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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 Bonanza: Why More Americans Are Feeding Their Retirement Accounts

Abstract: Participation in 401k plans continues to climb, and while Baby Boomers have the highest participation rate, Millennials and Gen-Xers have gained on the older.

Source: Thestreet.com, July 2016

DC Plan Sponsors Embracing Non-Recordkeeper Target-Date Funds

Abstract: The survey of over 230 DC plan sponsors with plans ranging in size from $25 million to over $5 billion found that non-recordkeeper or off-platform target-date funds continue to grow in popularity among plan sponsors.

Source: Seic.com, July 2016

Engaging the Millennial Generation in DC Plans

Abstract: Given the potential influence the millennial generation may have on retirement plans and their unique circumstances, plan sponsors should work with their recordkeepers to address behavioral issues within the population, as well as ways to better engage with this population. Paper outlines steps plan sponsors can take to address this population's needs.

Source: Porteval.com, July 2016

Oregon Retirement Savings Plan Set to Launch in 12 Months

Abstract: The plan, approved by the 2015 Legislature, is scheduled to begin enrolling Oregon workers in July 2017. In preparation, the Oregon Retirement Savings Board on Tuesday chose several details about how the plan will work.

Source: Mycentraloregon.com, July 2016

Judy Diamond Addresses DOL's Proposed Form 5500 Changes

Abstract: The proposed Form 5500 changes, published last week by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, call for significant modifications to the disclosure of employee benefits packages. Judy Diamond Associates announced its reaction to the recently proposed changes.

Source: Judydiamond.com, July 2016

The Hidden Downsides of a 401k Loan

Abstract: At first, the 401k loan looked like a great option. There's no credit check, the fees and interest rate are minimal, and best of all, the interest would go back into her own account. However, there are also several hidden downsides of 401k loans to be aware of that are outlined here.

Source: Financialfinesse.com, July 2016

Is Using Active Investment Management a Fiduciary Breach?

Abstract: The case against active management as a prudent choice, at least for investment fiduciaries like retirement plan sponsors and trustees of endowment and foundation funds, appears to be both theoretically (Sharpe) and empirically (Philips et. al.) compelling.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, July 2016

DOL Commences Retirement Plan Audits for Compliance With Code Section 401(a)(9)

Abstract: This client article provides an overview of the Code's qualification requirements as they relate to required minimum distributions, the DOL's interest in required minimum distributions, and the DOL's guidance on missing plan participants.

Source: Dickinson-Wright.com, July 2016

Why Doesn't Your Company Want You to Put More in Your 401k?

Abstract: Retirement experts, including organizations that represent employers and 401k plan providers, still enthusiastically endorse automatic 401k features. The problem is that companies remain skeptical. The top reason, according to organizations that talk to these holdout employers, is concern about extra cost.

Source: Wealthmanagement.com, July 2016

Key Fiduciary Decisions Loom for Retirement Plans Using MM Funds

Abstract: In July 2014, the SEC adopted a beefed-up rule designed to make money funds less susceptible to heavy redemptions and loss of principal during a financial panic. Oct. 14 is the compliance deadline for the rule. If plan fiduciaries haven't done so yet, they should start preparing now to assess how the new regulation will impact the investment options available to participants.

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

Significant Changes Proposed for Form 5500

Abstract: The proposed changes are intended to improve employee benefit plan reporting by requiring more detailed information on issues such as group health plan compliance, plan investments, and service provider fees. Still, the changes would significantly increase Form 5500 reporting obligations for many employers.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, July 2016

DOL Makes Technical Corrections to the Best Interest Contract Exemption

Abstract: These minor clarifications more clearly articulate the DOL's original intent. They change neither the substance of the BIC exemption nor the applicability date of April 10, 2017. Advice providers will want to refer to the corrected version to ensure they are relying on the most up-to-date language for relief.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, July 2016

Withdrawals From Financial Accounts in Retirement

Abstract: This 12-page Vanguard research paper explores the nature of financial account withdrawals and shows that current spending rates are modest and appear reasonable for the vast majority of retirement households.

Source: Vanguard.com, July 2016

The Short Scoop on Wall Street's Claim That the DOL Rule Is Too Long

Abstract: The broker-dealers and insurance companies have recently berated the Department of Labor's fiduciary rules for their length and complexity. But the core of the DOL's rule is only 237 words and the DOL's strong effort to accommodate Wall Street compensation practices was the reason for the rules' reputed length.

Source: Riabiz.com, July 2016

Michigan Lawmakers Introduce Auto-IRA Bill

Abstract: Could the next state-run retirement program for the private sector emerge from the Great Lakes State? State Representatives Scott Dianda and Robert Wittenberg have introduced House Bill 5776, the Michigan Secure Retirement Savings Program Act.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, July 2016

IRS Issues Guidance on Changes to Determination Letter Program for Retirement Plans

Abstract: The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which sets forth in detail the significant changes to the IRS's determination letter program for qualified retirement plans. The most significant change is the IRS's elimination of the staggered five-year remedial amendment cycle for individually designed plans. The changes will be effective January 1, 2017.

