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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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DOL Not Budging on Fiduciary Rule Comment Period

Summary: Labor Secretary Thomas Perez indicated Thursday that his department will not extend further the 75-day comment period for its redraft to amend the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Source: Thinkadvisor.com, April 2015

The New Fiduciary Regulation Proposal, Part I: All It Was Cracked Up to Be?

Summary: This five page document gives a quick outline of what the DOL's new fiduciary proposal does, along with our first impressions. It concludes that "the industry are approaching the proposal with caution and, perhaps, some level of optimism."

Source: Ihflaw.com , April 2015

Re-Proposed Definition of a Fiduciary Widely Prohibits Personalized Investment Assistance

Summary: The framework set up by the DOL could work conceptually, but in its current form, it would have the same effects as the original 2010 proposal -- cutting off the option for low and middle-income individuals and small businesses to receive personalized investment assistance.

Source: Davis-Harman.com , April 2015

Fiduciary Changes Still Hard to Grasp

Summary: The DOL's proposed fiduciary rule is complex and wide-reaching, one experienced ERISA attorney tells PLANADVISER, so the financial industry needs more time to digest the potential implications.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2015

DOL Issues Sweeping Fiduciary Rule Proposal

Summary: The more than 120-page proposed rule is far from simple. Its requirements and impact on access to advice about retirement savings accounts are also far from certain.

Source: Jdsupra.com, April 2015

Why Labor Department Gets a Say on IRA Advice

Summary: Individual retirement accounts are a creation of tax law, with rules spelled out by the Internal Revenue Service. Now the Labor Department, which oversees workplace retirement plans, is weighing in -- proposing new rules for brokers and others giving advice about retirement savings. Why does Labor's rulemaking extend to IRAs?

Source: Wsj.com (registration may be required), April 2015

Saving for Retirement Is No Game -- Or Is It?

Summary: Plan sponsors who are serious about changing worker behavior toward their 401k plans might consider injecting a little fun into their retirement programs. With gamification techniques still in its early stages, organizations seek new ways to engage workers in saving for the future.

Source: Workforce.com (registration may be required), April 2015

Thinking About Going Independent? Understanding Your RIA Options

Summary: The Registered Investment Adviser model continues to be an increasingly attractive option for independent advisers in today's marketplace. Obviously, there is much to consider before making this type of business decision. Here are some things to think about when searching for the right business model for your practice.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2015

Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Rule . . . Again

Summary: The DOL proposed a new fiduciary rule that would expand the types of retirement investment advice covered by fiduciary protections, requiring any advisor (including brokers, registered investment advisors and insurance agents) to put their clients' best interests first. The proposed rule is unrelated and in addition to the anticipated fiduciary duty harmonization rulemaking anticipated from the SEC under the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Source: Wnj.com, April 2015

Supporters, Critics, Gear Up for Fight Over Proposed Expanded Fiduciary Definition

Summary: Supporters and opponents of the Department of Labor's conflict-of-interest proposed regulation are wasting no time ramping up their campaigns soon after the Obama administration announced the rule's release.

Source: Pensionrights.org , April 2015

Why Target-Date Funds Are Disliked by Financial Advisors

Summary: Target-date funds remain a darling among some financial advisors for managing risk, but other retirement experts find its drawbacks make them a poor investment option.

Source: Mainstreet.com, April 2015

Four Reasons Workers Need A Retirement Reality Check

Summary: When it comes to their eventual retirement, it's time for working Americans to take a reality check. So why the need for a reality check? Consider these four findings from EBRI's 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

Source: Forbes.com, April 2015

The DOL's New Proposed Rules Defining Fiduciary Investment Advice

Summary: As discussed in this article, the new proposal offers a general definition of fiduciary investment advice that would expand the group of people who would be considered fiduciaries. The proposal contains a number of carve-outs for particular types of communications that the DOL does not consider to be fiduciary in nature. This is a comprehensive review of the proposal.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, April 2015

New Guidance Eases Administration of Plan Corrections

Summary: The Internal Revenue Service has released two Revenue Procedures providing guidance under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System that will facilitate the correction of certain retirement plan defects.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, April 2015

Which Retirement Plan Is Right for Your Business?

Summary: If you own a small business, there are many retirement plan alternatives available to help you and your eligible employees with retirement planning. To make an informed decision on which plan is right for your business, this article reviews the differences in plans.

Source: Brightscope.com, April 2015

Is DOL Education Carve Out Plan Too Murky?

Summary: While last week's proposed DOL conflict of interest rule made substantial revisions to 2010's proposal, one carve out affecting providers of financial and investment education remained intact. Though the consistency suggests regulators' desire to protect participants' access to financial education, at least one of those providers thinks the relatively safe provision of the rule is in need of further definition and clarification.

Source: Benefitspro.com, April 2015

Automatic Enrollment Penalty Relief Is Here! (Rev. Proc. 2015-28)

Summary: Welcome relief for 401k and 403(b) plan sponsors was provided by the IRS in their recent Revenue Procedure 2015-28. Penalties for automatic contribution, automatic contribution increases (escalation), and enrollment mistakes have been greatly minimized under the revised self-correction program available from the IRS -- the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS).

