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April 2017 Digest

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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Duty, Opportunity, Mastery: Investment Committee Best Practices

Abstract: Investment committees carry weighty responsibilities. This 21-page paper offers insights into how committees can improve decision-making on behalf of their organizations.

Source: Vanguard.com, April 2017

Senate Confirms Labor Secretary Acosta

Abstract: The Senate confirmed one of the final members of President Trump's Cabinet, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, on Thursday.

Source: Thehill.com, April 2017

Colorado Senate Panel Rejects Plan for State-Sponsored Retirement Accounts

Abstract: Ideological differences -- coupled with heavy lobbying by the financial industry to preserve the status quo -- have combined to make any attempts to find a solution at the Colorado Statehouse elusive.

Source: Denverpost.com, April 2017

AICPA Previews New Standard for ERISA Plan Audits

Abstract: A new auditing standard proposed by the American Institute of CPAs is geared toward audits of financial statements of employee benefit plans that are subject to ERISA. The proposal addresses the auditor's responsibilities to form an opinion and report on the financial statements of ERISA plans.

Source: Accountingweb.com, April 2017

New Evidence on the Demand for Advice Within Retirement Plans

Abstract: In this 13-page paper, the TIAA Institute uses participant-level data to shed new light on the demand for advice within retirement plans. In addition to documenting how demand for advice varies over time and across different groups of participants, they take initial steps to determine how demand for advice interacts with reliance on default investment options.

Source: Tiaainstitute.org, April 2017

PSCA HSA Snapshot Survey

Abstract: The Plan Sponsor Council of America's newly created HSA committee has released the results of their first snapshot survey designed to measure plan sponsors use of HSAs and their perceptions of HSAs as a retirement savings vehicle.

Source: Psca.org, April 2017

Study Reveals Best Practices for Participant Communications

Abstract: Advisers can help with best practices as plan sponsors are increasingly taking it upon themselves to devise their own communication strategies to engage their participants.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

IRS Suggests Two Ways for Determining Loan Amounts Available to Participants

Abstract: In a memorandum to Employee Plans examination employees, the IRS has clarified there are two ways an employer can determine the highest outstanding loan balance in the past year when calculating the amount of an additional loan a participant can take from her DC plan.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

DOL Aims For A More Advanced Research Effort

Abstract: The DOL's Employee Benefit Security Administration hopes a new initiative will help it "overcome the limitations seen in existing data collection activities."

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Are Retirement Savings Safe From Tax Reform?

Abstract: Unveiling President Trump's tax reform proposal, Gary Cohn, Trump's chief economic advisor and director of the National Economic Council, said that "retirement savings will be protected."

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2017

Seven Best Practices Every Retirement Plan Committee Member Should Follow

Abstract: Many plan sponsors create oversight committees for their qualified retirement plans. The duties of these committees are significant and committee members are typically fiduciaries who need to act in a diligent, prudent manner, and in the best interest of the participant. This article covers seven of the most important best practices every plan committee should consider following.

Source: Meadenmoore.com, April 2017

DOL Discusses the Selection of Default Investment for Participant-Directed Account Plan

Abstract: In an Information Letter, the DOL responded to a request regarding the application of ERISA to TIAA's "Income for Life Custom Portfolios."

Source: Erisalawyerblog.com, April 2017

Staying Ahead of the Curve: Defined Contribution Investment Menu Design

Abstract: In this 17-minute video, Stacy Schaus, Executive Vice President and DC Practice Leader at PIMCO, discusses defined contribution investment menu design.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, April 2017

Superior Administration: Why Quality TPAs Outperform Bundled

Abstract: There are numerous advantages in working with a TPA that go significantly above and beyond just looking at a spreadsheet. And a "best-in-class" approach of unbundling allows for the selection of the best component providers of recordkeeping, administration, and advisory services.

Source: Bpp401k.com, April 2017

Millennials Support Automatic Retirement Plans, Seek Sponsor Help

Abstract: The youngest employees and DC plan participants often want more automated features to their plans, and most assign their plan sponsors some responsibility for helping them choose the right investments to fund their retirement while it's still decades away.

Source: Blr.com, April 2017

401k Advisors: Thriving in a Big Brand World

Abstract: As a business owner and retirement plan advisor, you understand the fiduciary process of organizing, formalizing, implementing, and monitoring. Now, it's time to take the same approach to constructively evaluating your brand. Professional branding could be the differentiator needed to demonstrate your experience to increase your retirement plan business.

Source: 401k-marketing.com, April 2017

401k Advisors: Marketing Works in a Squiggly Line

Abstract: In today's dynamic multi-media world, your plan sponsor prospects search for information in a variety of ways. They seek information on their phones, Google, newsletters, seminars, webinars, emails, blog articles, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, et al. That's why it is important to be where your prospects, clients, and centers of influence are searching for information.

Source: 401k-marketing.com, April 2017

2017 Expanded Reporting and Disclosure Requirements Calendar

Abstract: The 2017 Expanded Reporting and Disclosure Requirements Calendar provides who, what, when and where reporting and disclosure information for single-employer defined benefit and defined contribution plans subject to ERISA.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, April 2017

Advisory Firm Dodges ERISA Suit Against BB&T

Abstract: Often when a retirement plan participant files suit against a plan sponsor, investment manager or recordkeeper, the advisory firm gets dragged in as well. While in this case the advisory firm has now been dismissed from the pool of defendants, the wider case itself will still apparently move forward.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Get Over the Fear of Hiring an ERISA Attorney

Abstract: Plan sponsors should get over their phobia of lawyers and hire an ERISA attorney when they need to. This article is when and why retirement plan sponsors should hire an ERISA attorney.