Source: Franczek.com, July 2016

New York Life Accused of Profiting Off Workers' 401ks

Abstract: New York Life Insurance Co. has been sued by employees who claim that one of the company's in-house mutual funds carried needlessly high fees that eroded their retirement savings.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Cetera, Plan Sponsor Sued for Excessive Fees

Abstract: For the second time in two months, a small 401k plan is at the center of a lawsuit alleging excessive plan fees. The plan adviser, Cetera Advisor Networks, has been named as a co-defendant in a move experts call a twist of sorts from other 401k litigation.

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

First Circuit Holds "Float" Is Not a Plan Asset

Abstract: In the case In re: Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, No. 15-1445 (1st Cir., July 13, 2016), the plaintiffs alleged that Fidelity breached its fiduciary duties because it used float to earn interest for itself, and not to benefit the plan. The district court dismissed the complaint on the defendants' motion to dismiss. The First Circuit, in a decision former Supreme Court Justice Souter wrote as he sat by designation, upheld the dismissal.

Source: Dbr.com, July 2016

Fewer Recordkeepers in the 401k Field

Abstract: Several 401k recordkeepers have exited the game, merged or been acquired by larger providers because they haven't been able to keep pace with fees or expanded services that plan sponsors have been demanding. As consolidation takes over the recordkeeper marketplace, employers gain more opportunities to get the same service at a discount price.

Source: Workforce.com, July 2016

401k Plan Sponsors Continue to Face Class-Action Lawsuits

Abstract: In order to defend against any such lawsuits and adequately manage their plans, plan sponsors and other fiduciaries should assess the process they use to monitor fund offerings and the recordkeeping fees being charged to their plans. It is also crucial for plan management to establish and continually evaluate their plan's investment policy.

Source: Schneiderdowns.com, July 2016

TPAs Supporting Plan Design

Abstract: Just one among the many difficult aspects of learning to run a retirement plan is coming to appreciate the sometimes subtle, but clearly critical, differences between a recordkeeper and a third-party administrator (TPA), a task made all the harder by the near-constant evolution in business models, technology and client service preferences. Article reviews the differences and why plan sponsors turn to TPAs for help with plan design and administration.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

2016 PLANSPONSOR Third-Party Administrator Survey

Abstract: The survey includes TPA firms from the very small to the very large: $600,000 in total retirement plan assets to $54 billion in plan assets, respectively; more than one in six have in excess of 500 plans. Survey participants have offices in all but seven U.S. states, and about one in six is a national firm. Article provides details from the survey data.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

Finding the Links Between Retirement, Stress, and Health

Abstract: One in five workers reports feeling high levels of stress, and the top two drivers for this are economic: their jobs and their financial situations. In the latter, access to retirement plans and retirement readiness seem to play positive roles. To find out more, Lockton surveyed more than 600 individuals nationwide representing a broad range of age and income. This 6-page report reviews the findings.

Source: Lockton.com, July 2016

401k Litigation Overkill?

Abstract: Attorney Ary Rosenbaum writes, "The problem with 401k litigation is that we're going to come to a point where it's going to be overkill. Sometimes when I see some of the new cases propping up, I think we may already be there or close to there."

Source: Jdsupra.com, July 2016

Agencies Propose Significant Changes to Form 5500 Annual Reporting

Abstract: These proposed revisions, if implemented, would be the most significant overhaul of the Form 5500 since the Agencies' update that was effective with the 2009 plan year. The revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers to plans (including recordkeepers and trustees) subject to annual reporting requirements under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Groom.com, July 2016

Michael Kitces: DOL Fiduciary Rule a "Pivotal Moment"

Abstract: In this interview, Michael Kitces talks about a wide range of issues including how do he sees the movement within the advice market towards a minimum fiduciary standard playing out and in what ways the DOL's fiduciary rule impacts this movement.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com, July 2016

Survey Ranks Canada 10th for Retirement Security

Abstract: Canada ranks 10th in a list of countries that provide the best retirement security, according to the latest global retirement index published today by Natixis Global Asset Management. Canada fell just below several northern European countries, including Norway (No. 1), followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Austria, as well as New Zealand (No. 4) and Australia (No. 6).

Source: Benefitscanada.com, July 2016

United States Ranks 14th in Retirement Security

Abstract: The United States ranks 14th for retirement security, according to the 2016 Global Retirement Index, released by Natixis Global Asset Management. The index examines key factors that drive retirement security and provides a comparison tool for best practices in retirement policy across 43 countries.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

Plan Advisers Take More Interest in Recordkeepers' Cybersecurity Practices

Abstract: In an era when costly cyberattacks and data breaches are becoming more common, 401k plan advisers are beginning to scrutinize data-security practices at recordkeeping firms. RK clients also have heightened concerns about securing the personal data of their employees.

