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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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A Compendium of Survey Findings About Today's Retirees

Abstract: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released "The Current State of Retirement: A Compendium of Findings About American Retirees." The 118-page survey report provides in-depth perspectives on retirees including attitudes about life in retirement, time commitments, living arrangements, and personal finances.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, May 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule -- Q&As for Employers and Plan Sponsors on Investment Education

Abstract: Employers and plan sponsors should consider reviewing their policies and procedures for providing investment information to make sure they have not crossed the line into providing investment advice, thus becoming "investment advice" fiduciaries under ERISA. Prepared by the law firm Proskauer Rose, this Q&A will help.

Source: Proskauer.com, May 2016

Class Actions Will Test DOL's New Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The U.S. Department of Labor's highly anticipated final fiduciary rule, designed to help ensure Americans saving for retirement get sound investment advice, creates an opportunity for plaintiffs attorneys to test the rule's meaning by filing class action lawsuits, a Tennessee defense attorney says.

Source: Legalnewsline.com, May 2016

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule - Part #3

Abstract: The DOL's concern about the impact of incentive compensation goes beyond payments to advisers. The new fiduciary rules will impact almost every aspect of the sales of investments and insurance products to plans, and especially to IRAs.

Source: Fredreish.com, May 2016

Fee Reductions That Could Be Yours for the Taking, If You Only Ask

Abstract: When it comes to plan cost reduction, a few simple questions may lead to a pleasant surprise. However, asking only the plan's recordkeeper is not enough. Plan sponsors should also ask the fund families directly. Article reviews the areas questions should focus on.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

Brand Drives DC Plan Fund Usage

Abstract: Fidelity, Vanguard, American Funds and T. Rowe Price are the four most frequently used mutual fund families by investors in DC retirement plans. The evidence suggests that a stronger brand can help a fund firm get used more often by plan participants, Ignites Retirement Research concludes.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2016

DB vs. DC Performance: Another Take

Abstract: Steve Utkus, principal and director of Vanguard Center for Retirement Research, analyzes DB and DC plan performance data. He concludes that it's not clear that we can assume that DB plans are winning the investment horse race and more data and deeper analysis are needed for more concrete results.

Source: Vanguardinstitutionalblog.com, May 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule: What "Best Interests" Means, Impacts on Financial Services

Abstract: Ron Rhoades writes, "I believe most advisers, and eventually most firms, will conclude that either fee-offsets must be undertaken (to return the arrangement to agreed-in-advance reasonable and levelized compensation), or they will simply switch to some form of level fee arrangement (assets-under-management percentage fee, annual retainer, fixed fee for discrete advice, subscription-based fees, and hourly fees). In other words, I suspect BICE will not be used all that much."

Source: Scholarfp.blogspot.com, May 2016

How to Help Educate Plan Committee Members

Abstract: The Department of Labor is beginning to examine the training of plan committee fiduciaries. Training has also come up in 401k lawsuits lately and the fact that a committee has received fiduciary training has been viewed as favorable. Article discuss why advisers should consider helping plan sponsors with this task.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Thinking of Adding a Designated Roth Option to Your Plan?

Abstract: Roth contributions are an alternative to Roth IRA contributions for participants whose income exceeds the threshold limits, because no phase-out range applies. Another draw is that the contribution potential is higher than with Roth IRAs since the larger dollar limitation for regular deferrals also applies to Roth deferrals. To offer this program is not without strings, however. Here is a list of elements to consider before implementing a designated Roth option under an employer plan.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, May 2016

The B2C Robo-Advisor Movement Is Dying

Abstract: The early growth of robo-advisors since their start in early 2012, coupled with a surge of media coverage, suggested that they could become the future of financial advice for consumers. However, in the year since established players like Schwab and Vanguard launched ‘competing’ services, a fresh look at the robo-advisor landscape reveals that their growth rates are falling rapidly.

Source: Kitces.com, May 2016

Final DOL Fiduciary Rule has Key Implications for Asset Managers

Abstract: This 14-page white paper analyzes how the "fiduciary rule" will affect the way asset managers do business and suggests ways they can prepare themselves for the new requirements.

Source: Kasina.com, May 2016

How Phyllis Borzi Got Her Way on Fiduciary

Abstract: Phyllis Borzi was the main architect of the so-called DOL fiduciary rule, which requires financial advisers to 401k and individual retirement accounts to act in their clients' best interests. She is credited with pushing through a nearly unprecedented wall of opposition by using her moxie, her might and her friends in high places.