Source: Jdsupra.com, April 2017

401k Fiduciaries: Is It Time to Hone Your Processes? (Part One)

Abstract: Last year was a signal year for ERISA fiduciary responsibility. And, no, we're not talking about the DOL conflict of interest rule. The author shares some developments on the fiduciary responsibility litigation front that may require your attention.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, April 2017

DOL Charts a New Course for ERISA's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The article and chart provides a high-level summary and timeline of the applicability of the various aspects of the fiduciary rulemaking, and identifies a few discrete issues that industry participants might consider in anticipation of the June 9 applicability date.

Source: Dechert.com, April 2017

Reality Check: The Overconfident Retirement Plan Participant

Abstract: Juxtaposing plan participants' optimism with their self-reported retirement readiness, we see a clear disconnect. The disconnect between participants' retirement expectations and their savings habits stems in part from their limited understanding of, and comfort with, the logistics of retirement planning.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, April 2017

401k Plan Fees: The Wrong Choices Could Put You in Court

Abstract: Employers have a lot of freedom to determine how their 401k plan fees are allocated. The flip side of that freedom: A tremendous responsibility to make sure everything fee-related is done "solely in the best interest of participants." That last part has caused plenty of legal issues for employers recently.

Source: Cfodailynews.com, April 2017

Chamber Flexing Muscle to Stop States' Retirement Initiatives

Abstract: A congressional effort to squelch state-run retirement programs for private-sector workers may get a push over the finish line from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Disney Execs Escape Lawsuit Over Valeant Stock in 401k

Abstract: Walt Disney Co.'s 401k plan fiduciaries don't have to defend a proposed class action challenging their decision to allow plan participants to invest their retirement assets in a mutual fund that invested heavily in Valeant Pharmaceuticals International stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

IRS Memorandum on Calculating Maximum Loan Amount

Abstract: The IRS issued an internal memorandum to its auditors on calculating the maximum loan amount where there is or has been a prior loan.

Source: Benefitsforward.com, April 2017

Oregon Moves Ahead With State-Run IRA Program

Abstract: Oregon took another step forward this week to implement the "OregonSaves" program, as the Oregon Retirement Savings Board approved the final rules that will govern the operation of the program.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

401k Lawsuits Can Be Avoided With the Right Fiduciaries

Abstract: The complicated task of establishing a Retirement Committee or a Benefits Committee come with some basic Do's and Don't's and selecting the right fiduciaries is as important as selecting the right advisor or vendor. This article covers some tips for plan sponsors when selecting committee members.

Source: 401ktv.com, April 2017

Only 8% of US Stock Funds in 401k Plans Beat Index over 15 Years

Abstract: Armed with 15 years of data and various market cycles, S&P analysis shows that most mutual funds have trouble beating their respective indices with just one of 175 growth funds performing better over that period, just 8% of US stock funds in 401k plans outperformed. No wonder more DC plans and money managers are going passive.

Source: 401ktv.com, April 2017

Unbundled Providers Make Sense for Small 401k Plans

Abstract: Many small companies choose a bundled plan because they do not have the staff to select and manage multiple service providers. However, some plans gravitate towards unbundled services as they grow to seek more control and look to add a wider variety of investment options. Deciding whether to select bundled or unbundled services rests on several factors outlined here.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

Are Your Old 401k Accounts Home Alone?

Abstract: In the process of terminating employment, an employee's 401k account is often neglected or forgotten about. However, leaving these accounts unmanaged could be detrimental to the funds accrued in them. This article reviews your options.

Source: Tristarpension.com, April 2017

Colorado Proposes Cybersecurity Rule for Investment Adviser Firms

Abstract: The Colorado Division of Securities recently proposed two new rules that would require investment adviser firms and broker-dealers to assess cybersecurity risks and implement written policies and procedures "reasonably designed to ensure cybersecurity."

Source: Ria-compliance-consultants.com, April 2017

401k Plan Trustees: How Do You Monitor and Select Investments?

Abstract: The resident plan fiduciaries (the company officers and key employees who act on behalf of the sponsor as plan administrator or trustee) have a legal duty to "select and monitor" plan investments and, in the case of sponsors who have hired investment professionals, to monitor not only investment performance but also the performance of the investment professionals. So, how do you "select and monitor"?

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, April 2017

The Annual Retirement Plan Checkup: An Exercise in Preventive Medicine

Abstract: The primary reason that medical professionals recommend an annual checkup is that problems found early, especially when they are minor, generally are easier to fix. Similarly, a comprehensive retirement plan checkup can help plan sponsors identify existing or potential issues that, if neglected, may result in significant compliance problems or negatively impact plan participants.

Source: Pncmc.com, April 2017

DOL Recovers More Than $41k for St. Paul-Based 401k Plan

Abstract: An investigation by the DOL found from at least Feb. 1. 2010, to May 27, 2015, the company withheld $35,363.86 from employee's pay for voluntary contributions to the 401k Plan. During that same period, the company retained approximately $29,058 of those contributions in the company's corporate bank account and used them for general operating expenses.

Source: Dol.gov, April 2017

Employee Miscommunication -- the Wall That Divides

Abstract: Employee miscommunication, confusion and apathy all play a factor in why employees don't understand or don't seem to care about your efforts to provide them with benefit information. Removing barriers can feel like an uphill climb in the middle of a blizzard. How does a well-intentioned HR professional overcome employee miscommunication, apathy and confusion over benefits?

Source: Corpsyn.com, April 2017

Roth Elective Deferrals in a 401k Plan

Abstract: Before an employer decides to offer Roth deferrals in their 401k or 403(b) plan, careful consideration should be given to what is needed to properly administer the participant accounts.

