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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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401k Plan Sponsors Are Focused on Fees

Abstract: As more plan participants scrutinize 401k fees, plan sponsors are re-examining how much they're paying their service providers for plan administration, reveals the annual Retirement Planscape report by market research firm Market Strategies International.

Source: Shrm.org, May 2016

Dealing With the New Fiduciary Standard

Abstract: The new DOL fiduciary rules, including ERISA fiduciary labeling and how conflicts of interest are managed, will have a major impact on the industry. And these changes will certainly have implications for broker-dealers, RIAs and advisors on both the plan and individual retirement sides. Taking steps now to understand how new fiduciary rules will impact your model and what changes your practice may need to make will help you navigate this shifting industry landscape. Eight-page paper.

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

Form 5500 Reporting Requirements for One-Participant Plans

Abstract: Form 5500-EZ, Annual Return of One-Participant (Owners and Their Spouses) Retirement Plan can be easily over looked by sponsors of one-participant retirement plans. Common mistakes can be avoided by understanding the basic rules.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

Orphaned DC Cases Growing, Where Are the Foster Homes?

Abstract: With the advent of most companies that offer a DC plan using an advisor, the dirty secret is that many providers that currently sell mostly through advisors have "orphaned" cases. So what happens to the DC plans without an advisor, those that receive zero service and the advisor is still getting paid, or plans that will now be abandoned because of the DOL conflict-of-interest rule?

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

Podcast: 401k Plan Loans: Necessary, Evil or ...?

Abstract: Over the years, participant 401k plan loans have gotten a bad rap both with plan sponsors and within the industry. In this podcast, Todd Cowman, a Senior Consultant at the Principal Financial Group explores whether that bad reputation is deserved.

Source: 401kfridays.com, May 2016

Choosing Default Investment Alternatives for 401ks Requires Close Due Diligence

Abstract: Target-date funds are the runaway top choice to serve as the default option for 401k plans. But successfully gathering assets doesn't necessarily mean that a TDF is the right choice for every plan's QDIA. It certainly doesn't mean that TDFs are well-suited for every plan participant, so plan fiduciaries should not act hastily in choosing a QDIA.

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

IRS Checklists for Retirement Plan Documents

Abstract: This is a list (with links) of IRS checklists for retirement plan documents categorized into subject matter packages that Employee Plans Specialists use when reviewing retirement plan documents. Plan sponsors can also use these packages as a review tool before submitting a determination letter application to the IRS.

Source: Irs.gov, May 2016

Impact of Student Loan Debt on DC Retirement Plan Participation: Plan Sponsor Perspective

Abstract: The Plan Sponsor Council of America released the results of its 2016 study assessing student loan debt and plan sponsors' response to the perceived notion that student debt affects employees' participation in company retirement plans. Report is 11-pages.

Source: Psca.org, May 2016

A Retirement Wake-Up Call: 2016 Retirement Readiness Survey

Abstract: This 60-page report captures a picture of how ready people are for retirement across the world. The survey trend line from 2012 to 2016 illustrates that many workers are not adequately preparing for their future retirement. While some progress has been made toward achieving greater levels of retirement readiness since 2012, the progress is coming too slowly to ensure that they will achieve the retirement income they will need in later life.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, May 2016

DC Plan Sponsors -- Are You Managing Your Fiduciary Duties?

Abstract: Are you properly managing your DC plan? Here are some sample questions that you should be able to answer.

Source: Xerox.com, May 2016

Who's a Fiduciary Now? Understanding the DOL's New Definition

Abstract: The sky isn't falling, but in a very real sense the retirement world is changing with the release of the DOL's final regulation that more broadly defines who is an "investment-advice" fiduciary for purposes of ERISA. This is a 14-page review from the law firm Spencer Fane.

Source: Spencerfane.com, May 2016

401k Plan Sponsors Are Focused on Fees

Abstract: As more plan participants scrutinize 401k fees, plan sponsors are re-examining how much they're paying their service providers for plan administration, reveals the annual Retirement Planscape report by market research firm Market Strategies International.

Source: Shrm.org, May 2016

Breaking Down the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Schwab expects the DOL's fiduciary rule to transform how investment advice is offered to retirement savers, with many service providers likely to move from a commission-based model to a fee-based model, in which the investor is charged a flat fee based on his or her assets. They see potential for the rule ultimately to be a competitive advantage for advisors who are and always have been fiduciaries.

Source: Schwab.com, May 2016

A Look at Access to Employer-Based Retirement Plans in the Nation's Metropolitan Areas

Abstract: This 16-page report notes that more than 40 percent of full-time private sector workers say they lack access to either a pension or an employer-based retirement savings plan such as a 401k. This retirement plan access varies more among the nation's metropolitan areas than across states as a whole.

