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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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Current DC System Has Potential to Address Retirement Challenges

Abstract: Many of the retirement challenges Americans face could be addressed by the current defined contribution plan system, if lawmakers move to effect changes, providers contend.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2016

Does Brokerage Window Require Company Stock Offering Registration?

Abstract: The SEC recently weighed in on whether offering a brokerage window in a 401k through which investments in employer securities can be made involves an offer of employer securities requiring Securities Act registration.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2016

DOL Rule Causing Ripple Effect in Retirement Industry

Abstract: Proposed rules regarding retirement savings are creating jitters in the financial services industry - and they will affect retirement planning for years, financial advisers and consultants say.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, September 2016

DOL Rule Prompts 10% of Advisors to Consider Leaving the Business

Abstract: Some advisors -- 10 percent -- say the new DOL fiduciary regulations are prompting them to consider leaving the business. Another 18 percent said that they were reconsidering their careers as advisors. Meanwhile, a recent LIMRA Secure Retirement study found 54 percent of broker-dealers surveyed believe some of their advisors will retire rather than sell because of the rule.

Source: Fa-mag.com, September 2016

How the DOL Is Boosting 401k Coverage for Women

Abstract: In order to help workers, particularly women and those who earn lower wages, the Department of Labor announced it has awarded grants to organizations to support the planning and research of portable retirement benefit plans for low-wage workers.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

Assessing the Retirement Income Prospects of Canada's Future Elderly

Abstract: Since an inter-governmental review of Canada's retirement income sufficiency was launched in 2009, a number of high-profile expert studies have analyzed the level of preparedness of Canada's future retirees. This essay looks at five papers to assess the degree of difference among them when they focus on a commonly defined population and to make note of any shared conclusions.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2016*

Senate Committee Approves Bill to Ease Use of Annuities in 401k Plans

Abstract: The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved legislation Wednesday that would make it easier for retirement plan sponsors to add annuities to their programs. The bill would provide safe harbor from lawsuits for plan sponsors that choose an annuity provider overseen by state regulators.

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

DOL Sues Company to Restore $166k to 401k Plan

Abstract: The DOL found the company violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in several instances. Investigators determined from April 27, 2012, through Dec. 26, 2014, the company withheld employees' pay but then failed to remit employee contributions and employee loan repayments to the plan.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2016

Proposed Missing Participant Program Expansion

Abstract: These proposed regulations are not effective until final regulations are released, which the PBGC anticipates sometime in 2018. Once effective, the regulations will provide employers with a new alternative to assist with plan termination and will provide participants a central location to search for their missing accounts.

Source: Ascensus.com, September 2016

Proposed Regulations Would Establish PBGC Missing Participant Program for Terminating 401k Plans

Abstract: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has proposed regulations that would establish a missing participants program for terminating 401k plans and other retirement plans not covered under the PBGC's current program.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, September 2016

Education Isn't a Best Practice It Is a Requirement

Abstract: Recent DOL statement imply a new fiduciary standard of product expertise, not previously expected of advisers in the past, has been established. Although adviser success has historically been measured by who they know, it now appears that adviser success will be based on what they know especially if fiduciary risk mitigation is an adviser priority.

Source: Fraplantools.com, September 2016

Kübler-Ross and IRS Announcement 2016-32

Abstract: When the IRS announced that it would virtually eliminate the determination letter program for individually designed retirement plans, many practitioners moved through the classic Kübler-Ross five stages of grief. Some have yet to finish.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, September 2016

New IRS Procedure for IRA and Retirement Plan Rollovers

Abstract: Under new guidance, the IRS has provided an eligible taxpayer who missed the 60-day time limit with another method to qualify for a waiver and avoid possible early distribution taxes and penalties.

Source: Benefitslawinsider.com, September 2016

ACLI Commends Legislation to Strengthen Americans' Retirement Security

Abstract: American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Dirk Kempthorne commended the Senate Finance Committee for passing bipartisan legislation, The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016, a measure to bolster Americans' retirement security.

Source: Acli.com, September 2016

Corporate DC Plans Report Highest Number of Plans in a Decade With Fixed Recordkeeping Fees

Abstract: NEPC published the results of its 11th Annual NEPC Defined Contribution Plan and Fee Survey, which looks at trends in the management of America's employee-fueled retirement plans. Data shows that DC plan recordkeeping and investment management fees continue to decline.

Source: Nepc.com, September 2016

Class Action Litigation Against Fiduciaries

Abstract: This is the slide deck from a recent webinar that reviewed the recurring claims against retirement plan sponsors and the steps fiduciaries may consider taking to document and to demonstrate prudence, shielding themselves against similar class action suits. Presenters were Richard J. Pearl, attorney at Drinker Biddle & Reath, and Erik Daley, Managing Principal for the Multnomah Group.

Source: Multnomahgroup.com, September 2016

IRS Seeks Input on Plan Document Compliance for Qualified Plans

Abstract: The IRS has issued an announcement seeking input on ways to make compliance with the requirements for qualified retirement plan documents easier for plan sponsors, particularly in light of the determination letter program changes taking effect beginning in 2017.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, September 2016

Bills Supporting Small Employer 401k Plans Move Through Congress

Abstract: Bills making it easier for small businesses to offer 401ks by cutting costs and red tape are advancing in the Senate and the House this week. They would ease the way for small employers to join together to take advantage of economies of scale in workplace 401ks, the so-called open multiple-employer plans (Open MEPs).