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

Retirement Savings Tax Breaks for High Earners

Abstract: Some tax perks for retirement savers are phased out for people who earn above a certain amount, including the ability to claim the saver's credit or contribute to a Roth IRA. But there are plenty of other tax benefits that people with relatively high incomes enjoy. Here's a look at some of the retirement savings tax incentives available to people with six-figure incomes.

Source: Usnews.com, July 2016

Appellate Court Revives Berkshire Hathaway ERISA Suit

Abstract: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals partly overturned the dismissal of claims against a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary's retirement plan, sending most of the ERISA-based complaint back to district court for reconsideration.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Create Universal Retirement Plan

Abstract: U.S. Representative Joe Crowley of New York introduced the Secure, Accessible, Valuable, Efficient Universal Pension Accounts (SAVE UPs) Act. The new legislation would universalize retirement savings accounts so every American worker would have an opportunity to generate tax-advantaged assets.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

2016 Defined Contribution Plan Participant Survey

Abstract: This 28-page report discusses research findings, draw implications for the continued evolution of DC plans, and explores what plan sponsors and their industry partners can do to help as many participants as possible achieve a financially secure retirement.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, July 2016

SEC Proposes Rules on Adviser Business Continuity and Transition Plans

Abstract: A proposed new rule, Rule 206(4)-4, would require SEC-registered investment advisers to adopt and implement written business continuity and transition plans (BCP) reasonably designed to address operational and other risks related to a significant disruption in the investment adviser's operations.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, July 2016

Lawyers Ready to Swoop Down on 401k Vultures

Abstract: In a lawsuit filed in San Jose federal court, the attorneys alleged a cornucopia of fiduciary breaches tied to excessive fees, recordkeeping, and the components of the company's target-date funds. The case, and several like it in the past year, may be harbingers of a new cycle of 401k-gone-bad litigation, this time targeting ever smaller plans.

Source: Detroitnews.com, July 2016

Excessive-Fee Suit Targets Checksmart's $25M 401k Plan

Abstract: A participant in Checksmart Financial LLC's 401k plan sued the loan servicing company for allegedly breaching its ERISA fiduciary duties by allowing excessive administrative fees and imprudent investment options in the company's plan.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Fidelity Win Highlights Ways Companies Profit From 401ks

Abstract: Fidelity Management Trust Co. and other financial institutions that use creative ways to make money off employee benefit plans have found an increasingly loyal ally in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

DOL Tweaks Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Labor Department issued July 7 the first guidance regarding the new fiduciary rule. The guidance consists of several technical corrections and clarifications to affirm what most people already understood the rule to mean.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Legal Implications of 2016 Trends in the Advisor Community

Abstract: From a legal perspective, what is likely to be coming down the pike for plan advisors? David N. Levine, a principal with the Groom Law Group, sees four business trends with potential legal compliance impacts on advisors.

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2016

Complete Restructuring of Form 5500 Proposed for 2019

Abstract: The DOL, IRS, and PBGC issued the Form 5500 Improvement and Modernization Proposal, a voluminous package of guidance and related materials (almost 1000 pages), in which they have proposed a complete restructuring of the Form 5500 annual return/report, including all Schedules. The agencies view the changes as necessary to modernize and improve the Form, noting that the last comprehensive update focused on revising the forms in anticipation of mandatory electronic filing beginning with the 2009 plan year.

Source: Sibson.com, July 2016*

2016 RIA Benchmarking Study

Abstract: Independent financial advisory firms reported that they have maintained a ten-year growth trajectory despite numerous and varied investment environments, according to results from Schwab's 2016 RIA Benchmarking Study. The Study underscores the critical importance of the advisor/client relationship as the bedrock of firms' strength and resilience, and as a driver of growth.

Source: Schwab.com, July 2016

Court Finds Nothing Wrong With Fidelity's Use of Float Income

Abstract: The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that "float income" Fidelity retained in the process of making distributions to retirement plan participants is not a plan asset, so Fidelity did not violate its fiduciary duties under ERISA.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

401k Participant Sues Target Over Company Stock

Abstract: Recognizing the new pleading standards set forth in Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, the lawsuit suggests alternative actions plan fiduciaries could have taken rather than continuing to allow investments in company stock.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

DC in Review: A Quarterly Briefing for Plan Sponsors: 2Q16

Abstract: This 51-page Janus "Defined Contribution in Review" report is designed to help CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers, Human Resource and Benefits Professionals and Investment Committees stay abreast of recent events that could have an impact on plan or plan participants.

Source: Janus, July 2016

ICI Reports Continued Downward Trend in Mutual Fund Fees in 401k Plans

Abstract: The cost of investing in equity mutual funds through 401k plans fell again in 2015, marking a 31 percent decline since 2000, according to an annual research study that the Investment Company Institute.