Source: Benefit-Resources.com, April 2015

Ibbotson Target-Date Report 1Q 2015

Summary: In the first quarter, target date funds experienced $20.6 billion in positive inflows. The growth rate of target-date funds continues to slow but remains positive, as plan sponsors move to collective trusts and custom solutions. Report covers fund flows, performance and other target-date industry indicators.

Source: Morningstar.com , April 2015

Will Brokers Bow to Higher Fiduciary Standard?

Summary: One of the most hotly debated topics in wealth management is the role of the stockbroker. The DOL entered the fray by unveiling a plan to make registered representatives of brokerages meet the same standard as those overseeing client accounts at registered investment advisers. Still, any shake-up hinges on politics, with lobbyists for the brokerage industry seeking to soften the blow.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, April 2015

Why Exactly DOL's Latest Action Is So Shocking to So Many Brokers

Summary: The DOL unveiled its much anticipated conflict of interest rule for retirement investment advice. The financial services industry has been anticipating stiff 401k rules for years. Even so, the 120-page proposed rule was a shocker, carrying an IRA bombshell and a brand new "best interest standard" for brokers.

Source: Riabiz.com, April 2015

2015 Retirement Confidence Survey Released

Summary: American workers and retirees are expressing higher confidence about their ability to afford retirement this year, even though there is little sign they are taking the necessary steps to achieve that goal, according to the 25th annual Retirement Confidence Survey.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

The 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey

Summary: The 25th wave of the Retirement Confidence Survey finds that Americans' confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement has continued to rebound from the record lows experienced between 2009 and 2013. This increased level of confidence does not appear to be grounded on improved retirement preparations. In the aggregate, worker1savings remain low and only a minority appears to be taking basic steps needed to prepare for retirement. Instead, increasing confidence appears to be based on the increasing optimism of those who indicate they and/or their spouse have a retirement plan.

Source: Ebri.org , April 2015

What is a Forfeiture Account?

Summary: When an employee leaves a company and has an unvested portion of money in the company's DC retirement plan, the employee forfeits those funds which he is not vested in, thereby creating a "Forfeiture." These non-vested funds are collected in what's known as a forfeiture account.

Source: Tristarpension.com, April 2015

Custom Target-Date Options: A Higher Hurdle

Summary: Given the high utilization of target-date options in defined contribution plans, target-date options are receiving ever greater scrutiny. As such, custom target-date options are becoming a more popular discussion topic. While there are many factors that could lead a plan sponsor to seriously consider custom target-date options, this nine page paper outlines a few key considerations when considering custom target-date solutions.

Source: Rocaton.com , April 2015

DOL Reproposes Fiduciary Rule for ERISA Plans and IRAs

Summary: The DOL issued a proposed rule defining the term fiduciary for investment advisers and brokers providing investment advice to participants or beneficiaries of ERISA-governed employee benefit plans and IRAs. The DOL also issued several new and amended versions of prohibited transaction exemptions in connection with the proposed rule. This is a comprehensive overview.

Source: Practicallaw.com, April 2015

Facts and Myths of Corrective Distributions Regarding 403(b) Plans

Summary: One aspect of 403(b) plans that is not easily understood is the correction deadline for the actual contribution percentage non-discrimination test. This article will provide an overview of the penalty-free and statutory deadlines for corrections for failed tests.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2015

Creating a Written Information Security Policy for Small RIAs

Summary: Both FINRA and the SEC have indicated that they expect advisors to have a written policy to address information security, particularly cybersecurity. Follow these three steps to create a policy that identifies your risks, prevents security breaches, and creates a response plan in case something does happen.

Source: Morningstar.com, April 2015

In Labor Department's Fiduciary Proposal, a Nod to Passive Investing

Summary: Brokers who sell index funds may get a leg up from newly proposed requirements that would impose more stringent standards for professionals who provide advice on retirement accounts.

Source: Investmentnews.com (free registration may be required), April 2015

"Cross-Testing" in Qualified Profit Sharing Plans

Summary: A quick review of what "cross-testing" is and what kind of employer makes the best candidate for using cross-testing in order to justify higher contributions for the HCEs.

Source: Consultrms.com, April 2015

Captrust's May Fiduciary Update

Summary: This quarter saw continuing activity in the area of cases involving plan and investment fees. Plan fiduciaries settled two significant cases and follow-on cases against Fidelity concerning float income practices were dismissed.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, April 2015

Watch Codes on 401k Plan Forms 5500

Summary: The Form 5500 is a lengthy and complex form that employers and plan sponsors and administrators file with the IRS and Department of Labor to provide information about their plans. "Don't sweat the small stuff" is not always good advice in the case of the 5500. Selecting an incorrect code could result in an EPCU compliance check or an examination of the plan.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2015

Data May Show a Decrease in New 401k Plans

Summary: Judy Diamond Associates has completed an analysis of new 401k plans launched in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, and discovered that substantially fewer new plans launched in 2013 than in 2012 possibly meaning fewer people are starting businesses or new businesses find 401k plans a luxury they cannot afford.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Chart - Revisions to Existing PTEs

Summary: This is a seven page chart prepared by the Groom Law Group that outlines the proposed revisions to existing prohibited transaction class exemptions under the DOL's re-proposed regulation on the definition of "fiduciary."