Source: Fa-mag.com, September 2016

Recent Rules for Elective Deferral Failures Reduce Consequences for Well-Meaning Plan Sponsors

Abstract: Industry research increasingly points to the positive benefits of both automatic enrollment and automatic escalation features in 401k plans. At the same time, some plan sponsors have hesitated because of perceived harsh consequences for the mistakes referred to officially as "elective deferral failures." Revenue Procedure 2015-283 to address these issues.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

Questions a Fiduciary Must Be Able to Answer About Their Target-Date Funds

Abstract: Retirement plan advisors and sponsors face vastly increased responsibilities today in the handling of their 401k target-date fund offerings. With increasing market uncertainty and the DOL's 'fiduciary rule,' these popular and important funds demand much greater involvement and oversight to meet the heightened complexity and rigor of new DOL compliance standards. This 5-page paper explains some of the specifics of the DOL's new rules and responsibilities for fiduciaries and offers guidance in successfully fulfilling them.

Source: Investbcm.com, September 2016

The Unknown Dangers of Target-Date Funds

Abstract: The idea behind Target-Date Funds is to group together investors based on years until retirement and then manage the fund in a way that suits the generally accepted risk tolerance of those investors. But, just like all mutual funds, there are certain characteristics one needs to look for in a Target-Date Fund before investing.

Source: Brightscope.com, September 2016

AIG Retirement Plans Get Slice of $725M Securities Settlement

Abstract: Four American International Group retirement plans can share in a $725 million securities settlement between AIG and its investors, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

Canadians May Have to Work "a Little Longer Than Planned"

Abstract: The Bank of Canada's governor says today's era of stubbornly low interest rates means it's time to revisit retirement planning and temper business investment expectations.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, September 2016

FAQs on Proposed Expanded Missing Participant Program

Abstract: The PBGC released Frequently Asked Questions regarding its proposed expansion of the Missing Participant program.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, September 2016

PBGC Issues Proposed Regulations Expanding Missing Participants Program

Abstract: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation issued proposed regulations that would change the current missing participants program and establish similar programs for multiemployer plans covered by Title IV of ERISA, certain defined benefit plans not covered by Title IV, and most defined contribution plans.

Source: Practicallaw.com, September 2016

Assessing Compensation Reasonableness of Retirement Investment Advisers

Abstract: The Best Interest Contract Exemption forces retirement plan advisers to divest all unreasonable compensation. But what exactly is reasonable? This 12-page paper from Dalbar examines this question and offers some answers directly from the orders of the US Supreme Court.

Source: Dalbar.com, September 2016

A Goals-Based Approach to Retirement Spending

Abstract: In this 24-page paper, Vanguard researchers provide a framework to help investors turn an investment portfolio into a sustainable and consistent source of income.

Source: Vanguard.com, September 2016

Form 5500 Improvement and Modernization Proposal

Abstract: The DOL and IRS are seeking comments on proposed revisions to the annual information return/reports filed by private-sector employee benefit plans. The DOL also has published proposed changes to its annual reporting and disclosure regulations. The proposed revisions are intended to modernize and improve the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report.

Source: Rsmus.com, September 2016

Common Hardship Distribution Errors

Abstract: Sometimes, plan sponsors don't follow the terms of their plan document when it comes to hardship distributions. This article reviews some of the common errors and how to correct them.

Source: Irs.gov, September 2016

Understand the Rules for Hardship Distributions

Abstract: Although not required, a retirement plan may allow participants to receive hardship distributions. This is an overview of the rules provided by the IRS.

Source: Irs.gov, September 2016

Tricks and Traps Involving Minimum Distributions

Abstract: Both pensions and IRAs are subject to required minimum distribution rules. These rules are complex and constantly changing, and the complexity presents certain planning opportunities but also some traps for the unwary. This article is a general primer on the RMD rules and the issues around them that can have unexpected and adverse tax consequences.

Source: Foxrothschild.com, September 2016

Why You Should Roll Your 401k to Your New Employer

Abstract: When changing jobs, rolling over your 401k to your new employer's plan is by far the preferable choice for the large majority of retirement savers.

Source: Financialfinesse.com, September 2016

Keep Participants From Becoming Lost

Abstract: As a Plan Administrator, you probably know the struggle of locating a terminated participant who still has a balance in your company's retirement plan. You also know what a time-consuming and sometimes expensive process this can be. Here are a few tips on how to increase your odds of keeping terminated participants from ever becoming lost.

Source: Consultrms.com, September 2016

Lost Track of an Old 401k? Here's a Plan to Help You Find Your Money

Abstract: Under a new voluntary PBGC service, businesses closing down a 401k could transfer stranded accounts to the PBGC or send the agency information on the location of the stranded assets, to be added to a database. The agency estimates that about 24,000 defined-contribution plans are ended each year, mostly at small employers.

Source: Bloomberg.com, September 2016

DOL Announces Two-Month Extension of 5500 Comment Period

Abstract: The Department of Labor has announced a two-month extension of the comment period on the Form 5500 Modernization Proposals. The department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation published a Notice of Proposed Revision of Annual Information Return/Reports in the Federal Register on July 21, 2016.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

Three Actions to Drive Improved Retirement Outcomes

Abstract: The sixth edition of our Path Forward research series identifies specific actions plan sponsors can take to harness the power of the PPA and guide participants toward a secure and successful retirement.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

Auto-Escalation Use in 401k Plans Too Low, Northern Trust Report Finds

Abstract: The adoption rate of auto escalation by 401k plans is too low at 32%, said a report issued Monday by Northern Trust Asset Management. Despite the low adoption rate, 66% of participants whose plans lack an auto-escalation feature said "they would likely accept the automatic annual increase," the report said.

Source: Pionline.com, September 2016

Some Big Names Voice Caution on ETF Use in DC Plans

Abstract: Some big names in the retirement industry are skeptical about the use of exchange-traded funds by big defined contribution plans or even midsized plans.

Source: Pionline.com, September 2016

Adviser Training Programs Give Firms an Edge as DOL Fiduciary Rule Looms

Abstract: Most firms are still trying to make heads or tails of their specific approaches to compliance with the new fiduciary rule. Once executives at broker-dealers and registered investment advisers make those determinations, however, there's still the important step of educating and training one's respective adviser forces on fiduciary responsibility and the nitty-gritty of the rule. And third parties are beginning to step in to fill that void.