Source: Pewtrusts.org, May 2016

Webinar: Dissecting the Department of Labor's Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This 26-minute audio conference on the DOL's final rule to re-define who is rendered a "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan under ERISA. Reviews changes made in the final rule and what it means for your business and retirement plans.

Source: Littler.com, May 2016

Research Examines Makeup of 403(b) Plan Designs

Abstract: Study examines the elements of different 403(b) retirement plans, including automatic enrollment of employees into the plan, employer contributions, and participant loans. The report analyzes 403(b) plans covered by ERISA that had 100 participants or more and at least $1 million in plan assets.

Source: Ici.org, May 2016

Bogle: New Fiduciary Rule Is Just the Beginning

Abstract: John Bogle predicts that the new DOL fiduciary rule is just the beginning, stating the fiduciary standard is meant not just for retirement plans, but for all investment accounts.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, May 2016

Share Classes: Evaluating Expense Ratios and Revenue Sharing

Abstract: Retirement plan committees continue to be sued over the cost of 401k investments. Participants allege that they pay unreasonably high expenses, which reduces the returns and, ultimately, savers' retirement nest eggs. Fred Reish discusses a practical approach for retirement plan committees to use when evaluating 401k investment share classes.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, May 2016

Socially Responsible Investments

Abstract: While socially responsible investing has been around for decades, interest in responsible investing has been especially high in recent years. This paper examines the impact of the new DOL rule (IB 2015-01), as well as the factors shaping the dialogue around SRI investments and their suitability in retirement plans.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

What is a Target Date Fund? - The Objective

Abstract: For target date funds, determining the objective is crucial. Decide whether the participant wants to preserve or maximize their savings.

Source: Blackrock.com, May 2016

Five Operational Imperatives That Can Make or Break a 401k Plan

Abstract: When evaluating operational imperatives that can make or break a 401k plan, it all comes down to attention to details and flawless execution. Consultants play a pivotal role in five key plan activities and areas of focus.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, May 2016

10 Years Later - Pension Protection Act's Impact on DC Plans

Abstract: Called the "most sweeping reform of America's pension laws in over 30 years," the Pension Protection Act has had a significant impact on helping people save for retirement. Signed into law in 2006, the PPA most notably paved the way for auto-enrollment and also established life-cycle and target date funds as a QDIA.

Source: Troweprice.com, May 2016

Transitioning From a DB to a DC Program - Part I: An Overview

Abstract: While some plan sponsors may falsely believe that transitioning to a DC program is a routine administrative process, finding a commensurate DC plan and further communicating the change to affected employees is a delicate, and at times difficult, matter. Transitioning from a DB- to a DC-style plan requires significant work and a number of tough decisions along the way.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

Transitioning From a DB to a DC Program - Part II: The Migration Study

Abstract: The goal of any defined benefit migration study is to provide plan sponsors with sufficient information to make an educated decision. The study must include an analysis of the ongoing DB plan costs versus the combined costs of the frozen DB plan and the replacement defined contribution plan, as well as an understanding of how employees will be affected by the transition.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

Auto-Portability Seen as Key to Preventing 401k 'Leakage'

Abstract: Adding features such as auto-portability to retirement plans could be a way of preventing plan leakage and shield against workers not saving for retirement. Plan leakage occurs most frequently when workers switch jobs and, rather than carrying their 401k balances with them to their new jobs, cash out of the plan.

Source: Bna.com, May 2016

Fidelity Faces ERISA Lawsuit Over 401k Brokerage Window

Abstract: A proposed class action accuses Fidelity Management Trust Co. of breaching its ERISA fiduciary duties for allegedly receiving unreasonable compensation through its brokerage window feature and a kickback scheme with an investment advice company.

Source: Bna.com, May 2016

DOL Advisory Council to Further Study Cybersecurity

Abstract: The Department of Labor's 2016 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans has announced that it is embarking on an in-depth study of cybersecurity as it applies to benefit plans.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

Roth 401k Options Are Underused

Abstract: A Roth 401k account can be a tremendously valuable vehicle for employees to save for retirement. Unfortunately, many employers have yet to appreciate and, in some cases, communicate effectively the full potential of the Roth option.

