changing industry trends, assess participant metrics, and measure their own plan's features against those of comparable companies. It also offers insight into the costs associated with maintaining a plan and whether those costs are in line with industry norms.

Source: Unitedretirement.com, June 2016

ERISA Fiduciaries: What The Numbers Really Mean

Abstract: Most plan sponsors don't know the difference between an ERISA §3(16), ERISA §3(21), and ERISA §3(38) fiduciary; it becomes a number soup of its own. So this article is going to break down what a fiduciary is and what these fiduciary numbers actually mean.

Source: Jdsupra.com, June 2016

Lawsuits Filed Challenging The DOL's Final Fiduciary Rules

Abstract: The Final Rule and the Best Interest Contract Exemption have generated criticism by small and big businesses alike. To date, there have been five lawsuits filed against the U.S. Department of Labor and the Secretary of Labor challenging the validity and constitutionality of the New Rule and exemptions.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, June 2016

Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rules: The Principal Transactions Exemption

Abstract: Article explains the rule's "Class Exemption for Principal Transactions" prohibited transaction class exemption. This exemption generally permits the trading of debt instruments in principal and riskless principal transactions involving ERISA-regulated retirement plans and Individual Retirement Accounts.

Source: Employmentmattersblog.com, June 2016

How to Improve 401k Plans

Abstract: What makes the difference between two different 401k plans? Simply put, four things: low cost, wide diversification, no fads and best in class.

Source: Forbes.com, June 2016

Two More Groups File Lawsuits Against the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The list of lawsuits against the Labor Department got longer as two more industry groups joined three others in taking aim at the fiduciary rule in court. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez has vowed to vigorously defend the rule.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Carriers Join Fourth Lawsuit Against DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Indexed Annuity Leadership Council filed a fourth lawsuit today against the Department of Labor and Secretary Thomas Perez over its controversial fiduciary rule. It is the first lawsuit featuring carriers as plaintiffs. American Equity Investment Life Insurance is among the four carriers joining IALC in the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, June 2016

Form 5500 Preparation -- 10 Quick Considerations

Abstract: It is critical to follow the Form 5500 instructions and carefully review the entries in order to avoid triggering an investigation. Article is a short list of considerations and questions aimed at helping avoid government inquiry otherwise prompted by a wrong answer on the Form 5500.

Source: Erisalawgroup.com, June 2016

Uptick in Fee Litigation Reshaping 401k Industry

Abstract: Bloomberg BNA asked employee benefits attorneys how this litigation is reshaping the 401k industry. They pointed to lower industry wide fees and a reluctance by plans to embrace alternative financial strategies as potential side effects. They also predicted that companies would begin looking more closely at fiduciary liability insurance and the possibility of banding together through multiple employer plans.

Source: Bna.com, June 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule: Capturing the Apparent Conflict at the "Moment of Rollover"

Abstract: Under the DOL's final fiduciary rule, a financial organization or adviser is acting as a fiduciary when advising a retail client to take a rollover or distribution from an ERISA plan or individual retirement account, even if the rollover or distribution recommendation is not accompanied by an investment recommendation. This four-page paper focuses on the impact of the final rule on the business of accumulating assets through capturing rollovers and plan distributions.

Source: Shearman.com, June 2016

Company Stock in Your 401k? Don't Make My Costly Mistake

Abstract: Company stock in your 401k has special rules, specifically an available tax treatment called Net Unrealized Appreciation. Under the right circumstances, you pay only the capital gains tax rate on appreciation, rather than regular income rates. Proceed with caution any time you consider selling, rolling over, or withdrawing shares of company stock in your plan.

Source: Seekingalpha.com, June 2016

State Retirement Arrangements for Small Business Employees

Abstract: Susan Mangiero provides some food for thought regarding her lack of enthusiasm for state-run private-sector retirement programs -- it has more to do with philosophy and a desire to encourage economic growth.

Source: Pensionriskmatters.com, June 2016

Conflict of Interest Rule Checklist

Abstract: The DOL's new fiduciary rule primarily affects service providers and advisors rather than plan sponsors, but this simple checklist can help you understand how services may change for your retirement benefits.