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

Labor Secretary Questions Fiduciary Fulfillment in Reynolds Retirement Case

Abstract: The U.S. Labor Secretary has questioned whether the RJR Pension Investment committee fulfilled its fiduciary duties in a case involving its retirement plans. Secretary Thomas Lopez filed an amicus brief Sept. 9 in the Fourth District of the U.S. Appeals Court. The case involves plaintiff Richard Tatum, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc. through its former affiliation with Nabisco, and potentially 3,549 current and former employees.

Source: Journalnow.com, September 2016

Projected Retirement Plan Limits for the Tax Year 2017

Abstract: Based on the current CPI information through August, here are the projected 2017 retirement plan limits as calculated by a number of reliable sources. The IRS will release the official numbers in the third week of October, 2016. Remember, these are just projected 2017 numbers.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

ERISA 403(b) Lawsuits: Are Hospital Plans Sick and University Plans Dumb?

Abstract: Regulatory changes enacted in the past decade have resulted in many more 403(b) plans becoming ERISA plans and the impact of the ERISA fiduciary requirements is now being felt. The two core fiduciary duties under ERISA are prudent investigation and always placing the interest of the participant first. It is apparent that many of these plans, including some very large plans, were unaware of these fiduciary duties. The result of that is increased litigation with more than a dozen lawsuits being filed just this year.

Source: Unifiedtrust.com, September 2016

How to Make the Most of 401k Savings

Abstract: New data from ICI and the Employee Benefit Research Institute show that people who contribute consistently to their 401ks increase their balances significantly. In this 2:47 minute video, Sarah Holden, ICI's senior director of retirement and investor research, discusses how various factors affect younger and older workers' accounts.

Source: Ici.org, September 2016

New Report Explores Current Robo Advisor Models and Their Future

Abstract: This new report examines the trends driving the adoption of digital and human (hybrid) advisory and the opportunities for asset managers with or without their own robo advisor offering.

Source: Dstsystems.com, September 2016

Tonic for Retirement Ills

Abstract: Finance executives' efforts to manage benefits risks and costs, while trying to enhance benefits outcomes, will be critical to their companies' ability to succeed in the future. This is the key finding of a recent CFO Research survey of 180 senior finance executives at U.S. companies. The survey gauged finance executives' current thinking on a range of retirement and benefits issues.

Source: Cfo.com, September 2016

DOL Relief for Retirement Plans Affected by LA Storms

Abstract: The DOL has issued relief to retirement plans whose operations are affected by storms and flooding that took place in several Louisiana parishes in August 2016. This guidance supplements relief announced late in August by the IRS in a news release and Announcement 2016-30.

Source: Ascensus.com, September 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Implementation: The Clock is Ticking

Abstract: Much ink has been shed on the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule since it was released earlier this year. Some have embraced the new rule and welcome it with open arms, while others have filed lawsuits to prevent its implementation. Love it or hate it, the notion of what it means to be a fiduciary to an ERISA plan or IRA has been completely overhauled.

Source: Advisorinsightsblog.com, September 2016

TIAA 2016 Lifetime Income Survey

Abstract: According to this 9-page 2016 TIAA Lifetime Income Survey, 58 percent of American adults feel confident they can successfully turn their retirement savings into income after they stop working. Only 35 percent of survey respondents are concerned about running out of money in retirement, despite the fact that Americans are living longer.

Source: Tiaa.org, September 2016

The Life Cycle Model, Replacement Rates, and Retirement Income Adequacy

Abstract: The Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary publishes two replacement rate measures, which have great influence in framing discussions of Social Security and retirement policy. From these figures, which state that a typical worker receives a Social Security benefit equal to about 40 percent of his pre-retirement earnings, many have come to conclude that Social Security benefits are inadequate. Others, applying similar methodologies to total retirement incomes, concludes that Americans not saving sufficiently to produce adequately retirement incomes. But these two methods each violate key assumptions of the life cycle model in ways that generate meaningful differences in the results they produce.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2016

'Small Business Employee Retirement Savings Act' Introduced in Senate

Abstract: Senators Richard Burr and Michael Bennet introduced bipartisan legislation to make it easier for small businesses to set up retirement programs for employees. The 'Small Business Employee Retirement Savings Act' increases the retirement plan start up tax credit to $5,000, "incentivizes" auto enrollment, and removes restrictions to increase employee participation in retirement plans.

Source: Senate.gov, September 2016

Empower Evolving 401k Defaults With TDF-Managed Account Hybrid

Abstract: The automatic shifting from target-date funds to managed account is a concept analysts and advisers say they haven't seen elsewhere on the market, and would mark an evolution of sorts in the conversation around default investing in 401k plans.

Source: Pionline.com, September 2016

How to Prepare for a 403(b) Plan IRS Audit

Abstract: A 13-page paper on how employers can prepare for an IRS Audit of their 403(b) and/ or 457(b) Plan, potential areas of focus during an IRS examination, and best practices for strengthening tax compliance.

Source: Nagdca.org, September 2016

Rules for Posting an SPD on Company's Intranet Website

Abstract: The DOL provides a safe harbor for electronic disclosure of plan documents including the use of an intranet. The safe harbor sets forth general requirements for all electronic disclosures and additional requirements for recipients that do not have computer access at work.

Source: Kushnerco.com, September 2016

The Evolving DC Plan: From Accumulation to De-Accumulation

Abstract: As plan sponsors review their DC plan objectives and distribution options, they must frame their decisions by asking which draw down strategies are in the best interests of their plan participants. Plan sponsors who challenge themselves to rethink their retirement plan benefit in this way are in the best position to attract, retain, and manage top-performing teams.

Source: Iricouncil.org, September 2016

Your Retirement or the Kid's College Fund?