Source: Groom.com , April 2015*

The Regulatory Impact Analysis of the DOL's Fiduciary Definition Proposal

Summary: This three page "client alert" was prepared by Groom Law Group and provides a summary of the regulatory impact analysis of the Proposed DOL Regulation on the definition of "fiduciary" under section 3(21) of ERISA.

Source: Groom.com , April 2015

DOL Proposes Major Changes to Fiduciary Advice Definition

Summary: This six page paper was prepared by the Groom Law Group. It contains an executive summary of the proposed regulation as well as an overview and observations.

Source: Groom.com , April 2015

Simplifying Choices in DC Retirement Plan Design

Summary: In view of the growth and popularity of DC plans, along with the government's growing attention to retirement plan costs and investment choices provided, it is important to evaluate how people select their plan investments. This paper tracks how employees in a large firm altered their fund allocations when the employer streamlined its DC fund menu, tiering options in an easier-to-understand format.

Source: Pensionresearchcouncil.org, April 2015

Borrowing From the Future: 401k Plan Loans and Loan Defaults

Summary: Tax-qualified retirement plans seek to promote saving for retirement, yet most employers permit pre-retirement access by letting 401k participants borrow plan assets. This paper examines who borrows and why, and who defaults on their loans.

Source: Pensionresearchcouncil.org, April 2015

Institutional Investors Adopting Social Media Platforms for Investment Information

Summary: Social media is joining traditional financial news media as a key source of information used by institutional investors in their investment processes. A new study from Greenwich Associates reveals that almost 80% of institutional investors use social media as part of their regular work flow.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Documenting a TDF Selection Process Is Key

Summary: The top factor for plan sponsors to have in place is a process to support the decision-making process of evaluating and choosing a target-date fund. Plan fiduciaries need a complete grasp of the vulnerabilities of their target-date strategies, and sources recommend tools and a documented process.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2015

CITs Get Big Boost From 401k Plaintiff's Lawyers

Summary: Some of the plaintiffs' attorneys in 401k excessive-fee cases are turning out to be big fans of collective investment trusts. Two large, recent settlements in cases brought by St. Louis-based Schlichter, Bogard and Denton suggest large plan sponsors may be more likely to incorporate CITs in investment lineups in the future.

Source: Benefitspro.com, April 2015

Employers Offering Financial Wellness Programs Becoming the New Normal

Summary: The vast majority of companies (83 percent) today feel a sense of responsibility for the financial wellness of their employees, impacting the benefits, resources and financial education they offer, according to the latest Bank of America Merrill Lynch Workplace Benefits Report.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Improvement in 401k Education Can Boost Retirement Outcome

Summary: Study results of a comprehensive national survey revealing that while plan participants are satisfied with their 401ks, a lack of understanding of basic investment concepts likely contributes to lower plan engagement and less successful retirement outcomes. Reviews what's working and not working.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Executive Summary on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule Proposal

Summary: The Department of Labor's anticipated rule on conflicts of interest (aka, the Fiduciary Rule), is now available. Fi360 has prepared this five page an executive summary covering the basics of the rule.

Source: Fi360.com , April 2015

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Summary: Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries. Read an overview by the law firm Morgan Lewis.

Source: Morganlewis.com, April 2015

Broker-Dealers Tumult if DOL Fiduciary Plan Goes Through

Summary: It's early days, but retirement plan experts predict a major shakeup in the way broker-dealers do business with small retirement plans and IRAs -- all thanks to a prohibited transaction exemption in the Labor Department's new fiduciary duty proposal.

Source: Investmentnews.com (free registration may be required), April 2015

DOL Proposes New Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Advisors

Summary: The DOL published its long awaited proposed rule addressing conflicts of interest in retirement advice. This is an overview of the proposed rule prepared by the Wagner Law Group.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, April 2015

DOL's Fiduciary Proposal Preserves Advice -- But at What Cost?

Summary: While initial concerns about preserving the ability for 401k participants to work with the advisor of their choice on rollovers appear to be addressed in the new DOL fiduciary proposal, the new compliance regimen looks, according to the author, to be significant, adding cost and complexity to the process.

Source: Usaretirement.org, April 2015

DOL Seeks Comments on Proposed Retirement Advice Rule

Summary: While much of the concerns behind the DOL's fiduciary rule proposal involve conflicted investment advice to individual retirement account holders, the sweeping rule would also change how advice is provided to participants in 401k and other defined contribution plans.

Source: Shrm.org, April 2015

Regular Monitoring and Correction of Retirement Plans Can Reduce Correction Costs

Summary: Spring clean your company's retirement plan operations by confirming that your company's plan is operating in accordance with its terms and in compliance with IRS and DOL rules. Both agencies offer compliance and correction programs to companies with retirement plan failures. Such programs reward an employer who can detect and correct retirement plan failures early.

Source: Quarles.com, April 2015

Game Changer: A First Look at the DOL's 2015 Conflict Of Interest Proposal

Summary: The retirement plan industry has been waiting for an updated definition of fiduciary regulation from the DOL since 2010. On April 14, 2015, we got it and, at first glance, it's a game-changer. The purpose of this article is to provide a technical, "first glance" overview of the proposal and some early thoughts about possible ramifications.