Source: Consultrms.com, April 2017

Impartial Conduct Standard: More Than Meets the Eye

Abstract: While the explicit compensation requirement of the ICS is that advisers and financial institutions cannot receive more than reasonable compensation, the DOL is saying that a financial institution's compensation structures cannot promote investment recommendations that are not in the best interest of the investor.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

The Changing Nature of Retirement

Abstract: Today's grandparents and great-grandparents are generally comfortable in their retirement. They worked hard for many years and were rewarded for it; they have employer-provided pensions and retiree healthcare plans. However, with each subsequent generation, the scale has started to tip away from rich employer-provided retirement benefits.

Source: Aon.com, April 2017

Navigating Investment Responsibilities

Abstract: In this 8-page paper identifies three approaches a plan sponsor may take for selecting and managing plan investments. Along the way, it outlines five important questions to consider as they contemplate engaging a 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary to manage their plans more effectively or outsource some of their fiduciary risk.

Source: Amazonaws.com, April 2017

The Top 7 Reasons Almost 33% of American Workers Have Saved Nothing for Retirement

Abstract: According to research, almost 33% of American workers have saved nothing for retirement. That spells trouble for the entire economy down the road. Knowing the reasons for people not saving is a start, this way you may be able to identify a few solutions.

Source: 401ktv.com, April 2017

Roth IRA vs 403(b)

Abstract: If you work for a public school system, a ministry, an institute of higher education or another nonprofit, then you may have the option to set aside money for retirement using an account called a 403(b). All income earners (or spouses of income earners) also have the option to save for retirement in a Roth IRA. So, which one makes more sense?

Source: 403bwise.com, April 2017

Employee Benefit Plan Considerations for M&As

Abstract: No matter whether it's a billion-dollar transaction or something much, much smaller, employee benefit plans are a critical component of the deal. They can impact the purchase or sale price, and create both financial and compliance risks if comprehensive due diligence is not completed. This article provides some tips that will be helpful as you consider the employee benefits component of the deal, no matter which side of the table you're on.

Source: Retirementtownhall.com, April 2017

DOL Pressed to Hold Applicability Date for New Analysis

Abstract: Republican members of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce are pushing to see that the applicability date of the fiduciary regulation is fully postponed until the impact has been reassessed.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2017

Retirement Isn't Free, but Your 401k Match Is

Abstract: Retirement savers, are you making the most of your company's 401k match? Even though a quarter of the year has gone by, you can take steps to make the most of your company's 401k match. Each year, Americans leave billions of dollars in 401k company matches on the table. Here's how to avoid becoming one of the estimated one-of-four employees who misses out on free money.

Source: Nasdaq.com, April 2017

Answers to Your Target-Date Fund Questions

Abstract: Morningstar recently released its annual report on target-date funds. This year's report highlights the major trends and developments in the target-date fund space by addressing some of the questions most frequently asked by investors, investment consultants, and the like.

Source: Morningstar.com, April 2017

2017 Target-Date Fund Landscape

Abstract: Target-date funds' clear outlook for growth has resulted in an ever-changing landscape, as managers vie for market share by attempting to set themselves apart from one another. The changing landscape undoubtedly spurs questions in the minds of investors, and this year's report aims to deliver insight into the trends in the target-date fund space and provide added perspective by answering questions that frequently arise.

Source: Morningstar.com, April 2017

What's Cooking in Congress for Retirement Plans?

Abstract: For those of you who are concerned about tax reform and other possible future legislation, here is an interview with Preston Rutledge, Tax and Benefits Counsel at the Senate Finance Committee.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, April 2017

403(b) Plan Design and Operation

Abstract: This wide-ranging guide discusses the rules that apply when eligible tax-exempt organizations establish tax-sheltered annuities, custodial accounts, or retirement income accounts, as described in Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code (403(b) plans).

Source: Benefitsattorney.com, April 2017

Divorce & Retirement

Abstract: Because pension and retirement benefits are not automatically split in a divorce, this short guide emphasizes the importance of these benefits and offers valuable information on marital property, negotiating an agreement, and getting a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).

Source: Wiserwomen.org, April 2017

Puerto Rico Modifies Retirement Plan Qualification and Trust Requirements

Abstract: Several of the modifications create new disparities between rules under the Puerto Rico and U.S. tax codes. Hacienda is expected to issue clarifying guidance and information on deadlines for plan amendments and determination letter requests. Dual-qualified plans should pay particular attention to the changes that create discrepancies between the U.S. and Puerto Rican tax codes.

Source: Towerswatson.com, April 2017

The Challenges of Forgotten Retirement Benefits

Abstract: Forgotten retirement benefits pose unique challenges for employees, former employers and plan administrators. Many retirement accounts are unwittingly left with the former employer. And if the employee moves and fails to send an updated address, the money goes unclaimed and is often permanently lost.

Source: Penchecks.com, April 2017

Oregon's State Retirement Savings Plan Infringes on ERISA

Abstract: The Oregon Retirement Savings Board approved final rules that apply to the operation of OregonSaves, the state-run mandatory retirement plan. Oregon is the first state, of the seven other states that have passed legislation to implement these plans, to provide regulatory guidance. This is a statement from Will Hansen, Senior Vice President of Retirement and Compensation Policy, The ERISA Industry Committee, on the Oregon move.

Source: Eric.org, April 2017

New Comparability 401k Plans - Are They Right for Your Small Business?

Abstract: One of the most common goals for a small business 401k plan is maximizing owner contributions up to the legal limit. Often, the cheapest way to meet this goal is using a new comparability profit sharing contribution. Unlike other types of 401k profit sharing, these contributions permit an employer to allocate multiple contribution rates to different employee groups, making larger contribution rates to business owners possible.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, April 2017

JPMorgan Stable Value Fund Lawsuit Gets Class Treatment

Abstract: Thousands of workers who invested their retirement savings in JPMorgan's stable value funds got approval to sue the company as a certified class.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

DC Plan Sponsors Driven by Member Retirement Goals and Litigation Risk: Survey

Abstract: Meeting plan members' retirement goals and managing litigation risk are the top factors driving defined contribution pension plan sponsor decision-making, according to new research by global investment manager PIMCO.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, April 2017

401k Hardship Withdrawal Guide

Abstract: Plan sponsors may also elect to add a "hardship withdrawal" option for employees in their 401k or 403(b) plan. This is an optional provision that must be outlined in the plan document before it is available to the participants of the plan.