Source: Lockton.com, June 2016

The Final Fiduciary Rule: Impact on Investment Managers

Abstract: This article describes the potential impact of the Fiduciary Rule on investment managers and the exceptions under the rule upon which investment managers may seek to rely in order to avoid triggering fiduciary status in connection with their marketing activities.

Source: Groom.com, June 2016

Securing Our Financial Future: Recommendations for Retirement Security and Personal Savings

Abstract: Bipartisan Policy Center releases a 152-page report, "Report of the Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings," which forth numerous proposals to improve Americans' retirement security. This report presents a comprehensive package of bipartisan proposals to address six key challenges.

Source: Bipartisanpolicy.org, June 2016

Obama Vetoes Congress' Disapproval of Fiduciary Regulation

Abstract: President Obama has vetoed Congress' resolution that would have nullified the Labor Department's fiduciary regulation.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2016

DC Plan Sponsors Say Less Is More in Investment Lineups

Abstract: 401k plan sponsors are consolidating the number of DC investment manager relationships as well as the number of plan investment options in an effort to reduce plan costs, according to a recent Cogent study.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

Small RIA Custodians Are Applying Tougher Love to Hobbyist RIAs

Abstract: In part one of a three-part series, RIA.biz examines how seven small custodians -- starting with Trade PMR and Scottrade -- are evolving away from the utopian model of 100% inclusivity.

Source: Riabiz.com, June 2016

The Retirement Income Dilemma: An In-Plan Solution

Abstract: This four-page paper discusses how in-plan deferred income annuities within a retirement plan help future retirees manage different risks. The article also makes note of the paper's checklists for plan sponsors to use when researching different in-plan products and providers.

Source: Principal.com, June 2016

The 401k Mistakes That Could Cost You a Bundle

Abstract: Having a better understanding of your workplace retirement plan and how to make it work for you is very important. It's not rocket science either. Article touches on four mistakes could be costing you money.

Source: Nbcnews.com, June 2016

DOL's Final Overtime Rule May Affect Retirement, Other Benefit Programs

Abstract: The final rule might affect a retirement or other benefit plan's participation base or could raise concerns if the programs shift toward favoring the highly compensated. Article reviews the new rules and implications.

Source: Milliman.com, June 2016

The Four Phases of Saving and Investing for Retirement

Abstract: The framework of Earn, Save, Grow, and Preserve can be a helpful way to think about the progression of accumulating for retirement. Each phase has its own unique issues to be navigated, and success in one phase leads to the challenges of the next.

Source: Kitces.com, June 2016

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Six Immediate Concerns for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The DOL's final conflict of interest rule redefines fiduciary investment advice under ERISA. Although the rule does not alter a plan sponsor's basic fiduciary obligations, it will impact the plan's relationships with its service providers. This five-page paper details six immediate concerns that plan sponsors need to address.

Source: Ipbtax.com, June 2016

Fiduciaries Face an Alarming Number of Stable Value Fund Lawsuits

Abstract: In the last several months, plaintiffs have filed multiple class action lawsuits against plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, and stable value fund providers. As a result, plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries may want to evaluate the process they use to decide to invest in stable value funds.

Source: Employeebenefitsblog.com, June 2016

How Recaptured Revenue-Sharing Funds Can Be Used

Abstract: In this one-page article, Fred Reish discussed how excess recaptured service provider's compensation is handled, and how to allocate plan expenses. The article also highlights the creation of recordkeeping systems that "equalize."

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, June 2016

Form 5500 Filing Date Approaching

Abstract: July is next month. Obvious, but important for 401k plans and 403(b) plan with calendar year plan years to keep that in mind, since that means the July 31 Form 5500 filing deadline for 2015 is not far off. Article notes changes were made for 2015.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2016

IRS Updates Priority Guidance Plan

Abstract: The IRS has released the third quarter update to its 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan. Projects related to retirement plans on which the IRS has noted action are listed here.