Source: Napa-net.org , April 2015

Amping up DC Participant Outcomes Through Financial Wellness Initiatives

Summary: This article explores how financial wellness initiatives and automatic features may interact in DC plans and the potential for financial wellness initiatives to boost participants in plans with auto features.

Source: Iscebs.org , April 2015

DOL Proposes New Fiduciary Rules: Expanding the Definition of Fiduciary

Summary: The DOL just issued a number of proposed rules related to retirement plans, conflict of interest, providing investment advice and the definition of "fiduciary." This is a quick overview of the proposed rules, which are more than 120 pages long.

Source: Foxrothschild.com, April 2015

Analysis: Watering Down the Fiduciary Standard?

Summary: Ron Rhoades writes, "Both fiduciary and non-fiduciary advocates are likely to find some language that appeases them in the Labor Department's new Proposed Rule to greatly expand the application of fiduciary duties to those who provide investment advice to most qualified retirement plans and IRA accounts, but both sides will also find language which causes much concern."

Source: Financial-planning.com, April 2015

Worried About Fiduciary Rule? Two Options for Brokers

Summary: As we enter the public comment period and the debate continues to unfold on the new DOL fiduciary rule, article suggests two things 401k professionals and advisors need to keep in mind.

Source: Financial-planning.com, April 2015

Already Contentious Fiduciary Debate Gets Hotter

Summary: Advocates are gaining momentum in the already contentious debate over a new fiduciary standard, while opponents warn the rule-making process needs to slow down. This latest DOL proposal will only be grist for further debate about a fiduciary standard as the proposal goes up for public comment.

Source: Financial-planning.com, April 2015

Proposed DOL Fiduciary Rules Positive for Plan Sponsors

Summary: According to the writer, "Many plan sponsors are currently confused about whether their investment adviser is or isn't a plan fiduciary. Should these regulations become final, this is an issue that plan sponsors will no longer have to worry about since any adviser would be a fiduciary."

Source: Benefitnews.com, April 2015

IRS Issues Updates to the Retirement Plan Correction Program

Summary: In response to comments from the employee benefits community, the IRS has issued two updates in quick succession for the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The new procedures (Rev. Proc. 2015-27 and Rev. Proc. 2015-28) do not replace, but provide modifications and clarifications to Rev. Proc. 2013-12.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, April 2015

ICI Says Fiduciary Reproposal Relies on "Fatally Flawed" Research

Summary: The Investment Company Institute says the Obama administration relied on "fatally flawed" research in supporting its push for an expansion of the "conflicted advice" rule released April 14, and that the claim that retirement savers pay "billions of dollars a year" in excess costs "does not stand up to the facts."

Source: Asppa.org, April 2015

Is It Time to Sail Into a Safe Harbor 401k?

Summary: The Safe Harbor 401k is increasingly becoming a popular choice among plan sponsors. Learn more about the Safe Harbor 401k plans in this article, and then you can decide if it is time for your company to make the switch.

Source: Tristarpension.com, April 2015

A First Look at the DOL's Revised Fiduciary Rule

Summary: U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez introduced the DOL's proposed new fiduciary rule which will expand the types of retirement investment advice covered by fiduciary protections. Here is our first look at the proposal.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Why Employers Need a Gap Analysis

Summary: Plan sponsors and fiduciaries have a responsibility to ensure that ERISA-covered plans are administered in compliance with applicable law. Conducting a gap analysis helps to ensure that plans are being administered in accordance with ERISA and the Code. A gap analysis can also ensure that the plan operates more efficiently, and, as a result, can help to minimize plan costs.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.blogspot.com, April 2015

The EPCRS Changes and Their Impact on 403(b)/457(b) Plans

Summary: The IRS recently updated the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, a means to correct plan defects. Michael Webb examines the changes made to EPCRS and discusses their specific impact on 403(b)/457(b) plan sponsors.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2015

Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2015

Summary: Each year the Insured Retirement Institute conducts a survey to measure the retirement preparedness of the Boomer generation. This report, the fifth in the series, summarizes the results of the 2015 survey and analyzes key changes over the past five years.

Source: Myirionline.org , April 2015

Plaintiffs Appeal Decision in Fidelity Case on 401k Float Income

Summary: Attorneys for participants in several defined contribution plans filed a notice of appeal with the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Boston, to overturn a federal district court's dismissal of their suit against Fidelity Investments.

Source: Investmentnews.com (free registration may be required), April 2015

Ten Reasons Why 401k Participant Fee Disclosure Hurts Employees' Retirement Prospects

Summary: After seeing the unanticipated side effects of 401k participant fee disclosure, professionals are increasingly having their doubts. Author suggests ten reasons why 401k participant fee disclosure hurts employee's retirement prospects.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, April 2015

Eight Myths About Collective Investment Trusts

Summary: According to the Coalition of Collective Investment Trusts, CITs are "becoming as easy to use as mutual funds and may be a valuable tool in developing a retirement plan lineup." But CITs are sufficiently misunderstood to give rise to a number of myths about their structure and use.