Source: Shrm.org, May 2016

DOL Encourages 401k Participant Education

Abstract: The widely anticipated final fiduciary rule from the DOL is here. As expected, the rule broadly expands the definition of fiduciary investment advice, but also provides welcome flexibility for providing general education materials to participants without triggering fiduciary liability. That flexibility is welcome news given employers' interest in and demand for holistic financial wellness

Source: Manning-Napier.com, May 2016

Best 401k Practices in a New Regulatory Environment

Abstract: A new wave of 401k litigation and the DOL's impending conflict of interest regulations has the retirement industry aflutter. With so much activity in the realm of "fiduciary best practices," it is difficult to keep track of what has changed and what has remained the same.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, May 2016

Excessive-Fee Suit Targeting 401k Plan Could Be 'Harbinger' for Industry

Abstract: A new class-action lawsuit targeting excessive 401k fees in a $9 million plan could herald a new frontier of sorts in this type of litigation. The suit, Damberg et al v. LaMettry's Collision Inc. et al, alleges plan fiduciaries breached their duties under ERISA for allowing excessive fees to be charged for investments and record keeping and administration.

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

A Close Look at ERISA 403(b) Plans, 2013

Abstract: This just published 60-page report focuses on ERISA 403(b) plans in 2013. It first analyzes 403(b) plans in the DOL's 2013 Form 5500 Research File. Focus then shifts to more than 4,000 audited 403(b) plans in the BrightScope Defined Contribution Plan Database, which have at least $1 million in plan assets and typically 100 participants or more. Detailed findings are highlighted.

Source: Ici.org, May 2016

New Overtime Rules May Affect Benefits Plans

Abstract: The recently finalized FLSA regulations highlight the potential impact on salaries and wages for many organizations. In addition to the focus on bottom-line labor cost dollars, a further consideration for companies is any impact on benefits plans, such as eligibility for certain benefits, and changes in benefits levels, such as for retirement and life insurance.

Source: Huffingtonpost.com, May 2016

How to Evaluate 401k Provider Competence in Two Easy Steps

Abstract: Competence is attributes you should consider when shopping for a 401k provider. Unfortunately, it's also a difficult attribute to evaluate due to the highly-technical nature of 401k services. This piece suggests you employ a two-step process.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, May 2016

Fail to Adopt a New Preapproved DC Plan by the April 30th Deadline?

Abstract: If you are a plan sponsor of a defined contribution retirement plan that is on a preapproved document, and you did not sign a restated plan document as required on or before the April 30, 2016 deadline, your retirement plan is technically no longer entitled to tax-favored treatment. Article reviews steps needed to correct the error.

Source: Benefitslawadvisor.com, May 2016

Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans

Abstract: Thanks to Notice 2016-16, the IRS continues to permit mid-year amendments to a safe harbor plan and the notice does not disallow certain other types of changes. Article lists both.

Source: Belfint.com, May 2016

Employees Who Spend Time Engaged With Their 401k Tend to Be More Active Savers

Abstract: You probably never even think about your 401k, until that quarterly statement shows up. Then, you open the envelope and you look at two numbers: your account balance and the rate of return. But research found that employees who spend more time engaged with their 401k tend to be more active savers.

Source: Bankrate.com, May 2016

Advancing Financial Literacy, Capability and Well-Being Among Hispanics

Abstract: Financial literacy and capability are keys to closing the wealth gap that exists among Hispanics, but are often lacking in the Hispanic community. The objective of this report is to inform policies, practices and services that target improvements in financial literacy and capability among Hispanic households.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, May 2016*

Straw, Stick and Brick House TPAs

Abstract: While there are dozens of reasons a plan may go awry, many times the fault does not lie with the plan sponsor directly, but with the service provider the plan sponsor engages to assist him with his administrative duties. Unfortunately, most business owners don't know enough about retirement plans to know what they don't know and what they are not receiving. Article describes three categories of TPA firms.

Source: Tristarpension.com, May 2016

IRS Issues Final Regulations on Allocation of After-Tax Amounts From Roth Accounts

Abstract: The Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations that remove the current allocation rule and treat distributions from a Roth account made to multiple destinations as a single distribution beginning on January 1, 2016.

Source: Practicallaw.com, May 2016

Helping 403(b) Clients Understand Universal Availability Rules

Abstract: Failure to comply with universal availability (UA) rules is still one of the most common errors the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) finds in examinations of 403(b) retirement plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Mobile Enhancements Sweep the Retirement Sphere

Abstract: While the growing reliance on mobile devices in the financial space is due in part to millennials entering the workforce, this trend crosses generational gaps; a recent study by Edison Research found that more than half of consumers age 55 and up now own smartphones. Retirement firms have responded to this trend and many firms have unveiled enhancements to their mobile platforms.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, May 2016

SEC Plans to Propose Fiduciary Rule Next April

Abstract: The Securities and Exchange Commission plans to propose rules for raising investment advice standards and authorizing non-governmental examinations of advisers next spring (April 2017), according to its latest regulatory agenda.