Source: Benefit-resources.com, April 2017

Locating Missing Participants in Your Retirement Plan

Abstract: It's always a good idea to keep your retirement plan as clean as possible by maintaining good employee records. In the event you do lose track of a plan participant, here are some suggested ways to locate former employees.

Source: Kushnerco.com, April 2017

Data Breach Risks for 401k and Retirement Plans

Abstract: There has been a recent spike in attacks on 401k and retirement plans by cyber criminals. A data breach is a disruptive event. For plan fiduciaries, there are several factors that create heightened risk.

Source: Jonesday.com, April 2017

Survey: In Whose Best Interest?

Abstract: This survey from Financial Engines shows that Americans overwhelmingly favor the intent of the DOL's fiduciary rule. According to the survey, 93 percent of Americans think financial advisors who provide retirement advice should be legally required to put their clients’ best interest first. However, more than half of respondents (53 percent) mistakenly believe that all financial advisors are already legally required to put the best interests of their clients first.

Source: Financialengines.com, April 2017

Are 401k Plan Loans Double Taxed?

Abstract: Are 401k plan loans double taxed? The author believes that the principal amounts of 401k loans that are distributed at retirement are taxed at a rate that is more than double that of a participant's incremental tax rate.

Source: Benefitnews.com, April 2017

ARA Weighs in on Fiduciary Rule Delay Proposal

Abstract: The American Retirement Association's Government Affairs Committee has filed comments with the Department of Labor regarding a proposed regulation to extend by 60 days the applicability date for the "Conflicted Advice" regulation.

Source: Usaretirement.org, April 2017

June 9th: Strict Fiduciary Obligations to Arise?

Abstract: According to Ron Rhoades, the adoption of the DOL's "definition of fiduciary" and "impartial conduct standards" -- now effective June 9, 2017 -- will have larger impacts on financial services than many might imagine.

Source: Scholarfp.blogspot.com, April 2017

Iowa Bill to Open Teachers' 403(b) Plan to More Competition

Abstract: The bill requires the Iowa Department of Administrative Services to include up to 30 insurance and investment companies in the 403(b) plan so long as they are approved by the Iowa Insurance Division and registered with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, April 2017

Early Evidence on the Department of Labor Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: In response to the DOL's fiduciary rule, investment management companies are creating two new share classes for their mutual funds. This 10-page paper examines the potential of these new share classes to help investors save for retirement.

Source: Morningstar.com, April 2017

Top 10 Recordkeepers of Defined Contribution Plans

Abstract: The largest defined contribution plan recordkeepers all experienced positive asset growth last year, according to Pensions & Investments' annual recordkeeper survey.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fear of Litigation Looms Over DC Plans

Abstract: In a list of the most important factors driving decision-making at defined contribution plans, litigation risk ranked second only to meeting participant retirement goals. Investment fees and plan costs are a top concern for defined contribution plan sponsors, according to PIMCO's annual consultant survey.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, April 2017

Common Errors and Corrections in Retirement Plan Loans

Abstract: Although retirement plan loans can increase administrative responsibilities, many plan sponsors include them as a plan feature with the idea that offering participant loans can help to encourage a higher participation rate. Despite your best efforts, loan mistakes can happen. Knowing what resources are available to fix errors can help.

Source: Fidelity.com, April 2017

Automated 401k Rollover May Shine As Fiduciary Solution

Abstract: Automated rollovers, which move 401k assets into an IRA at a certain level of account inactivity or when an employer terminates their plan, should be seen as a behavioral solution for better 401ks.

Source: Fa-mag.com, April 2017

Partial Plan Terminations

Abstract: A plan termination often occurs due to the closing of the company or because of a financial hardship that prevents the employer from being able to continue to cover the cost of operating the plan. However, many employers are unaware that a partial plan termination can occur even while the retirement plan is still active and operating.

Source: Consultrms.com, April 2017

Total Wellbeing After Retirement

Abstract: Having a sense of purpose, being financially fit and having strong social ties and a meaningful connection to the communities within which we spend our time are all pillars of our wellbeing. There is recognition that for much of our lives, the workplace can be the foundation these pillars are built upon, providing people with the tools to be well throughout their careers. So, what happens when individuals retire?

Source: Conduent.com, April 2017

401k Vendors Innovating to Thrive in a Competitive Market

Abstract: Interview with Joe Valletta, co-founder of 401k Source, on the market dynamics in the 401k plan services industry.

Source: Benefitnews.com, April 2017

Participant Loan Refinancing

Abstract: Allowing more than one participant loan in a retirement plan is not a black-and-white determination. The plan sponsor and its service providers must ensure that additional loans or refinanced loans are properly administered in accordance with the plan document and the loan regulations.

Source: Belfint.com, April 2017

Hispanic Retirees: Low Saving, Long Life

Abstract: Just one in three native-born and immigrant Hispanics working in this country has a retirement plan through their employers which contributes to a low retirement savings rate. Low rates of saving are compounded by the fact that elderly Hispanics and Latinos will need more money over their longer-than-average retirements. But there is some cause for optimism.

Source: Bc.edu, April 2017

Is DOL Already Backing Away From 401k Fiduciary Enforcement?