Source: Benefitspro.com, April 2015

Boomers' Confidence in Secure Retirement Sinks to Five-Year Low

Summary: The Insured Retirement Institute released a new research report that found Baby Boomers' confidence in having sufficient savings to last throughout retirement has dropped to a five-year low. Declining each year since 2011, the first year this study was conducted, the report found only 27 percent of Boomers are highly confident their savings will last.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Canada: Changes to Federal Pension Benefits Standards Act Regulations

Summary: The Canadian federal government finalized amendments to the Pension Benefits Standards Act Regulations addressing six issues. Changes were enacted on April 1, 2015, with exception of investment rule changes that take effect on July 1, 2016.

Source: Xerox.com, April 2015

How American Workers Are Investing Their Retirement Savings

Summary: Workers' investment choices, along with their contributions, determine how much wealth they will have in their defined contribution plans when they retire. This analysis looks at workers' asset allocations in their DC plans by age, risk tolerance, education, wealth, financial planning horizon and other salient factors.

Source: Towerswatson.com, April 2015

Changes to IRS' EPCRS Focus on Auto-features

Summary: The second round of revisions to IRS' Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System in a week focused on failures in automatic enrollment and escalation in defined contribution retirement plans. The procedural changes from the agency also addressed DC plans' automatic employee contribution features that experience short-term elective-deferral failures.

Source: Thompson.com, April 2015

Initiative Seeks to Help Participants Investigate Retirement Plans

Summary: Former SEC attorney Edward "Ted" Siedle, founder and president of Benchmark Financial Services, says retirement plan participant lawsuits don't benefit anyone, but he has launched a new initiative designed to hold plan fiduciaries accountable for their actions.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2015

Is Auto-Portability the Next Big Thing?

Summary: Retirement Clearinghouse hopes it newest service innovation will have as big of an impact on retirement plan participant outcomes as the introduction of auto-enrollment.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2015

DOL, SEC Tag-Teaming Managers on Enforcement

Summary: Executives at money managers and other financial firms -- bracing for new fiduciary standards from both the DOL and SEC -- are feeling increasingly double-teamed by the agencies.

Source: Pionline.com, April 2015

Seven Ways to Excel as a Retirement Advisor

Summary: Do you want to stand out from your competitors? Here are seven ways to set yourself apart.

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2015

Six Core Components of Your 401k Business Plan

Summary: Building a business plan to guide your 401k sales and services activities will improve your probability of achieving your goals. This article is to focus on the six core components your business plan should include.

Source: Markleyactuarial.com, April 2015

The Unintended Consequences of Prioritizing One Risk in Target-Date Design

Summary: Learn more about the risk/reward tradeoffs that come when a target-date manager focuses on one specific risk rather than managing risk dynamically.

Source: Jpmorganfunds.com , April 2015

Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Care About Plan Design

Summary: This article is about retirement plan design and why finding the right TPA who can offer plan design services can that maximize savings for all of your employees and save money on taxes.

Source: Jdsupra.com, April 2015

Should Employers Default Workers 401k's Into Annuities?

Summary: Only 12% of 401k plans offer lifetime income distribution options, and of those that do, there is only a 5% employee take-up rate. But annuitizing at least part of your retirement nest egg makes sense and article reviews some ideas for employees and employers.

Source: Forbes.com, April 2015

Automatic Enrollment for 401k Plans

Summary: Articles have regularly extolled the virtues and almost every new retirement-related bill introduced in Congress that has included some provision designed to encourage greater adoption of automatic enrollment in 401k plans. Unfortunately, with that much attention comes a certain amount of hype. This article attempts to separate hyperbole from helpful.

Source: Rpgny.com, April 2015

Vendor Monitoring: Going Beyond the Determination of Reasonableness

Summary: As a responsible plan fiduciary, ERISA requires you under Section 408(b)(2) to ensure that arrangements with your service providers are "reasonable" and that only "reasonable" compensation is paid for their services. This short article lists some questions you will want to ask your recordkeeper to help you make informed decisions about the services they provide to your plan.

Source: Pension-Consultants.com, April 2015

Seeking Contract Clarity for 403(b) Decision-Makers

Summary: If investment experts cannot identify all the actual costs and beneficial relationships in a 403(b) contract, how can decision-makers at school districts ever do so? W. Scott Simon, a principal at Prudent Investor Advisors, explores this question.

Source: Morningstar.com (registration may be required), April 2015

Self-Employed Individuals -- Calculating Your Own Retirement Plan Contribution

Summary: If you are self-employed (a sole proprietor or a working partner in a partnership or limited liability company), you must use a special rule to calculate retirement plan contributions for yourself. Retirement plan contributions are often calculated based on participant compensation. Here is an overview with examples.

Source: Irs.gov, April 2015

Target-Date Fund Costs Continue Decline

Summary: Target-date fund expense ratios continued their steady decline, falling to 78 basis points in 2014 on an asset-weighted basis vs. 84 basis points in 2013, according to the latest annual survey of target-date funds published by Morningstar.