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

Simplified 401k Roth Rollover Rules Finalized

Abstract: Final Roth rollover rules retain simplification of prior notice and ease rollovers for participants with both Roth and pre-tax amounts in their 401k plan account. This is new guidance, that makes permanent the rules that plans with Roth 401k accounts were already operating, will probably require few if any changes.

Source: Winstead.com, May 2016

The Appeal of CITs

Abstract: Transparency, lower fees and customization are spurring growth of collective investment trusts in the retirement plan space. Article suggests that it is incumbent on advisers to figure out if there is a cost advantage and talk with plan sponsors about whether CITs are a fit with the plan.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

The DOL Fiduciary Rule, Seller's Exception and Independent Fiduciaries

Abstract: How does a service provider determine whether it is making a recommendation to "independent fiduciaries of plans and IRAs with financial expertise?" This is a key question that could determine whether an organization or individual is tagged as an ERISA fiduciary and subject to added liability as a result.

Source: Pensionriskmatters.com, May 2016

Should Advisors Ditch Their Broker-Dealers in Light of DOL Fiduciary?

Abstract: It is imperative that advisors at broker-dealers begin to consider what kind of business they want to operate in the future, and whether it's really necessary to continue offering commission-based products and deal with the additional compliance burdens, or choose to focus as a level-fee fiduciary instead.

Source: Kitces.com, May 2016

Removal of Allocation Rule for Disbursements From Designated Roth Accounts to Multiple Destinations

Abstract: Regulation remove the allocation rules on distributions from a Roth designated account to multiple destinations. This document contains final regulations eliminating the requirement that each disbursement from a designated Roth account that is directly rolled over to an eligible retirement plan be treated as a separate distribution.

Source: Federalregister.gov, May 2016

DB Principles for the DC Generation

Abstract: With retirement planning becoming a greater concern for baby boomers, generation X and even millennials, awareness of their particular concerns and what to do about them is an important consideration for plan sponsors. This paper explores the topic in-depth.

Source: Bnymellon.com, May 2016

Communication Key to Strong Participation in Goodyear Canada Retirement Options

Abstract: Communication and a willingness to consider diverse groups have been key as Goodyear Canada has embarked on changes to its retirement offerings. New employees have the opportunity to join the defined contribution plan when they first join the company. The group registered retirement savings plan is voluntary, but 75 per cent of staff are currently enrolled in it.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, May 2016

Senate's Tax Reform Hearing Touches Retirement Incentives

Abstract: The tax incentives currently extended to workplace retirement plans are a potential casualty of a tax reform proposal that was the subject of a Senate Finance Committee hearing.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

IRS Disaster Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs

Abstract: If a disaster is declared by the president, the IRS will postpone certain retirement plan and IRA deadlines for affected taxpayers. Here's a look at relevant IRS guidance.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

Final Regulations Address Roth Account Pretax/After-Tax Rollovers

Abstract: The IRS has finalized regulations that modify the rules for designated Roth accounts in 401k, 403(b), and governmental 457(b) plans. These final regulations are believed to be a formality that affirms proposed IRS regulations issued in September of 2014.

Source: Ascensus.com, May 2016

Cogent Report: Fees Most Common Reason for Switching Recordkeepers

Abstract: Report found that plan administration fees are the most common reason for switching recordkeepers, and likewise are an important driver of satisfaction and loyalty when client expectations are fulfilled. Importantly, the aspect of providing good value for the money is the leading enhancer to brand consideration this year, reinforcing the point that plan sponsors are seeking value from a provider.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, May 2016

Seven Actions to Demonstrate Compliance Following the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: While reliance upon the BICE is only required for advisers who intend to take compensation in the form of commissions or transaction fees, the procedures delineated for the exemption reflect best practices that all advisers should routinely follow.

Source: Fi360.com, May 2016

Bay State Says Full Robos Can't Be Fiduciaries

Abstract: The Massachusetts Securities Division says that robo-advisers' failure to conduct due diligence, as well as their depersonalized structure, may render them unable to provide adequately personalized investment advice and make appropriate investment decisions. As such, "the Division" has declared that fully automated robo-advisers, as currently structured, may be inherently unable to carry out the fiduciary obligations of a state-registered investment adviser.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

What Plans Types Do the Final DOL Fiduciary Rule and Its Exemptions Cover?