Abstract: While normally bullish on filing amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs in federal appeals court cases involving 401k fiduciary issues, the department declined last week to do so in a case filed against Transamerica Life Insurance. This move could signal a shift in DOL enforcement priorities.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2017

Consultants Say Target-Date Review Tops Plan Sponsor Priority List

Abstract: Retirement plan consultants list reviewing target-date strategies as the top priority for their plan sponsor clients, according to the 11th annual PIMCO Defined Contribution Consulting Support and Trends Survey.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

Communicating With Video

Abstract: Use of video to educate a workforce about their benefits has seen increased interest in and use. As technology evolves, the cost of professionally produced videos is decreasing, making them an affordable communication solution for employers.

Source: Willistowerswatson.com, April 2017

Rollovers Under the DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The DOL issued its final regulation on the extension of the applicability date for the fiduciary definition and the related exemptions. This article discusses the impact of those changes on fiduciary status for recommendations to plan participants to take distributions and roll it over to IRAs.

Source: Fredreish.com, April 2017

Avoiding Beneficiary Befuddlement

Abstract: Retirement plans are complicated creatures to administer so it perhaps is not surprising that the process of determining the beneficiary of a deceased participant can present its own set of challenges and, if things go awry, expose a plan to paying twice for the same benefit.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, April 2017

Puerto Rico Legislation May Require Changes to Retirement Plans

Abstract: Puerto Rico enacted new legislation in February that will require changes to tax-qualified retirement plans covering Puerto Rico employees, including both Puerto Rico-only and dual-qualified (US and Puerto Rico) retirement plans. Act No. 9-2017 revises a number of Puerto Rico qualified retirement plan rules including contribution limits, rules related to nondiscrimination testing and employer deductions for retirement plan contributions.

Source: Natlawreview.com, April 2017

Investors Can Go After Fiduciary Advisers Even if DOL Doesn't

Abstract: There is a threat of litigation hanging over advisers' heads, even as the DOL says it will focus on compliance around the fiduciary rule. The rule invites the plaintiffs' bar to go after bad actors, making any temporary freezes on enforcement of limited value.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fujitsu Loses Early Bid to Toss 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: Fujitsu Technology couldn't convince a federal court in California to dismiss a lawsuit accusing it of breaching fiduciary duties by making imprudent investments in its 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

DOL Sends Revised 2017 Form 5500 to OMB

Abstract: The Department of Labor has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget the current, 2017 version of the Form 5500 and instructions as a non-material/non-substantive change request. The DOL is not making any program changes to the forms and instructions for 2017.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Trump to Sign Resolution Nixing City-Run Auto-IRAs for Small Businesses

Abstract: Cities and counties will soon be barred from requiring small businesses without 401k-type retirement plans to enroll workers into a government-run individual retirement account. Meanwhile, a measure to block a requirement for similar small businesses to participate in auto-enroll IRAs run by the state still awaits a Senate vote.

Source: Shrm.org, April 2017

DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed: Future Still Remains Unclear

Abstract: Despite the fact that the DOL's Fiduciary Rule has been delayed, it's important toremember that under ERISA 404(a)(1)1 fiduciaries to qualified retirement plans have a duty to act in the interest of plan participants, to act with prudence, to follow the plan documents, and to only pay reasonable fees for necessary services. These duties remain the same no matter what happens to the Fiduciary Rule.

Source: Pension-consultants.com, April 2017

The Confident Participant: How to Create an Effective 401k Education Program

Abstract: Developing a program that will actively engage and educate your participants requires partnering with their educator to create a program tailored to your participants rather than uncritically accepting some off-the-shelf program.

Source: Penchecks.com, April 2017

NAPA Interactive Black Book: Third Party Administrators

Abstract: A TPA can be a plan advisor's best friend. But it's important to understand the various types of TPAs and how to best leverage them depending on the plan profile and size.

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2017

The DOL Fiduciary Rule Is No Time to Celebrate

Abstract: Just because the rule has been delayed, doesn't mean that there won't be a fiduciary rule down the road that will end up being more restrictive than the best interest contract exemption of the new rule.

Source: Jdsupra.com, April 2017

Is Future of Retirement Security Through the IRA?

Abstract: IRAs, for whatever reason, are stealthily changing the retirement future. When you look closely at their structures, they can be designed to be incredibly flexible. There are several major "houses" which provide the technical and legal support for "plug and play" investment arrangements. They provide a personal platform through which retirees can consolidate their assets in a way which can better serve their retirement in ways an employer sponsored DC or DB plan cannot.

Source: Businessofbenefits.com, April 2017

Charles Schwab Seeks to Arbitrate 401k Case

Abstract: Charles Schwab Corp. urged a federal court to order a former employee challenging the investment options in the company's 401k plan to submit his claims to individual, non-class arbitration.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Fiduciary Litigation: Another One Bites the Dust

Abstract: Plaintiffs seeking to obtain an emergency injunction blocking the DOL's fiduciary regulation were rebuffed again by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. The denial kept the DOL's fiduciary litigation streak unblemished.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Study of Retirement Plan Investment Expense Finds Over $17 Billion of Annual Waste

Abstract: Based on a conservative analysis, this study estimated that plan participants could save on average .25% per year by switching to lower cost investments that are quantitatively very similar to those they already hold, but with a better track record. With total defined contribution plan assets of $6.8 trillion, the potential savings is at least $17 billion.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

Less Than Half of Americans Confident They'll Reach Financial Goals by Retirement

Abstract: During the decades spent waking up early and heading to work, it's understandable that Americans might view retirement as a light at the end of the tunnel. However, the retirement most Americans now envision is one of financial sacrifice, as the golden years run the risk of being tarnished without better planning.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

United Airlines and the Fiduciary Paradox: Providing a Margin of Excellence

Abstract: If our objective is to provide those we serve a margin of excellence, we need to convince regulators that more rules will not translate into better outcomes. In turn, we need to accept responsibility to educate and inform fiduciaries of the leadership and stewardship behaviors that will amplify and improve their governance procedures.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, April 2017

More 401k Advisers Face Litigation Risk in June Under DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: A greater number of advisers and firms servicing 401k plans and their participants could be at risk of litigation in a few months' time, when implementation of some provisions of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule are set to kick in. This is due to the details of the recently finalized delay to the fiduciary rule issued last week by the Trump administration, as well as nuances of the regulation and its interplay with federal retirement law.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation

Abstract: A recent federal district court opinion in Florida demonstrates the potential pitfalls that plan administrators may face with respect to disputes over beneficiary status and provides guidance as to how administrators may avoid costly disputes.

