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This digest contains a wide variety of the freshest source material dealing with current trends, opinion, news, legislative action, investments, marketing, sales, consulting, and legal issues regarding 401k, 403(b) and other retirement plans. Each listing contains a headline (hyperlinked to the source document), description, source of the item, and the month and year posted to this digest.

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In DOL/Post-DOL Fiduciary World, RIAs Need to Re-Differentiate

Abstract: The election of Donald Trump means that finance will get a new wave of deregulation that will (almost certainly) sweep away the DOL fiduciary rule. The watchword for RIAs in this new world: re-differentiation. Re-differentiation should be the "best practice" of any advisor in the DOL/post-DOL fiduciary world that lies ahead.

Source: Thefiduciaryinstitute.org, December 2016*

2016 Retirement Preparedness Survey Findings

Abstract: Key themes of this 8-page include: 1) Saving for retirement is getting progressively harder for each generation. 2) Overwhelmed with investment choices, individuals have little understanding about what they are invested in. 3) Far from reaching savings goals, pre-retirees need a plan, but have inertia. 4) Advisors play an important role in bridging the retirement preparedness gap.

Source: Prudential.com, December 2016

DC Advisers Cite Fewer Go to Providers

Abstract: Defined contribution specialist financial advisers have trimmed down their set of go-to providers, according to the latest Cogent Reports study from Market Strategies International.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

Voya Facing Lawsuit Over Stable Value Funds

Abstract: A 403(b) plan participant is claiming that Voya set crediting rates for stable value funds lower than rates of return in order to make a profit.

Source: Planadviser.com, December 2016

Who Does the DOL's Conflict of Interest Rule Apply To?

Abstract: Three elements must be present in order for the Rule to apply to an advisor communicating with a plan participant or an IRA owner.

Source: Morningstar.com, December 2016

Senate Democrats Control Fate of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: Unlike the cumbersome regulatory process required to replace the rule or the vagaries of the courts, a legislative move is the quickest, cleanest route to its demise. But Senate Democrats are likely to hold together well enough to ensure the rule is modified rather than taken off the books.

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

401k Reporting Costs Could Jump Under Proposed Regulatory Changes

Abstract: A little-noticed regulatory change could affect the cost and complexity of 401k administration. ICI Assistant General Counsel Shannon Salinas details the issue.

Source: Ici.org, December 2016

Fiduciary Rule in Limbo?

Abstract: Experts weigh in on the likelihood of a repeal or delay of the new fiduciary rule under a Trump administration -- and what it means for employers.

Source: Hreonline.com, December 2016

Recordkeeping Fee Allocation

Abstract: As plan sponsors address the increasingly important issue of whether recordkeeping expenses should be paid as a percentage of assets, a fixed-dollar fee, or a combination of both, the author provides a few thoughts.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, December 2016

Emergency Motion Filed in Fiduciary Litigation

Abstract: Knocked down twice by the D.C. District Court, the National Association for Fixed Annuities has filed an emergency motion asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to halt the rule while NAFA's appeal proceeds.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2016

ARA Files Comment Letter on Form 5500 Improvement Proposals

Abstract: The American Retirement Association's Government Affairs Committee on Dec. 1 filed a comment letter with the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration on the proposals that the DOL, IRS and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation made to modernize and improve the Form 5500.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2016

ARA Files Comment Letter on Substantiating Hardship Distributions and Participant Loans

Abstract: The American Retirement Association Government Affairs Committee on Dec. 2 filed comments with the IRS providing recommendations on the documentation needed to substantiate a hardship distribution or participant loan.

Source: Asppa.org, December 2016

Issues in Target-Date Fund Evaluation and Selection

Abstract: The investment community has made significant strides in understanding and evaluating target-date fund strategies over the past decade. Now, however, we have reached a plateau in target-date communication characterized by overly-simplistic dichotomies. This post will break down four key labels commonly used in target-date manager evaluation.