Source: Investmentnews.com (free registration may be required), April 2015

ICI Letter to OMB About Data Used in DOL Re-Proposal of Fiduciary Rule

Summary: In this letter to the US Office of Management and Budget, the Investment Company Institute expresses concern about the data the Department of Labor used as justification for its re-proposal of rules redefining the term "fiduciary" under ERISA.

Source: Ici.org , April 2015

Best Practices in Retirement Plan Recordkeeper Searches

Summary: Plan sponsors have a fiduciary obligation to undertake a prudent process for selecting a competent recordkeeper. This article provides an outline of the RFP process, along with best practices for conducting the project smoothly and efficiently.

Source: Fiallc.com , April 2015

IRS Rev. Proc. 2015-28 - Revisions to EPCRS

Summary: IRS Revenue Procedure 2015-28 added two safe-harbor correction methods to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System effective April 2, 2015.

Source: Erisapedia.com, April 2015

Settlement Reached in 401k Stock-Drop Case

Summary: A class of former LandAmerica Financial Group employees agreed to a $5 million settlement of stock-drop claims arising from LandAmerica's 2008 bankruptcy, and have submitted the agreement for court approval.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, April 2015

Retirement Readiness Challenges for Successful Employees

Summary: Plan sponsors may not be aware of the retirement readiness gap facing well-paid, key managers who are not top executives. Despite their relative affluence, these individuals are unlikely to be able to save enough for a comfortable retirement.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, April 2015

Change Management: A Framework for Higher Education Retirement Plans

Summary: The path from the 403(b) plan of yesterday to a modern retirement benefit program is complex. This article applies a change management framework to guide plan sponsors through understanding the drivers of change for higher education retirement plans.

Source: Captrustadvisors.com, April 2015

Retirement Coverage Expanded: UK vs US

Summary: With the U.K. program now reaching half of all the workers targeted, it seems to be validating what the retirement experts already know works -- participants are automatically enrolled (unlike the US's MyRA program) and have the freedom to opt out of their employer's NEST plan.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2015

SEC Examining 12b-1 Fees

Summary: SEC officials signaled this week that the agency is revisiting the rules regarding annual 12b-1 fees in mutual funds.

Source: Benefitspro.com, April 2015

Seventh Annual Target-Date Fund Study Released by Morningstar

Summary: Morningstar announced findings from its 2015 Target-Date Fund Landscape Report. This release provides key findings about the industry's performance and growth in the past year.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

DOL on ERISA Fidelity Bonds

Summary: This article provides an overview of the fidelity bonding requirements. It highlights key elements that employers and other plan sponsors should know about ERISA's fidelity bonding requirements. The questions and answers provide general information to help you understand the law and the fidelity bonding requirements.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

Plan Sponsors Eying New Set of DC Investment Providers

Summary: As defined contribution (DC) plan sponsors continue to refine their investment lineups, there is a sizable shake-up among the top 10 DC investment managers plan sponsors think of when considering a change to their lineups.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

A Fiduciary Planning Guide for Plan Sponsors

Summary: This 15 page guide was developed by MassMutual's ERISA Advisory Services team. It contains some key dates DB and DC plan fiduciaries should be aware of related to plan filings, notices, distributions, testing and reporting requirements. The calendar is divided into calendar year quarters and topics for both calendar year and non-calendar year plans.

Source: Massmutual.com , April 2015

Why Isn't 401k Fee Disclosure Working?

Summary: It's been more than two years now since the DOL required 401k plan fees to be disclosed in participant statements. Yet, at least one study says one in five employees still think they get their 401k for free. Author explores why fee disclosure may not be working.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, April 2015

Documentation for Loans and Hardship Withdrawals Must Be Retained

Summary: Most sponsors of defined contribution plans rely on a third-party administrator to handle participant loans and hardship withdrawals -- typically through the TPA's website. However, in guidance issued last week, the IRS cautions that the sponsor -- not the TPA or the participant -- is responsible for maintaining documents proving that those transactions comply with the law.

Source: Benefitsinbrief.com, April 2015

2015 Best in Class 401k Plans

Summary: Recipients of the 2015 Best in Class 401k Plans designation were selected from more than 4,500 plans responding to PLANSPONSOR's annual Defined Contribution (DC) Survey. 401k plans were evaluated and scored on more than 30 criteria related to plan design, oversight/governance, and participant outcomes.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2015

Advisor Support for Retirement Plan Fiduciary Duty Increasing, Says Survey

Summary: There's more support among financial advisors for the DOL to impose a fiduciary duty on those advisors who work with retirement plan participants. The number supporting such a move increased to 74 percent last year from 61 percent the year before, according to a survey released today by fi360 and FiduciaryPath, software and consulting companies.

Source: Fa-mag.com, April 2015

Managing a Plan Vendor Change

Summary: Whatever the reason to consider a change, once the decision is made to move the plan to a new recordkeeper, the plan sponsor must understand the process for implementing and managing the transfer and the timing requirements for the various notices that are used to communicate the change to the plan participants. Article reviews the process.

Source: Consultrms.com, April 2015

Can Neuroeconomics Improve 401k Decision-Making?

Summary: A recent white paper describes the challenges most of us face when attempting to make good financial decisions. Using the science of neuroeconomics, the authors state that many of us hamstring ourselves by maintaining various bias' and emotional connections which end up resulting in bad investment decision-making. Article outlines these tendencies.