Abstract: In a pinch, what should be the higher priority, your 401k account or the kid's college fund? Now before you cry foul or claim we're painting you into a corner, there is clearly a right answer, experts say. Take care of yourself first.

Source: Investors.com, September 2016

State Farm, Citing DOL Fiduciary Rule, Cuts Agents From Mutual Fund and VA Sales

Abstract: The insurer, which is moving to a "self-directed call center" approach for certain investment products, is among the few companies which has publicized plans for compliance with the DOL rule.

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

The Restatement of Trusts, the Prudent Investor Rule and the DOL's New Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Ever since the DOL announced its new fiduciary rule, much has been made of the alleged "ambiguity" of certain aspects of the rule, such as "best interests" and "reasonable compensation," with suggestions that the meaning of the rule and the full extent of one's obligations under the rule will not be clear until the courts have interpreted the rule. The author thinks "those that adopt such a position may well be exposing themselves to unnecessary potential liability exposure."

Source: Iainsight.Wordpress.com, September 2016

401k vs 403(b): Differences in Investments, Compliance, and Administration

Abstract: Today, many 403(b) plans have to follow similar ERISA compliance requirements, without the typical 401k benefits. So, whether you're benchmarking your nonprofit's current retirement benefit or growing out of your current solution, this article compares the main differences between 403(b) and 401k plans.

Source: Forusall.com, September 2016

What Are the Effects of Doubling Up on Retirement Income and Assets?

Abstract: The Great Recession has amplified the increase in socioeconomic instability and inequality in the United States. While much work has been conducted on retirement income and assets, not much work has been undertaken on seniors moving in with their adult children and grandchildren, possibly to save on housing costs. This paper looked at this group and drew four conclusions. It discusses the policy implications of the findings.

Source: Bc.edu, September 2016

How Does Student Debt Affect Early-Career Retirement Saving?

Abstract: This 38-page paper examines the relationship between student loans and retirement saving behavior by 30-year-old workers. The analysis focuses on participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan and retirement assets as of age 30.

Source: Bc.edu, September 2016

Louisiana Storm Relief and Guidance for Plan Sponsors, Service Providers, and Participants

Abstract: The IRS and the DOL have issued temporary relief provisions and compliance guidance for plan sponsors, service providers, and plan participants affected by the storms and flooding in Louisiana that began on August 11, 2016. Here are some highlights.

Source: Thomsonreuters.com, September 2016

Understanding Custom vs. Proprietary Target-Date Funds

Abstract: A truly custom strategy utilizing open architecture (best-in-class mutual funds from multiple companies) will likely be complicated and expensive to implement. Therefore, plan sponsors with a unique demographic participant profile should attempt to find a good fit among the 50+ proprietary TDF providers before attempting to create a custom solution.

Source: Strategicbenefitservices.com, September 2016

The Impact of Student Loan Debt on DC Retirement Plan Participation

Abstract: Since PSCA members are asking if, and to what degree, student loan debt might be contributing to reduced participation in their defined contribution plans, especially by Millennials, and are looking to see if other companies are addressing it in any way, PSCA conducted a brief snapshot survey of its members. This is the 11-page report of the survey results.

Source: Psca.org, September 2016

Breaking Down Barriers for Non-ERISA Automatic Enrollment

Abstract: The PPA left intact state law barriers if a DC plan was not subject to ERISA. As a result, an employer with a non-ERISA DC plan could add an automatic enrollment feature only if there were no state payroll protection laws in place. At that time, several states had such laws, which prevented an employer from taking amounts from an employee's wages without that employee's prior written consent. Ten years later, state laws continue to evolve.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, September 2016

Increase in Retirement Plan Audits Further Illustrate the Need to Focus on Administrative Compliance

Abstract: The reports of increased audit activity and the DOL findings on the quality of plan audits illustrate the importance for plan sponsors to continually monitor their employee benefit plans for compliance with the requirements of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Employeebenefitsblog.com, September 2016

DOL Files Complaint to Distribute Assets of Orphaned 401k

Abstract: Christina Samone DeLaGarza in her capacity as a fiduciary to the Mariah Industries Inc. 401k Plan and Mariah Industries Inc., the plan administrator, failed to administer and terminate the Mariah Industries Inc. 401k Plan following the Warren, Michigan company's closure in 2012. Their lack of action has restricted participants' ability to receive distributions from their accounts.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2016

Is Your 401k Plan Income "Floating" Away? New Lawsuit Challenges Fidelity's Practices

Abstract: A recent class action suit filed against Fidelity and two plan sponsors, United Airlines and Hewlett-Packard, claims that the income on "float" accounts should have been credited for the benefit of the plans and that Fidelity committed fiduciary breaches by keeping the float. The suit also names the plan fiduciaries for allowing Fidelity to engage in these practices, which plaintiffs contend are prohibited transactions.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, September 2016

Northrop Grumman Drained Retirement Savings, Workers Allege

Abstract: Northrop Grumman Corp. and its executives forced employees to pay nearly $10 million in excessive and largely unnecessary retirement plan fees that went directly to the defense contractor in violation of federal law, a new lawsuit alleges.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

Voya Accused of Layering 401ks With Unnecessary Fees

Abstract: A new lawsuit accuses Voya Financial Inc. of creating a system for retirement investors to receive investment advice that allowed the company to skim undeserved fees from investors' accounts in violation of federal law.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

Small Biz Owners Skeptical of State-Run Retirement Programs

Abstract: A series of small and mid-sized employer focus groups finds a general skepticism regarding those state-run initiatives.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2016

Newest 401k Fee Suit Challenges Admin, RK, Investment Fees

Abstract: Another major employer has been charged in an excessive fee lawsuit that not only contests the fees paid by the plan, but administrative fees paid by the plan to the plan sponsor as well. The suit claims that Northrop Grumman employees were "motivated to, and did, charge time and expenses to the Plan which were impermissible in nature, unreasonable, and unnecessary."