Source: Americancenturyblog.com, December 2016

2017 Defined Contribution Compliance Calendar

Abstract: This is a 17-page calendar of key deadlines for calendar-year plans.

Source: Amazonaws.com, December 2016

Small Businesses Buy Into Safe Harbor 401k Plan Design

Abstract: However, only 8.71% of plans automatically enroll employees that fail to make an affirmative enrollment election, an analysis finds.

Source: Plansponsor.com, December 2016

401k Plan Fee Litigation Update

Abstract: The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401k plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401k plan fees and expenses. This article reviews the litigation trends and then provides some observations and take-aways.

Source: Milesstockbridge.com, December 2016

The Potential Downside of Automatic Enrollment in 401k Plans

Abstract: Automatic enrollment has become a staple of 401k best practices over the past decade, touted to boost important metrics such as plan participation and savings rates among employees. Adoption has more than doubled since 2006, when federal law incentivized employers to use automatic enrollment. Now roughly 52% of all 401k plans use the feature. However, new research suggests the effects of auto enrollment on participants aren't always rosy.

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

Advisers' Responsibilities to Plan Sponsors Extend Beyond Investments

Abstract: The DOL's new fiduciary rule should prompt retirement plan sponsors to take a closer look at the services their advisers are providing, experts say. There are seven areas where sponsors should expect in-depth services from their advisers.

Source: Plansponsor.com, November 2016

Automatic Retirement Plan Features Give Millennials an Early Start

Abstract: As automatic features become more prevalent, a majority of Millennials entering the workforce are enrolled in their employer's plan and begin saving earlier in their career. If they continue to proactively manage their savings strategy, this generation could be in a much better position to fund a comfortable retirement by the time they reach retirement age than those at retirement age today.

Source: Plansponsor.com, November 2016

What Is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order and Why Should I Care?

Abstract: A retirement plan can be the largest asset in a marriage. Nonetheless, retirement plans are often forgotten or overlooked during divorce. A qualified domestic relations order is a special court order that grants a person a right to a portion of the retirement benefits his or her former spouse has earned through participation in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.

Source: Pensionrights.org, November 2016

ERIC Responds to GAO Survey on Retirement Savings

Abstract: The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) strongly disagrees with the recommendations made by U.S. Government Accountability Office's regarding 401k plans.

Source: Eric.org, November 2016

401k Plan Design Study

Abstract: One of the most common questions received from small business 401k fiduciaries during the plan design process is "what are other people doing?" This article reviews 2,767 plans to help answer that question.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, November 2016

Is Retirement Adequacy the Responsibility of Employers or Employees?

Abstract: Employers and employees have very different views on who bears the responsibility for ensuring employees retire successfully, according to Benefits Canada's 2016 CAP Member Survey.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, November 2016

Key Retirement, College, and Health Savings Trends

Abstract: Ascensus analyzed data from its 40,000 retirement plans, 3.8 million 529 college savings accounts, and 200,000 HSAs. The following trends were identified within each area.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, November 2016

A Checklist for Your Retirement Money

Abstract: Some retirees can reasonably expect to live into their 90s, while others may be lucky to get to 60. Nevertheless, there are a number of financial issues common to all of us. Here is a checklist to help you assess where you stand.

Source: Usnews.com, November 2016

Target-Date Fund Objectives Are Duplicitous So Objective-Based Investing is Convoluted

Abstract: What are the objectives for your plan's target-date funds? Good chance your fund provider has told you that they are to replace pay and manage longevity risk. But that's not what TDF providers say in their official documents, namely their prospectuses.

Source: Targetdatesolutions.com, November 2016

Canada's Great Pension Debate?

Abstract: It's not just Canada's pension debate, it's a global pension debate and policymakers around the world better start thinking long and hard about what is in the best interests of their retired and active workers and for their respective economies over the long run.

Source: Pensionpulse.Blogspot.com, November 2016

Five Things the DOL Wants You to Know About TDFs That You May Have Overlooked

Abstract: Target-date funds continue to expand in usage and popularity, but Nevin Adams believes there are some things the Labor Department wants you to know about TDFs that you may have overlooked.