Abstract: This question is important for financial advisers in order to understand how the new regulations affect their business. This article is not meant to give you a full understanding of the regulation and all of its requirements but more narrowly to give some background and to identify the various types of plans that are covered.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

Could Fees Cost Millennials $590,000 in Retirement Savings?

Abstract: In an article titled, "How a 1% Fee Could Cost Millennials $590,000 in Retirement Savings," author notes that for Millennials, "time is on their side in almost every way related to building wealth." But "almost" is a key caveat, because the report also notes that "time can also be a huge drain on this generation's financial well-being." This piece reviews how that can happen.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

401k MEPs Reduce Downside Risk for Company Execs: Interview With Terrance Power

Abstract: Terrance Power is the Founder and President of The Platinum 401k. In this interview, Mr. Power describes in simple terms what a 401k MEP is and what makes it an attractive option for companies -- in addition to other MEP topics.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, May 2016

401k Aggregation: An Advisor's David to the Industry's Goliath

Abstract: Aggregation is growing in the retirement space, and with good reason. The economics and scalability it affords enables firms to compete in a shrinking margin environment. Beyond the numbers, aggregation offers advisors many benefits including expanded bandwidth to create more innovative programs, a greater voice with investment companies, better use of non-traditional programs like financial wellness, and preferred pricing for a variety of programs and services.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, May 2016

401k Investment Menu Best Practices

Abstract: In this low return, low interest rate environment there is a new set of best practices to use for 401k plan menu construction. Article notes ten of these best practices.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, May 2016

Working Beyond 65 Has Become a Reality

Abstract: The wisdom of retiring at 65 doesn't make as much sense as it once did. Here's where we should start questioning the wisdom of retiring at 65. There are several reasons for that.

Source: Usnews.com, May 2016

Participants File Self-Dealing ERISA Suit Targeting M&T Bank

Abstract: Participants in M&T Bank retirement plans accuse the company of unfairly promoting its own mutual funds at the expense of plan performance, an increasingly common charge being leveled against providers in the 401k plan marketplace.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Coalition Targets 401k Participants

Abstract: A coalition led by four activist organizations has organized a petition for 401k plan participants to demand their plans provide fossil-free investment options.

Source: Pionline.com, May 2016

Enhance Investment Behaviors and Outcomes With Re-Enrollment

Abstract: It's become clear that two employee segments have been significantly left out of the impact of auto-features in DC plans, affecting their chance for retirement savings success. Providing access to all employees to engage in the plan, through re-enrollment, can have a significant impact on the success of the plan's objectives.

Source: Pionline.com, May 2016

Want to Live Longer? Postpone Retirement

Abstract: We've all read about the beneficial financial aspects of delaying retirement, but could it also help you live longer? A study by researchers from Oregon State University found that, at least among retirees who didn't find health to be an important reason to retire, that even a 1-year-older age at retirement was associated with an 11% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

DOL Final Fiduciary Rule Fallout: Some Potential IRS Pitfalls for IRA Custodians and Trustees

Abstract: Article reviews some potential fallout from the DOL's fiduciary rule on IRA custodians and trustees in maintaining their IRA documentation and status as IRA custodians and trustees. The extent of the fallout depends on whether IRA custodians and trustees (or their affiliates) may now become fiduciaries to IRAs under the new rule.

Source: Morganlewis.com, May 2016

BB&T Faces Lawsuit Over Performance of Its 401k Plan

Abstract: BB&T Corp. and managers of its 401k plan are being sued by participants who allege they are being charged excessive fees for often underperforming proprietary mutual funds. The lawsuit was filed by 12 named plaintiffs -- current and former employees -- in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of N.C. on behalf of the BB&T Corp. 401k Savings Plan.

Source: Journalnow.com, May 2016

Best Interest, BICE and Liability Exposure for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Under the DOL's new fiduciary rule, plan sponsors and other investment fiduciaries need to be able to document that they used a legally appropriate due diligence process in evaluating and selecting investment options for their plans if they have any hopes of avoiding liability for breach of fiduciary liability claims since, as mentioned earlier, the courts will not accept "a pure heart and an empty head" defense.

Source: Iainsight.wordpress.com, May 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule: The Thin Line Between Education and Advice

Abstract: The incorporation of the principles of IB 96-1 into the final rule is helpful but limited, as the final rule leaves a number of interactions between financial institutions and retail retirement clients in a gray zone, particularly when it comes to information provided on web sites and call centers where specific funds or investment products may be mentioned by name. This publication provides a description of non-fiduciary education under the final rule.