Source: Lexology.com, April 2017

DOL Not Backing Down From Fiduciary Rule, Analysts Say

Abstract: While the Department of Labor delayed the controversial Obama-crafted fiduciary rule for 60 days, it also expressed surprising support for the regulation. The DOL clearly does not back down from the Fiduciary Rule and exemptions as a general matter.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, April 2017

Five Major 401k Lawsuits That Directly Impact Advisors

Abstract: There's a clear need to increase awareness about litigation risk and to understand the key issues that have made their way to the highest courts. These decisions have implications for 401k retirement plan advisors, plan sponsors and other plan fiduciaries alike. Recent decisions should help shape compliance strategies for those responsible for managing defined contribution plans.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2017

What Retirement Plan Sponsors and Employers Need to Know About Cybersecurity Risk and Liabilities

Abstract: Many employers historically were only concerned with privacy and security for health plans under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and state laws. However, cybersecurity should also be a consideration for every retirement plan fiduciary. To preserve fiduciary protection while making required disclosures electronically, retirement plan fiduciaries should consider whether their duties of loyalty, prudence and to administer the plan for the exclusive benefit of the participants might require them to protect their participants' personal information.

Source: Winstead.com, April 2017

Seven Reasons to Work Part Time in Retirement

Abstract: The financial benefits of a part-time job in retirement are obvious. You bring in some extra income, which gives your savings more time to grow. But many retirees also continue to work for the mental stimulation and social perks. Here's a look at some of the benefits of getting a part-time job in retirement.

Source: Usnews.com, April 2017

ERISA Fidelity Bond vs. Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Abstract: As a small business owner sponsoring a 401k retirement plan, are your personal assets at risk? What kind of coverage can you get with Fiduciary Liability Insurance and how does it differ from the required ERISA Fidelity Bond?

Source: Rpgconsultants.com, April 2017

Substantiation Guidelines for Hardship Distributions

Abstract: The IRS has released audit guidelines which provide a roadmap for employers to demonstrate that they are properly handling hardship distributions.

Source: Relius.net, April 2017

Why Employers Should Care About the Cost of Delayed Retirements

Abstract: Having employees able to retire "on time" is a win/win scenario for both employees and employers. But these days many employees are expected to delay their retirements beyond their desired retirement ages because they don't have adequate savings to sustain them throughout their retirement. To quantify the impact of delayed retirements on employers' costs, Prudential conducted research using workforce composition and cost assumptions based on national averages for private sector workers.

Source: Prudential.com, April 2017

The Trouble with Target-Date Funds in Retirement

Abstract: Target-date funds are good options for retirement savers who are building their nest egg. But when you quit working, you may want to take a closer look at whether your target-date fund is still the right choice for you in retirement.

Source: Kiplinger.com, April 2017

Expanding Multiple Employer Plans: A Bipartisan Idea to Narrow the Coverage Gap

Abstract: ERISA Strategist Dan Notto discusses the idea of open multiple employer plans and their potential to help narrow the retirement coverage gap.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, April 2017

Cliffs Natural Resources Beats ERISA Challenge to Stock Drop

Abstract: Iron mining company Cliffs Natural Resources beat back claims that it harmed workers' retirement savings by allowing them to invest in the company's declining stock.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Five Regulatory Issues Every Financial Adviser Should Be Watching

Abstract: Although the epic battle over the DOL's fiduciary rule will continue for at least several more months, if not years, and dominate the regulatory agenda for investment advice, other critical issues are bubbling to the surface. Several may even have a chance of advancing in this cold political climate.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

The Perfect Concoction for a Successful 401k Plan

Abstract: How do you make your 401k plan stand out to potential employees, boost retirement savings for participants, and keep your 401k plan provisions competitive? Here is a list of a few plan ingredients to include in your own plan.

Source: Tristarpension.com, April 2017

Breaking News on Rollovers: What DOL Really Did on April 5

Abstract: The DOL fiduciary rule is delayed until June 9th and further examination of various provisions will happen throughout 2017. So, what will really happen on June 9th? Something very important. Any rollover advice will now have to be provided under the new fiduciary standard and Impartial Conducts Standard.

Source: Rixtrema.com, April 2017

Putnam Prevails in 401k Self-Dealing Suit

Abstract: Before ultimately finding plaintiffs' claims were time-barred, a judge found Putnam's mutual fund fees were reasonable and a comparison to Vanguard funds was "apples to oranges."

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

IRS Approves DATAIR 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Document

Abstract: The document is a volume submitter format and is designed to accommodate both ERISA and non-ERISA plans as well as church plans and plans for governmental entities.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

DC Investors Continue Shift to Target-Date Funds, Away From Equity

Abstract: Mutual fund assets held by defined contribution plans were approximately $3.9 trillion as of the end of 2016. About 46% of those assets were invested in U.S.-equity focused funds and just more than a quarter were invested in hybrid funds, primarily target date and lifestyle.