Source: Asppa.org, September 2016

Small Business Owners Rethinking Retirement Benefits to Retain, Recruit Employees

Abstract: In new research, small business owners are finding that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act has decreased the appeal of health care benefits to employees and increased retirement plans' importance as a tool to recruit and retain employees.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

Discussion Draft of the Retirement Improvements and Savings Enhancements Act Released

Abstract: Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released a discussion draft of legislation titled the Retirement Improvements and Savings Enhancements (RISE) Act, which would help more working families and recent college graduates save for retirement, while cracking down on unfair strategies used by the privileged to rake in subsidies and dodge tax bills with so-called "mega Roth IRAs."

Source: Senate.gov, September 2016

Only 28% of Small Businesses Offer a 401k

Abstract: Sixty-six percent of small businesses do not offer their employees a 401k plan, according to the August 2015 SurePayroll Small Business Scorecard. Forty-two percent of these companies say they do not see the value in it, 35% say the fees are too expensive, and 23% say they do not know how to manage a 401k.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2016

ERISA Cyber Security Threats and the Role of Human Resources

Abstract: With the increasing threat to organizations from data breaches, HR plays a critical role in helping prevent and minimize the risk from cyber theft. This 21-minute podcast addresses how to identify potential cyber security problems, workforce challenges in data protection, and the use of policies, training and employee education that are designed to protect private and sensitive data.

Source: Littler.com, September 2016

Employing the Proper Definition of Compensation

Abstract: This article is intended to briefly highlight some of the issues that can occur when the incorrect definition of compensation is employed as well as to provide an explanation of some of the differences between the most commonly employed definitions of compensation.

Source: Legacyrsllc.com, September 2016

Ten Important Facts About 401k Plans

Abstract: 401k plans have grown to become the most common employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plan in the United States. In this 14-page paper, the Investment Company Institute reviews 10 important facts about 401k plans.

Source: Ici.org, September 2016

401k Plans: DOL Could Improve Use of Lifetime Income Options

Abstract: This report examines, among other things, what is known about the adoption of lifetime income options in 401k plans, barriers that deter plan sponsors from offering such options, and the defaults that exist for participants who do not choose a lifetime income option. GAO administered a non-generalizable questionnaire to recordkeepers, conducted a non-generalizable survey of 54 plan sponsors, and interviewed a range of stakeholders.

Source: Gao.gov, September 2016

Federal District Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause Contained in ERISA Plan

Abstract: A federal district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania transferred an ERISA lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc. to the Northern District of Illinois after finding the forum selection clause contained in the governing plan was valid and enforceable.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, September 2016

Is It "Buyer Beware" With New Rollover Self-Certification?

Abstract: The IRS has provided what at first glance seems like a very generous option for taxpayers to claim eligibility for an extension of the 60-day limitation on executing rollovers. Obtaining a waiver from a rule that could otherwise yield unpleasant tax consequences is obviously of great benefit to a taxpayer moving assets from one savings arrangement to another, and missing the deadline. But this guidance is not without some "maybes."

Source: Erisanews.blogspot.com, September 2016

Is Human 401k Advice More Expensive Than Robo Advice? You Might Be Surprised

Abstract: A new development in the small business 401k industry is the "robo" 401k provider. These providers use a computer algorithm, instead of a flesh and blood financial advisor, to construct investment portfolios for 401k participants. They claim technology is a less expensive alternative to human advice. The author disagrees.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, September 2016

What Does Consistent Participation in 401k Plans Generate?

Abstract: The average 401k plan account balance of workers who participated consistently in one 401k plan increased significantly over the four-year period ending at year-end 2014, according to this 28-page study just published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: Ebri.org, September 2016

Most Plan Sponsors Agree Core Purpose of DC Plans is to Provide Income During Retirement

Abstract: A large majority of plan sponsors (85%) agree that the core purpose of a DC plan should be to serve as an income source during retirement, according to the MetLife 2016 Lifetime Income Poll. This represents a subtle but significant sea change.

Source: Businesswire.com, September 2016

IBM Defeats Twin Challenges to Stock Drop

Abstract: IBM and its executives won dismissal of lawsuits claiming that a 17 percent drop in the company's stock price implicated federal securities laws and caused workers to lose retirement savings in violation of ERISA.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

Four Findings From New "Betterment For Business" 401k Study

Abstract: Robo advisor 'Betterment for Business' finds employees are neither confident about when they can retire, nor about how their 401k plans operate. A new study from the firm, in conjunction with Forrester Consulting, "exposes a broken 401k system and widespread confusion concerning retirement readiness, employers' fiduciary responsibility, fees, and education for employees."

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

MetLife's 2016 Lifetime Income Poll

Abstract: The MetLife 2016 Lifetime Income Poll provides insights into plan sponsors' current perspectives on retirement income, including the objective of defined contribution plans and the government's role in supporting retirement security through lifelong income.

Source: Metlife.com, September 2016

Perspectives of DC Plan Sponsors on Regulatory Developments

Abstract: Plan sponsors are increasingly being called upon to help their DC plan participants achieve successful retirement outcomes. Critical to that success is ensuring that participants have easy access to lifetime income options. This 12-page survey helps understand plan sponsors' current perspectives about the core purpose of a DC plan, including the most effective ways to deliver lifetime income to plan participants.

Source: Metlife.com, September 2016

Plan Fees in the World of Participant Lawsuits

Abstract: The fact that law firms are out there scouring retirement plans looking for any signs of weakness should be enough to scare plan fiduciaries into action. It is critical that all fiduciaries review their plan fees, understand the components that make up those fees, and be able to justify those costs.