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

Could Fiduciary Become the De Facto Law of the Land?

Abstract: The fight for an expanded fiduciary duty is moving to the SEC, but it by the time the regulator moves forward, it almost might not be necessary, according to fiduciary advocates.

Source: Financial-Planning.com, May 2016

Connecticut Bill Creating Private-Sector Retirement Accounts Passes

Abstract: With the help of Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Connecticut lawmakers have passed legislation creating a retirement savings program for eligible private-sector employees. The bill creates an agency that will establish a Roth individual retirement account program for workers whose employers have at least five employees paid at least $5,000 in the preceding year. The employers will be required to automatically enroll each worker, who can opt out.

Source: Ctpost.com, May 2016

RIA 401k Specialists Greatly Advantaged by DOL Rule

Abstract: Drinker Biddle & Reath's Fred Reish and Brad Campbell explain the contract they call "BIC Lite." While level-fee advisors can avoid the contract, they will have to document exactly why a rollover recommendation serves an investor's best interest.

Source: Benefitspro.com (registration required), May 2016

House Passes Resolution Protecting Access to Affordable Retirement Advice

Abstract: The U.S. House passed H. J. Res. 88, a resolution that will block the Department of Labor's "Definition of the Term 'Fiduciary' and Conflict of Interest Rule."

Source: House.gov, April 2016*

DOL New Fiduciary Regulation: Seven Action Items for the Next Year

Abstract: Despite the fact that the new DOL fiduciary rule becomes effective 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register, it is not applicable until April 10, 2017. That provides a full year in which to adjust to the new fiduciary investment advice landscape. Article provides a detailed review of the newest augmentation of the fiduciary rule and a short plan sponsor "to-do" list.

Source: Findleydavies.com, April 2016

Fiduciary Duty to Review Fees Goes Beyond Fee Benchmarking

Abstract: Some recent fee dispute case decisions and settlements suggest that in addition to benchmarking fees, fiduciaries may also want to periodically undertake a more thorough review by conducting a Request for Proposal process. This requires obtaining bids from third-party vendors with in-depth analysis of administration, communication, investment, and compliance services and corresponding administration fees charged.

Source: Xerox.com, April 2016

In the Ninth Circuit, a New Burden of Proof for Employers in Benefits Litigation

Abstract: In Barton v. ADT Sec. Servs. Pension Plan, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that if a pension plan claimant makes a prima facie case that he is entitled to benefits but lacks certain information (that the defendant-employer controls) to substantiate the claim, then the burden shifts to the defendant to produce this information.

Source: Practicallaw.com, April 2016

On Remand, Ninth Circuit Holds Plaintiffs in Tibble v. Edison Forfeited Ongoing Duty to Monitor Argument

Abstract: In Tibble v. Edison Int'l, on remand from the Supreme Court, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiffs forfeited their ongoing duty to monitor argument raised before the Supreme Court by failing to previously raise it before the district court or the Ninth Circuit during their initial appeal.

Source: Practicallaw.com, April 2016

What You Need to Know About Selecting a 401k Plan Provider

Abstract: This 11-page white paper dives into common questions on the new DOL fiduciary rule, including: How does the regulation affect 401k plan provider selection, what should fiduciaries think about when selecting investments, and active vs. passive investments: what are the considerations?

Source: Principal.com, April 2016

Interesting Angles on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule - Part #2

Abstract: The legal requirement that advisers make prudent recommendations and act with a duty of loyalty is well understood in the retirement plan world, but is new to IRAs. Also, it's commonly conceded that the prudent man rule is more demanding than the suitability standard. But what is required of the adviser? The DOL answered that question in the context of fixed indexed annuities, and the answer may be surprising.

Source: Fredreish.com, April 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Investment Advice

Abstract: After years of debate and speculation, the DOL issued its final package of rules to regulate individuals and entities that provide investment advice to retirement plans and IRA investors. The DOL's final "fiduciary" regulation and related administrative exemptions aim to curb investment advice practices that, in the DOL's view, fail to serve the best interests of retirement investors. This is a fairly detailed review.

Source: Faegrebd.com, April 2016

What Employers Need to Know About the DOL Fiduciary Regulations

Abstract: The good news for plan sponsors is that the new regulations do not require any actions beyond preexisting fiduciary duties. But article reviews a few things for plan sponsors to keep in mind.