Source: Pionline.com, April 2017

Target-Date Funds: Embracing Open Architecture

Abstract: DC plan-level best practices call for an open-architecture, or multimanager, lineup of investment offerings, but that line of thinking rarely extends to target-date portfolio construction. If open architecture is important, then more target-date funds should be open.

Source: Jhinvestments.com, April 2017

Senate, House Introduce Bills Mandating Lifetime Income Disclosures for 401k Plans

Abstract: Bipartisan legislation was introduced today in the Senate and House of Representatives that would require employers to provide 401k participants with a projection of monthly income at retirement, based on their current account balance.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

Judge in Putnam 401k Suit Deals Potential Setback to Plaintiffs Using Vanguard as Fee Benchmark

Abstract: A federal judge has seemingly dealt a blow to plaintiffs bringing claims against financial services companies for excessive retirement plan fees, following a recent ruling in a self-dealing lawsuit involving Putnam Investments' 401k plan. Specifically, the judge shot down arguments that Putnam received excessive management fees from their proprietary mutual funds, saying plaintiffs' comparison of Putnam fund fees to those of Vanguard Group's passively managed funds was "flawed."

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

A Closer Look: What's Working in Workplace Financial Education

Abstract: This 26-page report has three sections beyond this introduction. Section II provides key findings. Detailed findings on the impact of workplace financial education and factors influencing financial education success are presented in Section III. Section IV concludes with practical recommendations for organizations to consider based on the results of the study.

Source: Ifebp.org, April 2017

Why Arguments of a Broken Retirement System Are Misguided

Abstract: The notion of widespread retirement shortfalls obscures the fact that the US retirement system works well for the majority of households, and deflects attention from those groups actually at risk in retirement, such as those retiring early because of poor health and those with limited work histories.

Source: Ici.org, April 2017

PODCAST: Assessing and Improving Practices Regarding Investment of Retirement Plan Assets

Abstract: Verrill Dana Employee Benefits attorneys Eric Altholz and Chris Lockman provide a brief update on class action lawsuits alleging various breaches of fiduciary duties under ERISA pending against a dozen major universities. About 16-minutes.

Source: Employeebenefitsupdate.com, April 2017

Fiduciary vs. Investment Manager: What's the Difference?

Abstract: In an environment of increased fiduciary litigation, advisors and other service providers have ramped up their marketing efforts to provide risk management services to plan sponsors. Such efforts have resulted in plan sponsor confusion as to the type of services that are being offered, as well as the type of services that are preferable.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, April 2017

BlackRock Accused of Self-Dealing With 401k Plan

Abstract: BlackRock Inc. and its subsidiaries are accused in a new lawsuit of loading the company's $1.56 billion 401k plan with its "expensive and poor-to-mediocre" in-house investment options.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

What Makes Workplace Financial Education Work?

Abstract: According to a recent survey, a workplace financial education program is likely to be more successful the longer it is in place. Results from the survey showed that it takes more than five years to be reported as successful.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Considerations When a Merger Affects DC Plan Investments

Abstract: Cammack Retirement's Tom Ferrara cites merger and acquisition (M&A) activity of firms and individual funds as an additional force that has a great impact and discusses matters to consider when a merger has taken place and has affected a DC plan's investments.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Target-Date Funds: Can Employers Get Lost in Space?

Abstract: Target-Date Funds are as diverse as the universe. Plan sponsor fiduciaries -- who must exercise prudence and demonstrate expertise in selecting the investments that will be offered to plan participants -- must understand the unique features of their workforce as well as the features of each TDF series they consider before making their selection. Failure to do so "as an expert" can result in potential personal liability for fiduciaries.

Source: Alliantwealth.com, April 2017

Can 401k Financial Wellness Be Effectively Graded?

Abstract: Interesting idea, and Boston-based investment big Fidelity Investments is going to try. It's out with its Fidelity Financial Wellness Score "for people to measure their financial health, identify the areas where they need help and how they can improve."

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, April 2017

Patience Needed With Financial Education Programs

Abstract: A study found programs running for at least 10 years are more successful than those that have only been carried out for one to two years, and suggests this may be because employers analyze the success of these programs and adapt it as they see fit.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2017

NAPA Interactive Black Book: Recordkeepers

Abstract: Recordkeepers are perhaps in the strongest position of all providers, since they control the technology and, perhaps more importantly, the data that runs DC plans. This interactive list, you'll be able to view and sort by primary market(s) served, number of plans served, number of participants served, and services available to advisors.

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2017

Helping Employees Retire Well: Here's What Works Best

Abstract: Building, maintaining, and administering a retirement plan is complex. There are many decisions -- big and small -- to consider carefully, especially given your fiduciary responsibility as plan sponsors. Some decisions that should rise to the top of that list given their potential to do incredible good for employees saving for retirement.

Source: Vanguardinstitutionalblog.com, April 2017

Auto Portability Could Boost Nation's Retirement Savings Wealth by $2T

Abstract: EBRI has joined the Bipartisan Policy Center in calling for a national, private-sector clearinghouse that could seamlessly handle rollovers from one plan to another.

Source: Plansponsor.com, April 2017

'Save Our Savings' Coalition Launches

Abstract: The American Retirement Association has joined as a founding member of the Save Our Savings (SOS) Coalition, an alliance dedicated to protecting Americans' retirement savings. The SOS Coalition will work to ensure Americans continue to have access to the private sector retirement system and to meaningful savings incentives.

Source: Napa-net.org, April 2017

Work Redefined: A New Age of Benefits

Abstract: The enjoyment of life is beginning to take back its rightful place in the lives of employees. Today's employees put increased focus on happiness at work. They change jobs more often, their careers take unexpected twists and turns, and personal satisfaction can be as important as the numbers on their paycheck. Employers recognize these changing priorities, by investing in employee engagement, culture, and team development.