Source: Ici.org, July 2016

403(b) Policy Loan's Continued Form 5500 Reporting Problem

Abstract: One of the more intractable issues with which ERISA 403(b) plans sponsors must deal with every year arises from the "policy loans" issued by insurance carriers under the 403(b) annuity contracts held under the plans. There is simply no good way to report these loans on the Form 5500, and the newly proposed Form 5500 changes do not address this ongoing gnat of an issue.

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, July 2016

"Other Shoe" Drops With Latest DOL Form 5500 Proposal

Abstract: Retirement plan administrators and service providers may face significantly increased reporting burdens under changes recently proposed by the DOL. The agency has released a multi-part package of guidance proposing significant changes to the Form 5500 series annual returns for retirement plans.

Source: Ascensus.com, July 2016

DC Plans Shifting From One-Size-Fits-All to One-On-One Retirement Advice

Abstract: Up until now, one-size-fits-all 401k retirement plans have been the main strategy. However, it appears that 401k plan sponsors are starting to reconsider this approach. This year, Cogent has found evidence of increasing interest among plan sponsors in adding new forms of advice.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, July 2016

Lower Fees Drive Demand for ETFs in 401k Plans

Abstract: Plan sponsors are consolidating their investment menus to reduce cost, which should be giving DC investment managers cause for concern. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of plan sponsors point to investment fees as one of the primary factors they find most challenging to manage. Amidst the heightened attention on fees and expenses, there is an increasing interest in ETFs, especially among larger plans which tend to be trend setters in the industry.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, July 2016

Four Steps Towards Establishing a Small Business Retirement Plan

Abstract: A recent survey found that 26% of small business owners aren't confident about their retirement savings. Establishing a retirement plan is key to retirement confidence. Article provides some practical steps to move you towards establishing a retirement plan.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

Three Tips to Help You Navigate the Treacherous 401k Waters

Abstract: Despite the 401k's importance, the average participant's only investment strategy is to plow money into the accounts, then do nothing. Don't be passive. Here are three tips that apply to just about anyone with money stashed away in a 401k.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

SEC to Audit Advisers Over Fund Share Classes They Sell to Clients

Abstract: The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations announced Wednesday that it will examine advisers' practices related to share class recommendations and compliance oversight of the process. They will be particularly interested in conflicts of interest where the adviser is also a broker-dealer or affiliated with a broker-deal that gets fees from sales of particular share classes.

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

Retirement Plan Road Map

Abstract: When designing and establishing the correct retirement plan for yourself and your employees, you should do so with as much care, or more, as you would in planning a road trip. Infographic provides a 'road map' to better understand what to plan for and the routes to take as you begin your retirement plan journey.

Source: Tristarpension.com, July 2016

Technical Corrections to Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction Exemptions

Abstract: The DOL has published technical corrections to two of the exemptions issued in conjunction with its final rule expanding ERISA's definition of investment advice fiduciary. The principal clarifications included in these releases are summarized here.

Source: Sutherland.com, July 2016

Video: Is Age 70 the New 65?

Abstract: This 3-minute video explores why are so many people over age 65 choosing to remain in the work force. Is it for pleasure? Or do they not have enough saved in their retirement accounts?

Source: Standard.com, July 2016

DOL Communicates Importance of Retirement Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities

Abstract: The DOL's Fiduciary Education Campaign has provided seminars around the U.S. in addition to providing various tools and publications. If you are responsible for administering your organization's 401k plan or other company-sponsored employee benefit plan, it is important to keep certain essential duties in mind. Some of the most important duties to adhere to in order to meet these fiduciary responsibilities are outlined here.

Source: Schneiderdowns.com, July 2016

Overcoming Challenges in the 403(b) Tax Exempt Market

Abstract: IRS regulations have had a dramatic impact on 403(b) plans. This 8-page paper explores the challenges faced and enhancements made by many 403(b) plan sponsors in recent years and offer key takeaways for 403(b) plan sponsors going forward.

Source: Rocaton.com, July 2016

Avoiding Poverty in a DC-Only World

Abstract: A paper from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College asserts that distribution provisions in DC plans are critical factors in evaluating the risk of falling into poverty in old age. Specifically, the paper states that reliance on non-annuitized DC benefits with fairly easy access to lump-sum distributions puts elderly households at risk of not having sufficient income. What can plan sponsors do to minimize the probability of their retirees falling into poverty?

Source: Retirementtownhall.com, July 2016

401k RFP Tips for Employers

Abstract: This short article outlines some tips on how plan sponsors can optimize their RFP process to ensure it produces the best possible result.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, July 2016

The Myth of the 15 Minute 401k Plan Setup

Abstract: While technology might speed data collection and document delivery, it can't reduce the amount of information 401k fiduciaries must supply a new 401k provider or guide 401k fiduciaries when picking 401k administration and investment options for their plan, the most time consuming steps in the 401k plan establishment process.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, July 2016

The Danger of Wishful Thinking: Don't Avoid Plan Self-Audits

Abstract: In a survey by Willis Towers Watson, nearly one third of the respondents reported that their retirement plans had been audited by the IRS or the Department of Labor. Roughly half of employers with at least 25,000 employees said they had been audited in the last two years. So why do we have so much difficulty convincing some plan sponsors and fiduciaries to prepare by reviewing their own plans first?