Source: Frenkelbenefits.com, September 2016

IRA Rollover Assets "At-Risk" Post-DOL Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: New research from global analytics firm Cerulli Associates assesses the future of the IRA rollover market post-implementation of the Conflict of Interest Rule. While the $7.3 trillion IRA market is the largest and fastest-growing segment of the U.S. retirement market, this new regulation will impose greater scrutiny and complexity on the rollover market and potentially disrupt future flows.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, September 2016

IRS Final Rules Include Same-Sex Spouses in Terms Related to Marital Status

Abstract: The IRS has finalized regulations that amend existing regulations to provide that, for federal tax purposes, certain terms involving marital status (for example, "husband" or "wife") are interpreted in a neutral way to include same-sex and opposite-sex spouses. The changes do not extend to individuals in domestic partnerships, civil unions, or similar relationships.

Source: Practicallaw.com, September 2016

The Five Most Important Retirement Decisions to Make in Your 60s

Abstract: You are required to make many retirement benefit decisions in your 60s that will impact your finances for the rest of your life. Here are some of the retirement choices 60-somethings need to make.

Source: Usnews.com, September 2016

Does Social Conformity Influence Portfolio Choice? Evidence From 401k Allocations

Abstract: Financial researchers agree that allocating money to employer stock in a 401k plan is a poor strategy, yet many employees do so. This research finds evidence that social conformity contributes to this selection. Specifically, the percentage allocated to company stock by employees in the 401k plan is positively related to both the net open-market purchases of company stock by management and the percentage of the defined benefits plan invested in company stock.

Source: Ssrn.com, September 2016

Cybersecurity and the Role of ERISA Fiduciaries

Abstract: Recent technological advancements, especially in the area of cybersecurity, have only now become the focus of most ERISA fiduciaries. Due to the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-related threats to employee benefit plans, their trustees and third-party plan administrators and the potential financial repercussions, compliance with ERISA fiduciary standards will require implementation of a prudent cyber risk management strategy. This article is dedicated to understanding cybersecurity issues in the context of ERISA benefit programs.

Source: Pillsburylaw.com, September 2016

The Shape of Things to Come - New IRS Guidance on Downsized DL Program

Abstract: Last summer, the Internal Revenue Service announced dramatic changes in its longstanding determination letter program for tax-qualified plans (Announcement 2015-19). This article describes key changes made by the Revenue Procedure, including changes applicable to all individually designed plans generally. The article also highlights special rules applicable to IDPs maintained by governmental and tax-exempt entities and covers expected changes for preapproved plans.

Source: Groom.com, September 2016

Briefing Paper: The Work Behind BICE Paperwork

Abstract: Complying with the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) requires a mountain of paperwork that commits, promises, and makes disclosures. Developing this paperwork is an enormous challenge. This 22-page paper summarizes the activities necessary to support the commitments, promises, and disclosures required for those who choose to enter into a best interest contract.

Source: Dalbar.com, September 2016

Top Canadian DC Plans Report: A Look at the Latest Governance Trends

Abstract: DC plan governance is a growing concern for Canadian plan sponsors. With all of the changes in mind, here are six key governance trends for employers to be aware of.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, September 2016

Target-Date Fund Diversification: Don't Settle for Simple

Abstract: Plain-vanilla portfolios have become a major presence in the target-date world after a difficult period for diversification. The author of this article doesn't think it's a good idea to bet that "plain and simple" will continue to win.

Source: Abglobal.com, September 2016

Seven Employee Benefit Plan Best Practices

Abstract: According to a recent report from the Merrill Lynch, companies that are concerned about the personal financial health of their employees will adhere to seven best practices regarding saving-oriented benefit plans.

Source: Investopedia.com, September 2016

HR's Robo Connection to Retirement Benefits

Abstract: Some companies are turning to robo-advisers to help workers manage their 401ks, but not everyone is thrilled with robo-advising. Some say it's not sophisticated, there aren't enough investment choices, and it can't react to participant decisions such as taking loans in the way a real adviser would.

Source: Workforce.com (registration may be required), September 2016

Quiz: How Much Do You Know About the State-Run Retirement Initiatives?

Abstract: Following the news last week that the DOL finalized a rule on state-run retirement saving programs for private sector workers and that the California state legislature has passed a bill approving implementation of the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, here's a chance to test how up-to-date you are on the state of state-run retirement initiatives.

Source: Russell.com, September 2016

Advisers Have a Fiduciary Duty to Put Robust Business Continuity Plans in Place

Abstract: State and federal regulators cite an adviser's fiduciary obligation to protect clients' interests from being placed at risk as the basis for requiring business continuity plans. However, the SEC's justification for the proposed rule leaps beyond core fiduciary principles. Instead, the regulator seeks to assert that an adviser's failure to provide a viable BCP would be subject to anti-fraud provisions of federal securities laws.

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

Switching Service Providers

Abstract: Learn the importance of maintaining participant valuation records when a plan switches service providers.

Source: Erisasunscreen.com, September 2016

IRS Provides Determination Letter Guidance Revenue Procedure 2016-37

Abstract: Earlier this year, the IRS announced that determination letters for individually designed plans would no longer contain an expiration date. These IRS announcements left plan sponsors and practitioners with many questions and concerns regarding the ongoing qualification status of individually designed plans. Several key takeaways are discussed in this article.

Source: Erisadiagnostics.com, September 2016

Finding Opportunities in the Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Some of the key implications of the fiduciary rule relate to disclosure, fixed indexed annuity changes, and the extended rules to rollovers and distributions. Each of these areas represents a center of significant change, as well as some areas of opportunity in the industry for those who are able to pivot.

Source: Brokerworldmag.com, September 2016

Food for Thought for Plan Fiduciaries on Best Practices

Abstract: Fiduciary duties, always a critical concern, have stood in sharper relief as the Department of Labor prepared and issued the new fiduciary rule. So it could be especially helpful to take a fresh look at best practices through which a plan fiduciary can not only meet the letter of the law, but also better serve those whom it -- and the plan -- serves.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2016

Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey 2016: A Retirement Wake-Up Call

Abstract: The fifth annual Aegon Retirement Readiness Survey finds only slight improvements globally in retirement preparedness since Aegon carried out its first global survey in 2012. This report highlights possible solutions of expanding access to workplace retirement benefits, implementing helpful nudges to save, encouraging habitual saving, offering planning and investment guidance, and facilitating flexible options for transitioning into retirement.