Source: Shearman.com, May 2016

Case Study: Smart Plan Design and Holistic View Guide Positive Change

Abstract: Case study illustrating the difference a professional retirement plan advisor can make for employers and their workforce. Gouldin & McCarthy worked with a regional bank to improve their retirement plan offering. The bank, with 350+ employees and $30M in plan assets, wished to make changes to their plan that would benefit all employees and offer cost-efficient savings.

Source: Retirementadvisor.us, May 2016

Plan Sponsors Should Promote Roth Accounts More

Abstract: Many U.S. employers are missing out on an opportunity to help employees with their financial well-being by not offering or fully explaining and promoting the benefits and value of Roth 401k contributions, according to retirement experts at Willis Towers Watson.

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2016

Student Loan Debt Affecting Americans' Finances and Living Situations

Abstract: Student loan debt, which according to the Federal Reserve now totals over $1.3 trillion, is causing Americans to delay saving for the future and forcing them to take on multiple jobs. Eight in 10 U.S. adults with student loans say they have made financial or personal sacrifices because of loan debt. Half of Americans with student loan debt say they have delayed contributing to a retirement account.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Make Sure 403(b) Clients Do Not Lose Tax-Exempt Status

Abstract: The Internal Revenue Service is reminding tax-exempt organizations that many have a filing deadline for Form 990-series information returns in mid-May. Losing tax-exempt status can affect the ability to offer 403(b) plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Millennial Women's 401k Balances Are Half of Men's

Abstract: Millennial women are falling behind men when it comes to retirement saving, T. Rowe Price found in a survey. Millennial women are saving an average of 5% of their salary, compared to 7% for men. While this is only slightly below the savings rate of men, perhaps because they are earning much less, their 401k balances are half that of men's.

Source: Planadviser.com, May 2016

Game Changer, Revisited: The Final Conflict of Interest Rules

Abstract: The DOL's new conflict of interest rules represent a sea change for the financial services industry. Any advisor or service provider whose business model depends on variable or indirect compensation, or on the premise that one's investment recommendations don't cross the threshold into fiduciary status, should assume that their business model must change. Pete Swisher goes into great detail in this 18-page paper.

Source: Pentegra.com, May 2016

Maryland Adopts State-Run Savings Program

Abstract: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed into law legislation on May 10 that will create a state-run retirement plan for workers not covered by a retirement plan at work. The bill (SB 1007) establishes the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program and Trust, which creates incentives to encourage private-sector employers to make the program available to their employees.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, May 2016

How DOL Fiduciary Will Disrupt the Blackrock and Schwab Robo-Advisors

Abstract: It turns out that the final fiduciary rule has created a significant problem for several robo-advisors like Schwab and Blackrock's FutureAdvisor, that use the platform to distribute their own proprietary products.

Source: Kitces.com, May 2016

Plan Document Problems That Can Be a Pain for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: A written plan document is a legal document with ramifications in governing a retirement plan. A retirement plan document can cause many issues for a retirement plan sponsor. This article reviews the impact plan document problems can have on retirement plans and what steps sponsors should take to avoid them.

Source: Jdsupra.com, May 2016

Plan Fees Are Falling...Right?

Abstract: Average investment expenses are showing a multi-year declining trend, thanks to a consumer push for lower cost alternatives. However, revenue sharing costs have increased overall, leaving total plan costs relatively flat. With advances in technology increasing efficiency and productivity, administrative costs should be decreasing, but this is not the trend.

Source: Ekonbenefits.com, May 2016

Video: Law Experts Take an In-Depth Look at the DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Alexander Ryan and David Olstein, of the Groom Law Group, take an in-depth look at the DOL's new fiduciary regulation and its impact on retirement investors and financial institutions in this 23-minute video.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, May 2016

The New Fiduciary Rule: From the Perspective of the Plan Sponsor

Abstract: The final rule targets those that give investment advice to a plan, its participants or its beneficiaries. As a result, it effectively expands the group of individuals who may be considered a fiduciary. However, this article covers a few key points that help provide a better understanding of how the rule may affect plan sponsors.

Source: Benefitslawadvisor.com, May 2016

Your 401k Plan Is Not Free

Abstract: Many people think the best thing about that workplace plan is the cost. If you're like half the people in a recent survey, you think the investments in a workplace retirement plan or through a retail brokerage are free. But they're not.