Source: Faegrebd.com, April 2016

New Hires Continue to Favor Target-Date Funds

Abstract: Interest in target-date and other types of balanced funds remained strong through 2014, with younger plan participants more likely to hold target-date funds than older participants, according to a new joint study released today by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute. Among participants who were offered target-date funds, 65 percent opted to use them.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

401k Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity

Abstract: Since 1996 the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute have been collecting and analyzing data from millions of 401k plan participants on plan asset allocation, account balances, and loan activity. This just released 80-page report reflects the year-end 2014 data.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

Compensation of Self-Employed Participants for Purposes of Qualified Retirement Plans

Abstract: The use of limited liability companies and their election to be treated as a partnership for tax purposes has increased significantly in recent years. As a result, we have seen confusion regarding which compensation is used to determine contributions to the company's qualified retirement plan on behalf of the LLC members. Article examines the basic rules for determining the compensation.

Source: Eisneramper.com, April 2016

Webinar: The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This is a detailed and extensive look at the DOL's new fiduciary rule by Marcia Wagner of the Wagner Law Group. It is approximately one hour and 25 minutes in length.

Source: Youtube.com, April 2016

Even 'Softer' Fiduciary Rule Will Challenge Providers

Abstract: One veteran retirement plan adviser predicts the real impact of the new DOL fiduciary rule will take shape over the long-term and firms' initial attempts at compliance may not represent their final approach.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2016

Fiduciary Investment Advice Under New Labor Department Rules

Abstract: The burdens of complying with the new rules will be borne by the investment industry, but plan fiduciaries and IRA owners should be prepared for significant changes over the next 18 months, particularly if their investment advisers are not level fee fiduciaries.

Source: Natlawreview.com, April 2016

Trends in Retirement Satisfaction in the United States: Fewer Having a Great Time

Abstract: The cross-sectional results in this study show that the share of respondents reporting "very satisfying" retirements dropped from 60.5 percent in 1998 to 48.6 percent in 2012. On the other hand, the share of respondents reporting "moderately satisfying" and "not at all satisfying" retirements increased from 31.7 percent to 40.9 percent and from 7.9 percent to 10.5 percent, respectively.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

What Moves the Retirement Readiness Needle: Quantification of Risk and Evaluation of New Proposals

Abstract: With the United States facing an estimated national retirement savings shortfall of $4.13 trillion, how can more Americans be brought into a retirement savings plan, and how can they be persuaded to save enough to cover simulated costs in retirement? Those questions were explored by a panel of retirement experts in this paper.

Source: Ebri.org, April 2016

Kodak Fiduciaries Settle Stock-Drop Lawsuit for $9.7M

Abstract: Fiduciaries of the Eastman Kodak Co. employee stock ownership plan and savings investment plan agreed to pay $9.7 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of breaching their ERISA fiduciary duties by offering imprudent investment options.

Source: Bna.com, April 2016

Puerto Rico Retirement Plans Face New Reporting Rules

Abstract: The Puerto Rico Treasury Department recently changed the annual reporting requirements for retirement plans qualified in Puerto Rico. This change should lighten the compliance burden for these plan sponsors. It also makes filing Form 6042 doubly important, as failing to do so would now violate the annual reporting requirement for Puerto Rico qualified plans. The new rules take effect for plan years beginning on or after January 2015.

Source: Towerswatson.com, April 2016

DOL Accuses Firm of Prohibited Retirement Plan Loans

Abstract: The suit alleges a law firm president and owner caused the company's retirement plan to loan thousands of dollars to real estate deals he controlled.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2016

Understanding the DOL's New Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: After nearly six years of positioning, the Department of Labor released its final rule on the redefinition of advice under ERISA. Article provides a basic overview.

Source: Lockton.com, April 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Could Spark Acquisitions of RIAs as Well as Broker-Dealers

Abstract: The DOL fiduciary rule, already expected to spur consolidation in the broker-deal industry, could also hasten mergers in the registered investment adviser space. Firms with less than $1 billion of assets are under the most stress as economies of scale have not yet been reached.

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

401k Savings Options Come With Tax Consequences

Abstract: Over the last decade, 401k plans have come to more closely resemble their slightly older cousin, the individual retirement account, at least in terms of the options of making contributions to the account. Those extra options, however, mean participants need to better understand the tax implications of their choice.

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

Lawsuits Against Fiduciary Rule Likely to Cite DOL's Lack of Authority

Abstract: So far, all's quiet on the court front when it comes to the recently finalized Labor Department rule to raise investment advice standards for retirement accounts. But three groups might file a lawsuit against the rule. Based on comment letters and testimony before Congress, a court challenge will probably focus on the DOL's lacks authority to promulgate a rule that affects broker-dealers.

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

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