Source: Asppa.org, June 2016

Five 'Must-Haves' to Consider When Outsourcing 401k Recordkeeping Services

Abstract: The costs and complexity of retirement plan recordkeeping are continuing to increase given the demand to keep up with fiduciary rules and regulations. So as you deliberate through the pros and cons of in-house retirement recordkeeping versus Business Process Outsourcing, you must have a deep understanding of the core strengths that you deem critical for your firm to retain and deliver, and how your clients perceive the value of providing those services.

Source: Aspireonline.com, June 2016

What the Pension Protection Act Has Done for 401ks

Abstract: Ten years on and what have we got to show for it? Quite a lot, according to Vanguard. The investment behemoth marks the 10th anniversary of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 by releasing a special 15th anniversary edition of its How America Saves report.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2016

How America Saves 2016

Abstract: In the fifteenth anniversary edition of How America Saves, Vanguard's analysis of DC plans and participant behavior is updated based on 2015 Vanguard recordkeeping data. Report is 110-pages.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2016

Webinar: A Closer Look at the Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Vanguard's Stephanie Napier and Frank Nessel discuss how the DOL final rule expanding the definition of a fiduciary will affect retirement plans. Offer candid views on: Why the DOL expanded the definition of a fiduciary, how the final rule differs from earlier DOL proposals, and how the final rule impacts plan sponsors and participants.

Source: Vanguard.com, June 2016

Retirement Plans Take Second Look at a Cheaper Alternative to Mutual Funds

Abstract: Plan sponsors who wrote off using collective investment trusts in their retirement plans in the past should reconsider the products, as they have evolved to address many of their concerns, according to a paper by Portfolio Evaluations Inc.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, June 2016

Trip to a Friendly North Texas Court to Upend the DOL Fiduciary Rule Looks More Like the Alamo

Abstract: Article states, "Re-enacting the Alamo, the SIFMA-led fiduciary rule-haters have taken their posse to Texas in a last-stand effort to draw the DOL rule-makers into a losing position. The case relies on logic as mystifying as it is audacious."

Source: Riabiz.com, June 2016

A Look at 401k Distribution Options

Abstract: Where most 401k plans only offered a lump-sum distribution option, the new trend in retirement plans may have you facing a decision. Could additional options, such as installments and ad hoc distributions be the new featured value to plan participants? Could a lack of more distribution options be affecting participants' distribution behaviors? Article looks at the options and what they offer the participant.

Source: Retirementtownhall.com, June 2016

The Evolution of Collective Investment Trusts and Considerations for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Plan sponsors have increasingly focused on finding low-cost investments and more transparent fee structures for their retirement plans, in part due to the increasing number of headlines related to fee-based litigation issues. This paper provides an overview of and trends surrounding CITs, and outlines what plan sponsors should consider when looking at adding CITs to their plan lineup.

Source: Porteval.com, June 2016

Public-Private Retirement Plans and Possible Fiduciary Gaps

Abstract: In the aftermath of the passage of the DOL Fiduciary Rule, the concept of fiduciary duty is foremost on the minds of numerous industry executives and policymakers. Will public-private retirement plans receive the same scrutiny or is there a fiduciary gap?

Source: Pensionriskmatters.com, June 2016

ERISA and Cybersecurity

Abstract: Data breaches are also causing benefit plan administrators and other fiduciaries under ERISA to consider whether their ERISA responsibilities include securing online plan data from cyberattacks, especially as to 401k and other benefit plans that are not subject to HIPAA. Although definitive guidance has not been provided, fiduciaries would be well-advised to proceed on the assumption that cybersecurity is an ERISA issue.

Source: Passwordprotectedlaw.com, June 2016

Exceptions to 10% Early Distribution Penalty Chart

Abstract: Comparison chart of qualified plan and traditional IRA exceptions to the 10% penalty on distributions prior to age 59 1/2.

Source: Mhco.com, June 2016

Bonding Guidance

Abstract: Section 412 of ERISA and related regulations generally requires all persons, including fiduciaries, who "handle funds or other property" of an employee benefit plan to be bonded. Good overview with a Q&A.