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, July 2016

Plan Sponsor Satisfaction and Loyalty to Their Retirement Service Providers Increases

Abstract: The Provider Loyalty Index measures satisfaction and loyalty among plan sponsors with decision-making authority for their organizations' retirement plans and is calculated based on insights from over 11,000 plan sponsors. Research found that creating more efficient and effective partnerships drives higher levels of loyalty and "promotability" for retirement service providers.

Source: Chathampartners.com, July 2016

Some Top of Mind Thoughts on the Proposed 5500 Revisions

Abstract: On July 10th, the DOL announced a proposed "reboot" of the 5500 annual reporting forms for ERISA plans. Article provides a few "thoughts regarding the 5500 updates that plan sponsors and those who work with them should keep in mind."

Source: Cammackretirement.com, July 2016

Labor Department Fires Back at Fiduciary Rule Critics

Abstract: In a July 8 court filing, the DOL disputed the accusation that it botched the rulemaking process, saying that it "acted well within its authority" and "provided a reasoned explanation for its decision." The department contended that its new interpretation of "investment advice" -- which industry groups blasted as overbroad and contrary to law -- was entitled to deference and should be respected by the federal courts.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Millennials Ditch 401k Advisors for 401k Apps

Abstract: Millennials are ditching advisors (including 401k advisors) for apps. It's not exactly news, but when it appears in the consumer press, it's another reminder to industry technophobes to get on board, or else.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, July 2016

How to Save for Retirement on Less Than $40,000 Per Year

Abstract: Saving for retirement is especially difficult when you are earning a small salary. But tucking away even a small amount might qualify you for tax breaks, an employer match and will get compound interest working on your behalf. Here's how to begin building wealth for retirement when you have a low income.

Source: Usnews.com, July 2016

IRS Finalizes Favorable Roth Account Rollover Guidance

Abstract: The amended regulations will enable participants to avoid current taxation on partial rollovers of nonqualified distributions from designated Roth accounts. Sponsors will need to update the "safe harbor" rollover explanation given to recipients of eligible rollover distributions from designated Roth accounts.

Source: Towerswatson.com, July 2016

Roth Accounts Can Benefit Most Retirement Savers

Abstract: Researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Missouri at Columbia note in a report that an uncertain, progressive tax schedule is the norm in the American economy. They conclude that the optimal asset location policy for most retirement savers involves diversifying between traditional and Roth vehicles, and, contrary to conventional advice, the largest economic benefits from Roth investments accrue to high-income investors.

Source: Plansponsor.com, July 2016

Timely Remittance of Participant Contributions

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to discuss retirement plan compliance requirement that is connected to timing, more specifically, the timely remittance of participant contributions by a plan sponsor to the trust of its retirement plan.

Source: Legacyrsllc.com, July 2016

Technical Corrections to BIC and Principal Transactions Exemptions Released

Abstract: The DOL released technical corrections to the Best Interest Contract Exemption as well as to the Principal Transactions Exemption. These corrections attempt to address certain technical concerns raised by the retirement services industry.

Source: Groom.com, July 2016

Paying for the New Retirement: Responsibilities and Challenges for Middle-Income Boomers

Abstract: Boomers are making adjustments to meet the new financial challenges they are facing in retirement. The Boomer experience may provide a cautionary tale for generations to follow. More education, more advice and guidance and ultimately more saving for retirement will be necessary for people to live comfortably in their retirement years. This study report is 36-pages in length.

Source: Centerforasecureretirement.com, July 2016

Proposed Changes to DOL Reporting Regulations

Abstract: The proposed regulation, and related forms revisions, would improve employee benefit plan reporting for filers, the public, and the Agencies. The revision is necessary because the annual return/report forms have not kept pace with market developments and changes in the laws covering employee benefit plans, presenting problems with outdated and missing information that negatively impact the Agencies' effective and efficient protection of employee retirement and health benefits. The proposed revisions would affect employee pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, July 2016

Fact Sheet: Proposal to Modernize and Improve the Form 5500

Abstract: On July 21, 2016, the DOL, the IRS, and the PBGC will publish in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Forms Revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report Series. This 4-page fact sheet has been developed by the DOL to background and an overview of the proposal.

Source: Dol.gov, July 2016

DOL Releases Proposal to Improve, Modernize Form 5500

Abstract: The DOL published a notice of proposed changes to its annual reporting regulations and seeks public comments on proposed revisions to modernize and improve the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report filed by private-sector employee benefit plans.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, July 2016

New Fiduciary Rule Calls for Higher Standard of Care

Abstract: Under the new fiduciary rule, any investment recommendation made to an individual retirement account holder will be required to pass two basic tests: 1) did the adviser earn excessive compensation due to the investment recommendation? and 2) would an expert have made a similar recommendation under similar circumstances? Failing either one of these tests will put the adviser at risk of being held liable for damages. This is a significantly higher standard of care for your retirement assets than is currently required by law.