Source: Bankrate.com, May 2016

Educating Our Way Out of America's Under Saving Problem

Abstract: America faces "a huge under saving problem that will catch up with us," warned participants at a recent panel discussion of financial literacy and retirement readiness. One attendee said she perceived a lack of understanding among employees about retirement saving, and asked whether it would be worthwhile to require employees to attend education sessions.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

Boosting Low DC Savings Rates

Abstract: The Government Accountability Office has examined the impact of low defined contribution plan savings rates, but the real problem may lie elsewhere. The report addresses two questions.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

Money Market Reform and Stable Value: Considerations for Plan Fiduciaries

Abstract: With SEC-mandated changes going into effect for money market funds in mid-October 2016, many plan fiduciaries are reviewing options for their investment lineups that are designed to protect principal. In this paper, Vanguard Stable Value Management's Mark Dorfler explains the benefits and risks of two of these options: money market funds and stable value funds.

Source: Vanguard.com, May 2016

Will the Fiduciary Reg Reduce Rollovers?

Abstract: There are reasons why a plan sponsor might want to keep ex-participants' accounts in their plan, but respondents in a recent poll, by the National Association of Plan Advisors, aren't seeing much interest in doing so.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, May 2016

Q&A on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule: BICE & PTEs

Abstract: This piece looks at technical questions around BICE and other Prohibited Transaction Exemptions under the DOL's fiduciary rule. There are 11 questions answered.

Source: Fi360.com, May 2016

Order for Auto Enrollment in Many 401k Plans Being Sought

Abstract: In a letter signed by 65 fellow House Democrats, Rep. Joseph Crowley, Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, has asked President Obama to issue an executive order requiring 401k plans of firms with government contracts to implement automatic enrollment of employees.

Source: Ascensus.com, May 2016

Rethinking Mandatory Cash-Outs

Abstract: Spencer Williams, president and CEO of Retirement Clearinghouse, says automatic roll-ins should complement automatic enrollment. "I understand why plan sponsors want to get rid of small balances, but putting assets into a safe harbor IRA is like putting them into a landfill," he said. "Many accounts get eaten up by fees, and many participants cash out these IRAs."

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2016

Best Practices for 403(b) Plans

Abstract: 403(b)s are still catching up with plan design and fiduciary best practices including automatically enroll participants, automatically escalate deferrals each year, and re-enrollment.

Source: Plansponsor.com, May 2016

How Not to Operate a 401k Plan

Abstract: Recent ERISA case offers key takeaways for plan fiduciaries that receive revenue in exchange for providing services to their own retirement plan.

Source: Morningstar.com, May 2016

How a TPA Can Be a 401k Financial Advisor's Best Friend

Abstract: One of the most important relationships that a financial advisor can develop to augment their practice to current and future clients is finding a few third party administrators (TPAs) to work with. In many ways, the TPA's can be the financial advisor's best friend and this article will show you why.

Source: Jdsupra.com, May 2016

Benefit Programs Important for Attracting and Retaining Workers

Abstract: Research found small business owners are focusing on developing competitive benefit programs as part of their approach to attracting and retaining their workers. The research findings also uncovered that financial professionals have tremendous influence over small business owners' purchasing decisions. An advisor has 35 times more influence than a supplier representative.

Source: Irionline.org, May 2016

Q&A on the DOL Rule: Compensation

Abstract: This piece looks at technical questions around compensation requirements under the DOL's fiduciary rule. There are nine questions answered.

Source: Fi360.com, May 2016

The DOL's New Fiduciary Rule: The Details on Disclosure

Abstract: The final DOL fiduciary rule provides for two new prohibited transaction exemptions, the Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transaction Exemption. Financial institutions seeking to rely on these exemptions must make detailed disclosures to their retail clients, the DOL, and the general public. This publication focuses on these disclosure requirements.

Source: Shearman.com, May 2016

Colorado Postpones Bill to Create Savings Plan for Private-Sector Employees

Abstract: A bill to establish the Colorado Secure Savings Plan was postponed indefinitely in light of lawmakers' concerns that a compromise solution could not be reached this legislative session.

Source: Pionline.com, May 2016

Low Defined Contribution Savings May Pose Challenges

Abstract: Defined contribution plans, in which individuals save for their own retirement, have become the dominant form of retirement plan for U.S. workers. However, not all workers have access to or participate in such plans through their employer. This report focuses on 1) recent trends in DC plan participation and account savings, and 2) how much households could potentially save in DC plans over their careers, and how key individual and employer decisions affect plan saving.

Source: Gao.gov, May 2016

Shake up Your Clients' 401k With CIT's

Abstract: The retirement industry has been experiencing a mini shake-up for the past decade, featuring an investment tool that has been around since the 1920s. Collective investment trusts have been gaining in popularity as an alternative to mutual funds and other investment vehicles. These trusts are able to invest in almost-identical holdings as mutual funds but for a fraction of the price.