Source: Benefitnews.com, April 2015

Industry Professionals Voice Strong Support for Fiduciary Standard

Summary: Brokers and Investment advisers indicate strong support for the DOL ERISA fiduciary standard, according to the report on the 2015 fi360 Fiduciary Standard Survey from fi360 and FiduciaryPath, "Seeking Trusted Advice for Individual Investors."

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2015

15th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey Compendium

Summary: Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies released this "Compendium of Findings About American Employers" from its 15th Annual Retirement Survey. This comprehensive new report provides an in-depth 127-page overview of employers' perspectives on retirement benefits, plan sponsorship rates, adoption of specific plan features, and their perceptions of their employees' retirement preparedness. The report also offers detailed comparisons between small and large companies as well as a five-year trend analysis on selected survey questions.

Source: Transamericacenter.org , April 2015

What Type of 3(16) Services Will You Offer?

Summary: There are significant differences in the types of 3(16) services currently available. If you are considering becoming a 3(16) administrator, you must decide what type of 3(16) administrator you will be, what type of services you will offer, and how much liability you are willing to take on.

Source: Tparesources.com, April 2015

IRS Modifies Retirement Plan Correction Procedure

Summary: The IRS has modified its retirement plan correction procedure, responding to the practical needs of employers trying to keep their retirement plans in operational compliance without excessive cost for the plan sponsor or imposing undue hardship on plan participants.

Source: Shrm.org, April 2015

Captrust Accelerates Roll-Up Plans With a Liberal Structure in Pensionmark Deal

Summary: Fielding Miller faced a brutal choice between power and control as he pondered how to add the next $160 billion of assets under advisory to his 401k-specialized $160-billion RIA. He recognized many deals didn't comport with his preference for total control. Such was the case with Pensionmark Retirement Group.

Source: Riabiz.com, April 2015

Market Timing Among Costliest Participant Mistakes

Summary: During a recent research briefing with J.P. Morgan Asset Management, some of the firm's top retirement strategists highlighted a stark statistic about the impact of emotional decisionmaking on portfolio returns: ill-timed trading can easily cut 50% or more of participant wealth if not identified and prevented.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2015

IRS Relaxes Correction Requirements for Elective Deferral Failures Under EPCRS

Summary: The new guidance provides relief from the current standard EPCRS correction method for elective deferral failures. Also, in an effort to facilitate the adoption of automatic contribution arrangements and prompt correction of failures, the IRS has established favorable safe harbor correction methods for elective deferral failures.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, April 2015

403(b) vs. 401k: What Are the differences?

Summary: 403(b) plans are generally subject to fewer technical requirements and less administrative burdens than 401k plans. This two page chart compares 403(b) and 401k plan types in a columnar format.

Source: Consultrms.com , April 2015

SIMPLE IRAs vs. Safe Harbor 401k Plans: What Are the differences?

Summary: Savings Incentive Match Plans for Employees (SIMPLE's) are frequently mentioned as a low cost alternative to 401k Safe Harbor Plans for providing employees the opportunity to save for retirement. This chart compares the differences between SIMPLE IRAs and Safe Harbor 401k Plans.

Source: Consultrms.com , April 2015

Benefits of Collective Investment Trusts

Summary: Why do consultants, advisers and plan fiduciaries select CITs? This one page overview explores some of the benefits that make these investment funds increasingly popular in the retirement marketplace.

Source: Ctfcoalition.com , April 2015

Company Stock in Retirement Plans: Where the Line Between Prudent and Imprudent Conduct?

Summary: How can it possibly make any sense to have company stock holdings in a 401k plan or to have company matches to retirement savings be in the form of company stock? The author's answer is it doesn't. So, if it doesn't make any sense from the perspective of a participant, then how can it ever be a prudent decision for a fiduciary?

Source: Bostonerisalaw.com, April 2015

SEC's Commitment to Tougher Broker Rules Questioned

Summary: The Institute for the Fiduciary Standard said Thursday it has doubts about the SEC's ability to formulate a fiduciary standard that will protect the interest of Americans trying to save for retirement.

Source: Benefitspro.com, April 2015

IRS Eases Correction Rules for Missed Elective Deferrals

Summary: The IRS has just given sponsors of 401k and 403(b) plans a number of additional options for correcting a failure to honor an employee's election to defer a portion of his or her pay. These new options, as announced in Revenue Procedure 2015-28, will be particularly helpful to sponsors of plans that provide for automatic enrollment.

Source: Benefitsinbrief.com, April 2015

Oregon's Great Retirement Debate

Summary: Since the beginning of this year, a handful of the state's most powerful political organizations banded together and formed a pair of coalitions dedicated to sounding an alarm about the fact that less than half the state's workers have saved more than $20,000 toward their eventual retirements.

Source: Bendbulletin.com, April 2015

Ten Steps to Achieve Your Retirement Goals

Summary: Everybody wants to be safe from the buffeting that life can inflict upon retirement plans, to have the financial resilience to bounce back when things go awry. For starters, here are 10 mistakes to avoid in retirement planning.