Source: Jsonline.com, July 2016

Reduce Your Tax Burden With Retirement Plans

Abstract: As another tax season comes to an end, most business owners are feeling the burden of an ever escalating tax environment and in most cases are asking, "How can I reduce my tax liability next year?" Two solutions that could help alleviate some of their next "tax bill" are starting a 401k plan or reviewing their current plan design to see if it can be enhanced.

Source: Bpp401k.com, July 2016

Which Plans Are Targeted for Regulatory Review?

Abstract: Despite the plethora of recent headlines about excessive fee lawsuits, regulatory audits, not litigation, is cited as a key risk in a recent plan sponsor survey. Large plans appear to be particularly targeted, but a certain type of plan design seems to be drawing a particularly high level of scrutiny.

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2016

Does My Retirement Plan Need an Audit?

Abstract: The end of July is creeping closer for calendar year plans and usually arrives sooner than expected for 401k plan sponsors. As an employer, it's important to be familiar with the plan audit requirements before it's time to file your Form 5500. You need to be prepared well in advance of the filing deadline if an audit is required.

Source: Kushnerco.com, July 2016

Administrative 401k Mistakes Now Cost More

Abstract: The Labor Department has increased the civil monetary penalties assessed to retirement plans, due to an inflation adjustment the government is mandating for federal agencies.

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

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The DOL's new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan sponsors, as highlighted in the following presentation.

Source: Mwe.com, July 2016

Automatic Plan Features in DC Plans: What's in It for Plan Sponsors?

Abstract: This 14-page white paper highlights several potential benefits of automatic plan features to the employer and profiles plan sponsors who have experienced these benefits. Additionally, it provides a roadmap for implementation that suggests strategies a plan sponsor may employ to implement automatic plan features over a multi-year period.

Source: Dciia.org, July 2016

Edison Executives Beat ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses

Abstract: Two Edison International Inc. executives convinced a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit attacking their decision to offer workers Edison stock in the company's 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Determination Letter Rationing: IRS Reveals the Brave New World

Abstract: A favorable IRS determination letter is a kind of document "qualification insurance" for an employer-sponsor. Curtailing the availability of such letters will significantly complicate plan administration, the making greater uncertainty of both required and discretionary plan amendments, due diligence in merger and acquisition transactions and, in general, the tax and ERISA exposure in the maintenance of qualified plans.

Source: Benefitslawadvisor.com, July 2016

Technical Corrections to BIC and Class Exemption

Abstract: The Federal Register for Monday, July 11, is scheduled to contain technical corrections to the Department of Labor's fiduciary regulations package. Specifically, these are technical corrections to the Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions.

Source: Ascensus.com, July 2016

Following Brexit Vote, 401k Trading Spikes to End the Second Quarter

Abstract: Despite a slow start to 401k trading activity in June, data from Aon Hewitt showed the month ended with three days of higher-than normal trading activity following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Source: Aon.mediaroom.com, July 2016

Target-Date Twist in Latest 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: In a departure from similar ERISA class action suits filed previously, the complaint says that the fiduciaries breached their duties by imprudently designing and implementing the plan's target-date funds.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, July 2016

The Three Things DC Plan Sponsors Need to Focus On

Abstract: As DC plans have grown in sophistication, many plan sponsors no longer have the resources, scale or expertise to properly manage them. Moreover, managing DC plans demands time and resources, two things often in short supply within the HR department or other parts of an enterprise given the demands of managing a DC plan. Author recommends three key things that plan sponsors need to target to can help.

Source: Russellinvestments.com, July 2016

Delta Employees Sue Fidelity for 'Illegal Kickbacks' From Financial Engines

Abstract: In an ERISA lawsuit that even has attorneys scratching their heads, employees of Delta Air Lines are suing Fidelity for breaching its fiduciary duty in accounts in which it has farmed out the fiduciary portion of the service bundle. The case may turn on whether Fidelity, by acting as recordkeeper and administrator, qualifies as a fiduciary and therefore breached its duty as it accepted Financial Engines' advice fees.

Source: Riabiz.com, July 2016

IRS Issues Rev. Procedure Describing Its Determination Letter Program

Abstract: The IRS has issued Rev. Proc. 2016-37, its periodic update on the determination letter program for qualified retirement plans. But this year there is a twist, the IRS is curtailing the program for individually designed plans. Rev. Proc. 2016-37 summarizes the new rules for individually designed plans as follows.

Source: Erisalawyerblog.com, July 2016

A Whole New World for Qualified Plans: Revenue Procedure 2016-37

Abstract: This wide-ranging article addresses the modifications to the determination letter program and ongoing compliance for individually designed qualified plans.