Source: Aegon.com, September 2016

India Leads, U.S. Second in Global Retirement Readiness

Abstract: Overall, Aegon finds only slight improvements globally in retirement preparedness since it released its first global survey in 2012. And the United States? It ties with the United Kingdom for second place and has made the greatest progress in retirement readiness since 2012.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

RIAs Grow, Wirehouses Shrink: Cerulli

Abstract: While wirehouses still hold a substantial share of assets, RIAs are the growth story. So says Cerulli Associates in its latest report on institutional and retail markets and distribution strategies. The Boston-based research and consulting firm says that RIAs continue to win market share, growing at 6 percent, while wirehouses shrink.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2016

What the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule Means for Plan Committees

Abstract: The DOL's Final fiduciary rule is a significant regulatory initiative, and thus it is important to understand how it impacts retirement plan committees' fiduciary responsibilities and committee relationships with plan service providers. This article focuses on some of the implications the new fiduciary rule will have on retirement plan committee responsibilities.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2016

DOL Green Lights State Savings Programs for Private Sector Employees

Abstract: On August 30, 2016, the Department of Labor issued a final rule, effective October 31, 2016, providing states with a safe harbor under which they can create programs that require employers to establish payroll-deduction IRAs for employees.

Source: Segalco.com, September 2016

Fiduciary Responsibility in Government DC Plans

Abstract: NAGDCA created this 11-page Fiduciary Responsibility Brochure to guide a fiduciary of a governmental participant-directed DC plan through the basic fiduciary responsibilities imposed upon plan sponsors. It provides a simple explanation of fiduciary standards of conduct.

Source: Nagdca.org, September 2016

Infographic: Guiding Participants From Intent to Action

Abstract: While participants recognize the need to get on track, many are still not on a path to a secure retirement. Plan sponsors have an opportunity to help strengthen their 401k plans and provide a necessary catalyst in three key ways.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, September 2016

DOL Obtains Default Judgment to Restore More Than $200K to 401k

Abstract: Between 2010 and 2013, the company and plan trustee Julie E. Garrett failed to remit elective employee contributions to the plan in a timely manner, and did not pay interest on the untimely contributions. GRS also failed to remit employer contributions to the plan from 2010 to 2012.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2016

$138k Debt Owed to Plan by Company President Ruled Non-dischargeable

Abstract: The company filed for bankruptcy in 2007 and ceased operations in 2009. An investigation conducted by the DOL found several violations of ERISA by Bowman, who used his position to make a series of unsecured loans totaling $188,325.06 to related parties. These loans were never repaid, resulting in losses to the plan and its participants.

Source: Dol.gov, September 2016

Score One for 401k Fiduciaries - Excessive Fee Suit Against Chevron Dismissed

Abstract: We have finally had some good news for embattled fiduciaries. A few days ago, the fiduciaries of the Chevron 401k Plan succeeded in getting an excessive fee complaint dismissed -- at least for the time being -- because it contained conclusions rather than facts sufficient to infer that the fiduciaries had breached their fiduciary duties.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, September 2016

Chevron Defeats Lawsuit Challenging 401k Fees, Funds

Abstract: Chevron Corp. convinced a federal judge to dismiss class action claims challenging the fees and investment options associated with its 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com, September 2016

BlackRock Defined Contribution Pulse Survey

Abstract: Only about half (52%) of individuals participating in defined contribution retirement savings plans believe they are "on track" for retirement, but retirement confidence is within reach for many more, according to a recent DC Pulse Survey by BlackRock.

Source: Blackrock.com, September 2016

Fiduciary Rule Opponents, Backers Make Their Case

Abstract: The first of the suits challenging the DOL's fiduciary regulation got its day in court. In oral arguments before Judge Randolph Moss on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the plaintiffs (the National Association for Fixed Annuities) tried to make the case for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the regulation.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2016

IRS Issues Final Regulations Defining Marital Status

Abstract: The IRS issued final regulations that clarify and define the interpretation of terms in the Internal Revenue Code as they pertain to married individuals in a manner consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court Windsor v. United States and Obergefell v. Hodges decisions relating to same-sex marriage.

Source: Ascensus.com, September 2016

One Firm Pushes Benefit Policy Statements

Abstract: Many working Americans wonder if they're on track for retirement. Mindful of the nation's retirement readiness gap, Unified Trust chose an avenue less traveled about seven years ago, making available a benefit policy statement that's intended to be as easy to follow as it is comprehensive and actuarially certified.

Source: Employeebenefitadviser.com, September 2016

Effectively Communicating to Plan Members

Abstract: In this 10-minute video interview, David Brine, Communications Director, Washington State Department of Retirement Systems, discusses how to effectively communicate to plan members.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, August 2016

Don't Leave Your Old 401k Behind

Abstract: A 401k is a powerful savings and investment vehicle. However, when you leave your job (for whatever reason), it is critical that you review the options for your legacy 401k. This article discusses two reasons why you might not want to leave it at your old employer.

Source: Brightscope.com, August 2016

Impact of New Fiduciary Rules on an Excess Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: The drumbeat of new lawsuits against 401k plans, their sponsors, and investment and service providers continues. This 2-page article discusses how these suits may fare under current regulatory guidance and under the DOL's new fiduciary rule once it goes into effect.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, August 2016

Level Fee Fiduciaries and the BICE

Abstract: This 2-page article considers some of the ramifications of the BICE system created by the DOL if an advisor opts to comply with the BIC exemption by limiting their compensation to a level fee.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, August 2016

IRS Issues Self-Certification Guidance for Missed 60-Day Rollover Deadline

Abstract: In Revenue Procedure 2016-47, the Internal Revenue Service provided a self-certification procedure that provides a mechanism for recipients of retirement plan and individual retirement account (IRA) distributions who inadvertently miss the 60-day deadline for rolling these amounts into another retirement plan or IRA to avoid early distribution taxes.