Source: Mhco.com, June 2016

Fidelity 401k Lawsuit Could Up Ante for Plan Advisers

Abstract: A lawsuit filed recently against Fidelity Investments, the largest record keeper of DC plans, highlights the growing scrutiny on 401k plan costs and increased need for retirement plan advisers to evaluate all tranches of fees paid to plan providers.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Business and Trade Groups Bring First Lawsuits Challenging DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Several groups representing financial institutions, insurance companies, and other businesses filed two federal lawsuits that seek to strike down the DOL's recently finalized fiduciary rule. As described here, the plaintiffs are alleging that the DOL did not have the regulatory authority to issue the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, and that DOL did not follow the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Source: Groom.com, June 2016

Why Canadian HR Professionals Should Demand a Benefit Communications Policy

Abstract: Canadian courts and arbitrators have shown an increasing propensity to award damages, or provide restitution, to employees where it can be shown that employer communications are untrue, inaccurate, misleading, ambiguous or omit important details. The challenge for employers, therefore, is how best to effectively communicate the excellent pension and benefit programs while minimizing potential legal liability and ensuring that proposed future changes to those programs won't be hampered by the phantoms of past communications.

Source: Employmentandlabour.com, June 2016

Exceptional Plan Governance: Beat Back the Coming Litigation Onslaught

Abstract: Exceptional plan governance means that, at a minimum, plan sponsors (and designated fiduciaries) should consider the items outlined here to help demonstrate that they are primarily operating their plans to the benefit of participants and their beneficiaries and then to reduce liability exposure for themselves.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, June 2016

Correction Program Options for Retirement Plan Errors

Abstract: In a highly regulated industry with complicated rules that always have exceptions, it is inevitable that sooner or later a failure to follow the plan document will take place. Such operational errors can be corrected through the IRS Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System in one of three ways.

Source: Belfint.com, June 2016

Where to Find Help With ERISA 3(16) 401k Fiduciary Responsibilities

Abstract: When advising clients, consider positioning services from providers who can act as an ERISA 3(16) Delegated Administrative Fiduciary. With this designation, providers can complete certain key plan administrative responsibilities and take on the inherent fiduciary responsibility for doing so.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2016

Didn't Get the 401k Business? Time to Find Out Why

Abstract: Too many advisors fail to follow-up after missing out on a piece of 401k plan business. Those that do rarely get a straight answer. The solution, says Yaqub Ahmed, is to hire a win/loss consultant.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, June 2016

SSGA Chief Calls on Congress to Mandate Workplace Retirement Coverage

Abstract: Ron O'Hanley, president and chief executive officer of State Street Global Advisors, called on Congress to enact a national framework that ensures workplace coverage for all private-sector working Americans. Open letter outlines a suggested framework.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

IRS Proposes New Nondiscrimination Rules

Abstract: The IRS published proposed rules to provide additional nondiscrimination testing relief to both closed plans and ongoing plans that provide grandfathered benefits to closed groups of employees. The intent of these rules is to enable plan designs to continue to meet nondiscrimination requirements, even though the covered populations may become more discriminatory over time.

Source: Prudential.com, June 2016

Washington to Launch First State-Run Retirement Plan for Private-Sector

Abstract: Starting January 1, 2017, Washington will be the first state to offer a state-run retirement plan for private-sector workers.

Source: Planadviser.com, June 2016

The Role of 403(b) Plans: A Closer Look

Abstract: By the end of last year, 403(b) plans contained nearly $1 trillion in assets. They are a significant part of the U.S. retirement landscape, and a recent paper takes a closer look at 403(b)s. Highlights key findings.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

Average 401k Balances Blossomed in May

Abstract: The balances of consistent 401k plan participants continued to enjoy solid growth in May, according to a new report.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

DOL Obtains Judgment to Restore Nearly $20k to 401k

Abstract: US Labor Department obtains judgment to restore nearly $20k to 401k plan of contractor based in Jessup, Maryland.

Source: Dol.gov, June 2016

Challenging the DOL's Authority to Regulate the Annuity Marketplace

Abstract: The second suit challenging the DOL's new fiduciary regulations is a more narrowly targeted action, brought by sellers of fixed annuities and charging that the Department of Labor, for various reasons, overreached when it included insurance agents and this product within the scope of the regulation.