Source: Drinkerbiddle.com, July 2016

Auditing Distributed 403(b) (and 401(a)) Contracts

Abstract: The IRS took a significant step when it specifically recognized the termination of a 403(b) plans as being a "distributable event" in its 2007 regulations. This then permitted, for the first time, plans to distribute the assets of any 403(b) funds otherwise subject to distribution restrictions upon plan termination. This is all fine and dandy until you pay close attention to the details: how in the world do you effectuate an in-kind distribution of an annuity contract?

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, July 2016

Disney Retirement Plan Committee Sued Over Sequoia Investments

Abstract: A former Orlando-based Walt Disney Co. employee has sued the committee that deals with workers' retirement plans, saying it made unwise investment decisions. Specifically, the federal lawsuit targets the Disney committee over its investment in the Sequoia Fund, which lost $2 billion after one of its biggest stocks tanked.

Source: Orlandosentinel.com, July 2016

Saver's Credit for 401k Plan Contributions

Abstract: You may be eligible for a tax credit called the "Saver's Credit" if you make eligible contributions to your company-sponsored retirement plan or IRA. The credit is generally a portion of your contributions and favors low-income individuals.

Source: Paychex.com, July 2016

Form 5500 Responsibilities: Everything You Need to Know

Abstract: According to ERISA, plan sponsors of retirement plans need to file a Form 5500 annually with the Department of Labor. Here is a quick fact sheet detailing everything you need to know regarding your responsibilities with the Form 5500.

Source: Paychex.com, July 2016

The Disappearing Determination Letter: How Plan Sponsors Can Cope

Abstract: IRS will indeed end the cyclical (5 year) cycle for individually-designed plans, providing determination letters only on plan adoption, plan termination, and on request in special situations. Moving to pre-approved plans might seem like an appealing alternative to these plan sponsors, but it really isn't.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, July 2016

Unlocking Value From Effective Retirement Plan Governance

Abstract: This 20-page research report explores four areas critical to effective plan governance: risk management, levels of governance, strategy and the measuring of plan effectiveness. It notes three major trends emerge from the survey findings.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, July 2016

ERISA Litigation Continues a Plaintiff-Friendly Trend

Abstract: An unmistakable trend in the world of employee benefit plan litigation is underway, and that trend is decidedly in favor of plaintiffs. The trend has manifested itself in several ways. Employee benefit plan sponsors, their owners and risk managers, should take note of these trends, which show no signs of reversing.

Source: Truckerhuss.com, July 2016

IRS Provides Determination Letter Guidance in Revenue Procedure 2016-37

Abstract: The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which provides new determination letter processes and remedial amendment periods for individually designed qualified retirement plans. The Revenue Procedure also makes certain modifications to the six-year remedial amendment cycle system for pre-approved qualified retirement plans.

Source: Practicallaw.com, July 2016

DOL Increases Civil Money Penalties

Abstract: The DOL issued an interim final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed in its regulations, as required under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. Contains charts of fees.

Source: Practicallaw.com, July 2016

Number of Plan Audits Should Be a Wake Up Call for Clients

Abstract: Nearly one-third of respondents to a Willis Towers Watson survey have had their retirement plans audited by the IRS or DOL, and the rate is even higher among large plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

Developing 403(b) Service Strategies Now May Pay Off

Abstract: Some DC plan providers see big opportunity ahead in helping higher education institutions prepare their workforces for retirement via 403(b) and 457 plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, July 2016

State-Run Retirement Program in Maryland Takes Effect

Abstract: Last Friday marked not only the start of a new month, it was also the day on which Maryland became the latest state to activate a program that provides retirement benefits to private-sector employees whose employers do not.

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2016

Solicitor's Fees at Risk Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Referral fees are commonplace, with centers of influence the most valuable source of new business for advisors, whether that includes CPAs, TPAs, attorneys, HR consultants or even other advisors who are not ERISA specialists. But, is referring or recommending an advisor a fiduciary act under the new DOL rule?

Source: Napa-net.org, July 2016

Collective Investment Trusts Rise in Popularity

Abstract: Collective investment trusts have been capturing lots of attention and assets lately. CITs offer retirement-plan fiduciaries an attractive, generally lower-cost alternative to mutual funds. Assets invested in these vehicles have grown from about $900 billion in 2008 to over $1.5 trillion at the end of 2014, according to Pensions & Investments data.

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

IRS Releases Additional Guidance on Determination Letter Program Changes

Abstract: Rev. Proc. 2016-37 provides new guidance on changes to the IRS's determination letter program for individually designed, qualified retirement plans.

Source: Haynesboone.com, July 2016

DOL Officials Resolute, But Flexible, on Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Perez noted that there are lawsuits that have been set in motion against the fiduciary rule, pledging that the DOL will fight them "vigorously." He reportedly added that he contends that the department is "on the right side of history" in promulgating the rule.