Source: Practicallaw.com, August 2016

DOL Issues Rules on State-Based Savings Programs

Abstract: The DOL issued final regulations establishing a safe harbor for certain state-based savings programs (SSPs) established pursuant to state payroll deduction programs so that these SSPs are not considered employee pension benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The DOL also issued proposed regulations that would permit a limited number of cities and other local governments to establish SSPs.

Source: Practicallaw.com, August 2016

Narrowing in on the Right Approach to DC Menu Design

Abstract: This paper seeks to explore the various approaches to menu design and identify how plan demographics and participant behavior can aid in determining what may be most appropriate for a specific plan.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, August 2016

Best Practices for Plan Fiduciaries

Abstract: In today's evolving legal, regulatory, and litigation environments, it is more important than ever that employee benefit plan fiduciaries understand their roles and responsibilities. This 78-page guidebook serves as a roadmap to your fiduciary duties and provides plan fiduciaries with tools to assist in complying with ERISA's fiduciary responsibilities.

Source: Vanguard.com, August 2016

Chevron Wins Dismissal of Claims of Poor Savings Plan Oversight

Abstract: A U.S. judge has dismissed a lawsuit by Chevron Corp workers who said the oil company breached its fiduciary duties by putting costly and poorly performing investment options in an employee 401k savings plan.

Source: Reuters.com, August 2016

Retirement Plans FAQs relating to Waivers of the 60-Day Rollover Requirement

Abstract: The IRS has released Frequently Asked Questions regarding its new self-certification program for those who qualify after missing the 60-day indirect rollover period.

Source: Irs.gov, August 2016

Retirement Plans Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Louisiana Flood Victims

Abstract: The Internal Revenue Service announced that 401ks and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to Louisiana flood victims and members of their families.

Source: Irs.gov, August 2016

DOL Finalizes Regulation on State Automatic IRAs

Abstract: The DOL issued a final regulation to clarify when an automatic IRA established through state law and administered by a state would not be covered by ERISA, making it less likely that a court would find the state law to be preempted by ERISA. Also, in response to comments, the DOL has issued a proposed regulation that would allow certain political subdivisions to create and administer automatic IRAs.

Source: Groom.com, August 2016

The New DOL Fiduciary Rule: Impact on Mutual Fund Distribution

Abstract: This 15-page paper addresses the potential impact of the fiduciary investment advice regulations issued by the DOL on the most common fund distribution channels, including: (i) direct sales; (ii) unaffiliated broker-dealers; (iii) affiliated broker-dealers; and (iv) 401k plans and other defined contribution retirement plans.

Source: Dechert.com, August 2016

Navigating the DOL's New Fiduciary Rules: A Game Plan for Broker-Dealers

Abstract: This 22-page paper focuses on the new and amended fiduciary investment advice regulations issued by the Department of Labor, and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, from the perspective of broker-dealers and their registered representatives who provide investment advisory services. Includes a discussion of the exemptions that may be available to broker-dealers that are fiduciaries and various compliance considerations.

Source: Dechert.com, August 2016

First Citizens Can't Dodge ERISA Suit Challenging Stock Drop

Abstract: A Georgia bank formerly known as First Citizens Bankshares Inc. must defend claims that it failed to investigate whether its employees should continue investing retirement savings in company stock that declined from $340 to $29 per share.

Source: Bna.com, August 2016

Safeway, Great-West Sued Over JP Morgan Funds in 401k Plan

Abstract: Safeway and Great-West Financial face a lawsuit accusing them of breaching their ERISA fiduciary duties by allegedly selecting JP Morgan's high-fee target-date funds as investment options for the supermarket chain's 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com, August 2016

Tackling Retirement Risks

Abstract: This 8-page paper addresses several key retirement risks that are due neither to poor planning nor to inadequate discipline, and can prove even tougher to address. The paper first describes four important risks that retirees face: longevity, health care, the sequence of returns, and inflation. It then examines four strategies that can help you mitigate these risks.

Source: Baml.com, August 2016

Longevity Annuities in Retirement Plans - Much Ado About Nothing?

Abstract: Though some commentators seem to believe that QLACs will take the world of retirement plans by storm, especially when the Department of Labor finalizes participant statement requirements for lifetime retirement income projections, the writer believes that much of an increase in QLAC usage difficult to fathom.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2016

Video: Am I a Plan Fiduciary?

Abstract: Am I a retirement plan fiduciary? Many plan sponsors simply don't know. Find out in five questions during this 1:43-minute video.

Source: Youtu.be, August 2016

Why You Should Save More Than 3% in Your 401k

Abstract: For most employees, an auto enrollment default contribution rate three percent is not nearly enough to retire on. It's not even enough to get the full match at most companies that match employee contributions up to a certain limit, but employers are gradually adopting higher default rates.

Source: Sfchronicle.com, August 2016

Accepting Late Rollover Contributions

Abstract: Retirement plan administrators, and IRA trustees, custodians and issuers can now accept late rollover contributions from individuals who self-certify they qualify for a waiver of the 60-day rollover requirement.

Source: Irs.gov, August 2016

Judge's Questions Show Inclination to Uphold DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Federal judge Randolph Moss didn't state his position Thursday regarding how he will rule on a lawsuit against a major Labor Department investment-advice regulation. But his questioning of plaintiffs and defense attorneys during a hearing that lasted more than three hours indicated he is probably leaning toward upholding the regulation and not granting the preliminary injunction being sought by the National Association of Fixed Annuities.

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


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