Source: Financial-Planning.com, May 2016

Podcast: No Rest for the Disorganized Fiduciary

Abstract: Having a thoughtfully organized investment committee is an important step employers can take to ensure they're fulfilling the fiduciary responsibilities for their retirement plans, according to Wendy Tyson, a senior ERISA consultant and manager in Vanguard Strategic Retirement Consulting. Key elements of a well-organized committee include its structure and size, the appointment process, the frequency of meetings, training, and insurance, Ms. Tyson says in this 11-minute podcast.

Source: Vanguard.com, May 2016

Financial Issues Affect Job Performance

Abstract: When employees are stressed financially, their health and productivity can both suffer. That's why more organizations are helping workers to manage their personal finances.

Source: Shrm.org, May 2016

DOL Glows and Invesco Glowers Over $10 Million Settlement of Alleged ERISA Infraction

Abstract: Labor Department's Phyllis Borzi praises Invesco Trust Company for 'stepping up' but the Atlanta fund company says it did nothing wrong and was merely extracting itself from DOL overreach.

Source: Riabiz.com, May 2016

401k Loan Activity Trends Lower

Abstract: At year-end 2014 one in five still had an outstanding loan, according to a report based on the EBRI/ICI 401k database. That was down from 21% at year-end 2013, but up from 18% at year-end 2008. Loans outstanding amounted to 11% of the remaining account balance, on average, at year-end 2014, down one percentage point from year-end 2013.

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

The Seven Highly Effective Habits of Highly Effective 401k Plans

Abstract: Nevin Adams writes, "Every so often someone puts out a list of what are said to be the best 401k plans, based on varied benefits and plan design structure criteria. But for my money, here's what the best plans do."

Source: Napa-net.org, May 2016

The Final Fiduciary Rule: A Plan Sponsor's Perspective

Abstract: Although targeted primarily at providers of retirement plan products and services, the DOL's new fiduciary rule will have an impact on plan sponsors. Thus, it is important for employers, investment committees, and other plan fiduciaries to understand how the fiduciary rule impacts their fiduciary responsibilities and the relationships they have with plan service providers. Identifies some of the key issues for plan sponsors.

Source: Groom.com, May 2016

The Five Killer Concepts that Most Confuse Retirement Savers

Abstract: For many, retirement planning is very confusing. Too often people choose to avoid this confusion simply by ignoring it. They put off until tomorrow what they could (and should) be doing today. While professionals can confidently breeze through the retirement landscape, to the casual retirement saver, the five concepts noted here lead to the greatest confusion.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, May 2016

Q&A on the DOL Fiduciary Rule: Product Impact

Abstract: This piece looks at questions having to do with the impact of the new DOL fiduciary rule on various products. There are four questions answered.

Source: Fi360.com, May 2016

Are 401k Plans Created Equal? Mostly, Study Says

Abstract: A report released by Judy Diamond Associates, a Washington-based retirement and benefits plan analyst, breaks down retirement plans by plan size and industry showing that there's little difference in outcomes between smaller plans and larger plans.

Source: Fa-mag.com, May 2016

What's the #1 Reason for 401k Lawsuits?

Abstract: 401k fee lawsuits have been picking up steam for years now. It seems trial lawyers are looking for any excuse to hold 401k fiduciaries personally liable for extraordinary plan fees, even excessive participant mailings. To sidestep such lawsuits, the author suggests that you avoid overpriced or superfluous 401k services that unnecessarily reduce participant returns.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, May 2016

Have You Properly Identified All of Your ERISA Benefits?

Abstract: ERISA imposes numerous requirements on covered employee benefit plans, including annual report requirements that could result in substantial monetary penalties for an employer if violated. That's why is it important to properly identify all of your ERISA benefits. Article reviews some of the more common benefit arrangements that are potentially subject to ERISA and what should be done once identified.

Source: Bsk.com, May 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Applicable to HSA and Other Individual Savings Accounts

Abstract: With the fiduciary rule release, the DOL has clarified that health savings accounts (HSAs), Coverdell education savings accounts (ESAs), and Archer Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs) are covered by the final rule. The application of the final rule to these accounts has received little media or industry attention. Nevertheless, it's significant for providers of these plans.

Source: Ascensus.com, May 2016

DOL Settles ERISA Claims with STIF CIT Fund Provider

Abstract: The DOL has reached a settlement agreement with an investment company over how it handled a short-term investment CIT. According to a DOL press release, Invesco Trust Company agreed to pay a total of $10.27 million to settle the department's claims that they violated ERISA.

Source: Asppa.org, May 2016

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


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