Source: Asppa.org, July 2016

American Century Employees Sue for Excessive 401k Fees

Abstract: Employees of American Century, parent of asset management firm American Century Investments, have sued over the firm's 401k plan. This is the latest in a string of lawsuits targeting financial services companies for their own retirement plans.

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

ERISA Class Action Targets Fujitsu's 401k Plan Fees

Abstract: A new ERISA class action accuses Fujitsu Technology & Business of America Inc. of breaching its fiduciary duties by designing and administering one of the most expensive large 401k plans in the country.

Source: Bna.com, July 2016

Preparing for a DB to DC Plan Transition

Abstract: This 10-page article discusses plan transition considerations from the standpoints of business strategy, human resources, and employee impact. As plan sponsors continue to shift away from DB plans in favor of more DC-based plan designs, like 401k and profit sharing plans, the accompanying reallocation of risk from the plan sponsor to its employees creates new issues to be resolved.

Source: Wellsfargomedia.com, July 2016

Unintended Consequences Can Result From Job-Jumping Millennials

Abstract: Auto-services are widely touted as positive developments that drive better participant outcomes. Until now, however, they have been deployed on a very company-loyal demographic. How effective are those same services for a generation that changes jobs every few years?

Source: Troweprice.com, July 2016

Managing Plan Costs in Automatic Programs

Abstract: Plan sponsors today are faced with unprecedented challenges in offering effective retirement plans. Achieving plan objectives in an environment of constrained budgets, talent competition, and increasingly complex fiduciary requirements can sometimes seem like a difficult balancing act. However, with the right combination of plan design and automated program features, retirement plan effectiveness can often be improved within reasonable budget levels.

Source: Troweprice.com, July 2016

Advances in Automatic Savings Program Design

Abstract: Defined contribution plans have experienced significant growth in the adoption of automatic savings programs since the 2006 introduction of the Pension Protection Act. While these programs have generally delivered laudable results, their progress can be hindered by certain plan designs.

Source: Troweprice.com, July 2016

IRS Revenue Procedure Details Changes to Determination Letter Program Effective

Abstract: The IRS has released a revenue procedure detailing anticipated changes to its determination letter program for individually designed plans.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, July 2016

Tips for Drafting Best-Interest Contracts Under DOL Rule

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule provides for a new best interest contract exemption available to broker-dealers in connection with their activity with respect to individual retirement accounts. This article discuss what practitioners should consider when drafting BIC contracts in order to provide protections to their firm.

Source: Sutherland.com, July 2016

Quarterly Fiduciary Checklist

Abstract: This 7-page checklist sets an agenda for quarterly retirement committee meetings and helps document plan topics that should be addressed at least annually. Each quarter's focus subject is intended to be a primary topic discussion for the committee, though other matters will also be discussed.

Source: Lockton.com, July 2016

Corporate Pension Sponsors Fight for Ex-Employees' 401k Assets

Abstract: Robin Diamonte, United Technologies' CIO, grew tired of watching retiring and separating plan participants become fodder for call centers trolling to open new IRA accounts. To counter this pressure, she and her peers at International Paper Co. and IBM Corp. have launched campaigns to inform employees of their choices when it comes to their 401k accounts.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, July 2016

DOL's Fiduciary Rule and Its Impact on the Retail Investor Marketplace

Abstract: The purpose of this 16-page paper is to: (i) provide a summary of the definition of "invest. Advice" under the Final Regulation; (ii) discuss the impact of the Final Regulation and the prohibited transaction exemptions, particularly the BIC and PTE 84-24, on the distribution of products and services; and (iii) provide some recommendations on how to proceed.

Source: Groom.com, July 2016

Loss of Determination Letter Program Detrimental to Large Employers

Abstract: The ERISA Industry Committee is extremely disappointed that the IRS has decided to eliminate the 5-year cycle determination letter program for individually designed plans. The determination letter program is particularly important to large employers as 98 percent use individually designed plans.

Source: Eric.org, July 2016

Fiduciary Booby Traps With Broker-of-Record Changes

Abstract: Historically, takeover business is assumed via a "broker-of-record" change without a rep necessarily taking on any fiduciary role or liability. Under the new DOL fiduciary rules, the rep, upon receipt of a signed BOR, becomes a fiduciary on the plan. This carries with it a significant booby trap for the inexperienced and uninformed rep.

Source: Emoneyadvisor.com, July 2016

Conflicted Interpretations

Abstract: Author writes, "The rules were designed to reduce conflicts of interest in providing advice to peoples' retirement assets. I wish now we could find a way to reduce the conflicts of interest involved in providing advice on how to follow the rules."

Source: Bobveres.com, July 2016

DOL Increases Certain ERISA Civil Penalties

Abstract: The DOL has issued an interim final rule identifying increases in certain ERISA civil penalties as a result of enactment of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Improvements Act of 2015. This 2015 legislation required federal agencies to adjust certain civil penalties under their jurisdictions to reflect cost-of-living-adjustment increases.

Source: Ascensus.com, July 2016


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