Source: Metlife.com, April 2017

DOL Releases Final Extension of Applicability Date

Abstract: On April 4, 2017, the DOL released for public inspection its final regulation extending the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017 as well as providing additional transition relief through the end of the year. While the final extension offers some relief, it is a mixed bag.

Source: Groom.com, April 2017

Fee Study of 525 401k Financial Advisors: Why Trump Can't Reverse Tide of Fiduciary Advice

Abstract: Following several high-profile excessive fee lawsuits, more 401k plan sponsors than ever are hiring fiduciary-grade financial advisors to lower their liability. The kicker? Their impartial advice is often cheaper than potentially-conflicted, non-fiduciary advice.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, April 2017

Baby Boomer Expectations for Retirement 2017

Abstract: The Insured Retirement Institute released its latest report on the Baby Boomer generation's expectations and readiness for retirement. As they move into their pre-retirement and retirement years, most Boomers report insufficient retirement savings, and have not taken appropriate steps to plan effectively for their sunset years.

Source: Irionline.org, April 2017

DOL Releases Final Rule Delaying Fiduciary Implementation

Abstract: The DOL released a final rule Tuesday delaying the implementation of its fiduciary duty regulation. Under the delay measure, which was posted on the Federal Register website, the fiduciary rule's April 10 applicability date is pushed back to June 9.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), April 2017

DOL's Best Interest Standard Uplifts Target-Date Funds

Abstract: The Best Interest Standard of DOL's Fiduciary Rule will benefit target-date fund participants immensely. This 6-page article identifies specific applications of the Standard to TDFs.

Source: Targetdatesolutions.com, April 2017

IRS: Self-Certification Permitted for Hardship Withdrawals From Retirement Accounts

Abstract: Employees no longer routinely have to provide their employers with documentation proving they need a hardship withdrawal from their 401k accounts, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Employees do, however, need to keep source documents, such as bills that resulted in the need for hardship withdrawals, in case employers are audited by the IRS, the agency said.

Source: Shrm.org, April 2017

Court Finds Intel Alternative Investment Suit Time-Barred

Abstract: The lawsuit claimed the defendants breached their fiduciary duties by investing a significant portion of the plans' assets in risky and high-cost hedge fund and private equity investments through custom-built target-date funds.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Jackson National Target of DC Plan Self-Dealing Suit

Abstract: The lawsuit says disclosures show the proprietary funds used in the DC plan lineup were far more expensive than comparable funds and underperformed their benchmarks.

Source: Planadviser.com, April 2017

Putting the Pension Back in 401k Plans

Abstract: The US Department of the Treasury recently launched an initiative to provide firms and employers "more options for putting the pension back" into private sector defined contribution plans. This 38-page paper develops a realistic life cycle model to quantify the potential impact of this new policy for a range of retiree types, differentiated by sex, educational level, and preferences.

Source: Pensionresearchcouncil.wharton.upenn.edu, April 2017

Should the U.S. Raise the Age for Required Distributions?

Abstract: Investors who reach age 70 1/2 are generally faced with a requirement: Start taking annual withdrawals from tax-sheltered retirement accounts such as IRAs and 401ks, and pay taxes on those assets. Many have started to wonder if the age for those required minimum distributions, or RMDs, should be raised -- or even eliminated -- to give seniors more control of their retirement assets.

Source: Marketwatch.com, April 2017

The 10 Biggest 401k Plan Misperceptions

Abstract: Here are the most common and noteworthy 401k misperceptions and your plan participants really believe some of the things.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, April 2017

Bridge Your Engagement Gap -- Go Mobile

Abstract: The impact of mobile technology in every industry is profound and those of you in HR will see a significant impact to your field as well. Mobile technology is quickly being embraced by organizations to engage their workforce.

Source: Frenkelbenefits.com, April 2017

Compensation of Self-Employed Participants for Purposes of Qualified Retirement Plans

Abstract: Often, there is confusion regarding what compensation is used to determine contributions to the company's qualified retirement plan on behalf of members of the LLC. This article is a discussion of the basic rules for determining the compensation for self-employed individuals (sole proprietors, partners in a partnership, and members of an LLC taxed as a partnership).

Source: Eisneramper.com, April 2017

Peabody Energy Cleared in ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses

Abstract: Peabody Energy Corp. isn't liable to employees who allegedly lost retirement savings by investing in the bankrupt coal company's stock, a federal judge ruled.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

American Airlines Loses Round Over Mutual Fund Fees

Abstract: American Airlines Inc. can't escape a proposed class action challenging the affiliated mutual funds in its 401k plan.

Source: Bna.com (registration may be required), April 2017

How to Deal With Canadian DC Pensions in an M&A Transaction

Abstract: In the course of a merger or acquisition, there are a number of balls to juggle, not the least of which are the changes to employees' benefits packages. Article discusses some of the key considerations when it comes to defined contribution plans.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, April 2017

EPCRS: Participant Loan Corrections

Abstract: Plan failures related to participant loans can be corrected using either Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) or Correction on Audit. Since plan loan failures are not operational failures, they cannot be corrected using the self-correction method.

Source: Belfint.com, April 2017

Acosta Nomination Heads to Senate

Abstract: Alexander Acosta, President Trump's nominee to head the Labor Department, was approved March 30 by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The full Senate will now vote on his nomination, though a date has not yet been set.

Source: Asppa.org, April 2017

Congress Set to Lift DOL ERISA Exemption for State Plans

Abstract: The DOL ERISA exemption for State Plans granted to state auto-IRA plans looks likely to be lifted after both the House and Senate following party lines voted to override the rule. Will lifting the ERISA exemption for State Plans cause employers to be reluctant to jump into these plans and do state plans pose more problems than they solve?

Source: 401ktv.com, April 2017

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