Source: Napa-net.org, November 2016

Retirement Plans Incur Data Breaches; ERISA Council Addresses Cyber Risks

Abstract: While earlier this month, the ERISA Advisory Council recommended that the DOL inform the employee benefits community as to cyber security risks and potential approaches for managing those risks, there is a dearth of law on the subject of ERISA and cyber security.

Source: Mcguirewoods.com, November 2016

Fred Reish: The Presidential Election: Now What?

Abstract: One of the consequences of the presidential election is that the future of the fiduciary rule (and the exemptions) is uncertain. What does that mean to advisers...regardless of whether they are representatives of RIAs, broker-dealers, or an independent insurance agents? The answer is that nobody knows. However, this article outlines the most likely alternatives.

Source: Fredreish.com, November 2016

Do State-Run Retirement Plans Breach Fiduciary Duty?

Abstract: Exempting government officials from the same fiduciary standards imposed on private providers places retirement savers at undue risk.

Source: Fiduciarynews.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Labor Department Wins Another Round in Fiduciary Rule Suits

Abstract: The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule withstood another round of judicial scrutiny when a federal judge in Kansas refused to block the rule from being enforced.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Why Trump Won't Roll Back New Fiduciary Regs

Abstract: There have been significant differences of opinion on whether President-elect Trump will roll back the new fiduciary regulations set to go into effect on April 10, 2017. The author doesn't believe the new Trump administration will cancel or roll back these fiduciary regulations and explains why.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, November 2016

Ten Retirement Savings Goals for 2017

Abstract: Most people know they should be saving for retirement. But finding the motivation to save can be a challenge. Consider these strategies to tuck more money away for retirement in 2017.

Source: Usnews.com, November 2016

3(21), 3(38), or 3(16): Find the Right 401k Fiduciary Services for You

Abstract: How much work and liability do you want to take on? How much expertise can you delegate internally? What do you want your team to spend their time on? This article compares the full spectrum of work you can delegate out to an ERISA fiduciary.

Source: Forusall.com, November 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Won't Be Delayed, Judge Says

Abstract: The Department of Labor's fiduciary rule won't be delayed while a federal appeals court considers a legal challenge to the rule, a federal judge concluded.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

Informing Plan Participants Is a Plan Sponsor Responsibility

Abstract: Plan sponsors and service providers share the burden of keeping plan participants informed concerning their 401k or 403(b) plan, but plan sponsor fiduciaries retain all of the responsibility for failing to do so.

Source: 401ktv.com, November 2016

Things That Won't Help a Retirement Plan Sponsor Limit Their Liability

Abstract: When it comes to retirement plans, plan sponsors think that there are certain services or products will limit their liability and it turns out not to be true. This article is about those things that will not limit the liability of plan sponsors.

Source: Jdsupra.com, November 2016

The Amazing Vanishing DOL Fiduciary Rule?

Abstract: When it comes to the Labor Department's new fiduciary regulation, the first question on the table must be: Will it survive this historic election? The answer: a definite "maybe not."

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

Witness the Creation of Ontario's Modern Pension Regulator

Abstract: To remain relevant and effective, industry regulators need to stay current. They must be attentive to economic realities, adapt to new technology and evolve with the industries they regulate. Ontario's pension regulator is overdue for a major overhaul that will bring it into the 21st century.

Source: Employmentandlabour.com, November 2016

The IRS Tightens Plan Examination Process With New Rules for Plan Sponsors and IRS Examiners

Abstract: With the IRS's focus on "black belt" business practices, it announced on November 21, 2016 a new process for its retirement plan audits. These rules center on the timing of the "Information Document Requests," which are central to an audit.

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, November 2016

Wells Fargo Hit With Class Action Over Target-Date Funds

Abstract: Wells Fargo enriched itself at its employees' expense by including costly, in-house target date funds in its 401k plan, a new class action complaint alleges.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), November 2016

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