Source: Aarp.org, April 2015

IRS Eases Automatic Enrollment in 401k Plans

Summary: The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department have issued guidance aimed at making it easier for taxpayers to be automatically enrolled in retirement plans such as 401k and 403(b) plans by their employers, simplifying the correction methods if errors are made.

Source: Accountingtoday.com, April 2015

IRS Expands Auto-Feature Voluntary Correction Safe Harbors

Summary: The IRS says a new revenue procedure, 2015-28, "modifies but does not supersede" an earlier revenue procedure, 2013-12, which in part defines methods for plan sponsors to voluntarily correct issues with plan "auto features" so as to avoid jeopardizing their plans' tax-advantaged status.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2015

Maximizing the Match in DC Plans

Summary: In this paper examines the effect of plan sponsor design decisions on participant decisions to maximize their employer matching contributions.

Source: Vanguard.com , April 2015

The 403(b) Plan Document: LRM Housekeeping and Dealing with Plan Document Errors

Summary: Plan documents continue to demand the attention of the advisor because of the transitional period in which we find ourselves until the IRS begins approving prototype and volume submitter plans sometime next year. Advisors can help their 403(b) plan sponsors understand two particularly important plan document issues.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2015

Excluding Eligible Employees from Your 403(b) Plan - Fixing Common Plan Mistakes

Summary: Under the universal availability rule, employees must be given an "effective opportunity" to make a deferral. Determining whether employees have this opportunity depends on the facts and circumstances. How do you fix a universal availability failure?

Source: Irs.gov, April 2015

Automated Investment Services: Are DC Plan Participants Better Off Using These Services?

Summary: This study delves deep to analyze the investment returns of do-it-yourself retirement plan investors vs. those using an automated investment allocation service. Key highlights: 1) The median return for participants using an automated investment allocation service was approximately 11.7% higher than the median return for participants using a DIY approach. 2) Automated investment allocation may decrease the likelihood of low or negative returns.

Source: Trsretirementservices.com , April 2015

Target-Date Fund Adoption in 2014

Summary: In 2014, the use of target-date funds in DC plans continued to grow rapidly. At the end of last year, 88% of plans offered a TDF, 64% of all participants were invested in the funds, and the funds accounted for 41% of total plan contributions. In this eight page paper you'll get the latest statistics on TDFs.

Source: Vanguard.com , April 2015

Rethinking Target-Date Fund Design: Managing Participant Risk

Summary: This paper offers a thorough understanding of the research and philosophy behind Prudential's Day One target-date funds, which were created to address retirement risks all people face, with a particular focus on longevity risk.

Source: Pionline.com (registration may be required), April 2015

Required Loan and Hardship Distribution Documentation

Summary: Does your U.S. retirement plan make distributions to foreign persons? If so, you must generally withhold 30% from a plan distribution paid to a foreign payee unless you can reliably associate the payment with valid documentation that establishes the payee is a U.S. person or a foreign person entitled to a rate of withholding lower than 30%. Here is an overview of the rules.

Source: Irs.gov, April 2015

Plan Distributions to Foreign Persons Require Withholding

Summary: Does your U.S. retirement plan make distributions to foreign persons? If so, you must generally withhold 30% from a plan distribution paid to a foreign payee unless you can reliably associate the payment with valid documentation that establishes the payee is a U.S. person or a foreign person entitled to a rate of withholding lower than 30%. Here is an overview of the rules.

Source: Irs.gov, April 2015

Who Wants to Service a Tiny Retirement Plan? This Guy

Summary: Most retirement plan advisers tend to avoid small retirement plans, but one consultant has built a system to scoop them up and service them.

Source: Investmentnews.com (free registration may be required), April 2015

IRS Modifies EPCRS Guidelines, Requests Comments on Over Payment Correction

Summary: The Internal Revenue Service released Revenue Procedure 2015-27, which modifies, effective July 1, 2015, prior guidelines under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System. They are also requesting comment on whether a plan sponsor should be prohibited from seeking the return of over payments from participants and beneficiaries in certain situations.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, April 2015

DOL Provides Flexibility for Annual Participant Fee Disclosure

Summary: The DOL announced that it is providing more flexibility with respect to the timing of the provision of the annual participant fee disclosure required under DOL Regulation section 2550.404a-5 (404a-5) for qualified retirement plans that permit plan participants to direct their investments in the plan.

Source: Eisneramper.com, April 2015

Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business

Summary: Starting a retirement savings plan can be easier than most business owners think. What's more, there are a number of retirement programs that provide tax advantages to both employers and employees.

Source: Dol.gov, April 2015

CIT Myths and Facts

Summary: Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) can be a valuable tool in developing a retirement plan lineup once the facts are distinguished from the myths. Here are several common myths about CITs, along with the related factual information.

Source: Ctfcoalition.com , April 2015

Another Court Enforces DOL's Electronic SPD Rules

Summary: At some point, as electronic communication becomes the norm and as paper virtually disappears from the workplace, we will surely see a softening of the conditions imposed by the Department of Labor on the electronic distribution of summary plan descriptions. But a recent decision by a New York federal court confirms that we are not yet at that point.

Source: Benefitsinbrief.com, April 2015


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