Source: Bostonerisalaw.com, June 2016

How Long Should Retirement Plan Records Be Retained?

Abstract: Maintaining an employer-sponsored retirement plan can be an onerous task. A lot of paper a can accumulate in short order. Before you go off and shred some of those old documents in an effort to clean up your fiduciary file, you should know that ERISA has specific requirements for the retention of records relating to employee benefit plans.

Source: Axiaadvisory.com, June 2016

Think Only Large Plans Get Sued? Think Again

Abstract: Litigation trends tell us that, for billion dollar 401k plans, it is a matter of when, not if, they will face a participant lawsuit. So when a plan with only 114 active participants and just over $9 million in plan assets was sued on the same grounds as the biggest plans in America, the retirement industry and small employers everywhere were taken by surprise. But should they have been?

Source: Amazonaws.com, June 2016

Businesses Fight for Their Right to a Lousy Retirement Plan

Abstract: And while America's biggest companies are often quite generous to employees, its smallest companies are notorious for lousy 401ks. So it's surprising to see lobbyists fighting changes to the current retirement system and using small businesses to back their case.

Source: Bloomberg.com, June 2016

Second Lawsuit Filed Against Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Less than 24 hours after the filing of litigation challenging the Labor Department's fiduciary regulation, a second lawsuit was filed June 2. This one, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by the National Association for Fixed Annuities, seeks to "challenge and vacate" the fiduciary rule, with an arguably narrower focus than the lawsuit filed the day before, but making many of the same arguments.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

How States Are Working to Address the Retirement Savings Challenge

Abstract: The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed efforts in progress or under legislative consideration in 25 states. In this 41-page paper, Pew's analysis identifies three approaches to increase retirement savings for private sector workers that states are considering. Paper also looks at other specific choices and issues facing policymakers.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, June 2016

Fundamentals for Your 401k Plan

Abstract: Learn the difference between mandatory and discretionary contributions and which one is better for your plan in this three-minute video.

Source: Erisasunscreen.com, June 2016

401k Disclosure Rules Are Out of Date; It's Time for Common Sense Reform

Abstract: The poster child for bad 401k regulation is the ERISA participant disclosure rules. The disclosures need to be more streamlined and easier for 401k plans to deliver using modern technology. Article analyses the issue.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, June 2016

Small Minnesota 401k Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

Abstract: Specific allegations include: (a) failure to assess the reasonableness of the investment fees; (b) selecting inappropriate and imprudent mutual fund classes when lower cost institutional share classes were available; and (c) selecting investment options that were unnecessarily expensive relative to industry benchmarks and standards. In addition, the Plaintiffs allege that the Trustees failed to have a process for monitoring the Plan recordkeeper and investment providers, the fees that they charged, the investment classes and the investment options.

Source: Benefitsnotes.com, June 2016

Podcast: Three Key Pillars of Target-Date Fund Evaluation

Abstract: Target-date funds are the fastest growing investment in 401k plans primarily due to their popularity with plan sponsors as the QDIA. As some fiduciaries are starting to realize, evaluating target-date funds can be a bit tricky due to the numerous variances in style from one fund to another. Podcast discusses the three pillars of differentiation amongst target-date fund managers, glide path construction, investment diversification, and management style.

Source: 401kfridays.com, June 2016

It's On! Litigation Filed Challenging DOL Fiduciary Regulation

Abstract: As anticipated, a number of retirement industry trade groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have taken their case against the Labor Department's fiduciary regulation to the courts.

Source: Napa-net.org, June 2016

Nine Groups File Lawsuit to Strike Down 'capricious' DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: As anticipated, a number of retirement industry trade groups and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have taken their case against the Labor Department's fiduciary regulation to the courts.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), June 2016

Labor Secretary Perez Defends Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez today issued this statement regarding a lawsuit filed to stop the DOL's recently released fiduciary rule.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

Lawsuit Challenges DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Retirement industry trade groups filed on June 1st a legal challenge to the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule for brokers and registered investment advisers serving Americans with Individual Retirement Accounts and 401k plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, June 2016

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