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August 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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Cybersecurity and Online Privacy Issues for Employee Benefit Plans

Abstract: When most plan participants think about security involving their retirement plan, they are typically thinking along the lines of financial security and how their investments perform. However, like other financial institutions, retirement accounts are subject to cyber threats that could threaten users' privacy and other account information.

Source: Bsllp.com, August 2017

Common Hazards Addressed by the IRS Voluntary Correction Program

Abstract: The IRS Voluntary Correction Program allows companies to correct mistakes with their retirement plan before they face an audit. Compliance can allow the plan to maintain tax-favored status and avoid costly penalties.

Source: Bsllp.com, August 2017

Small Plans Do Need an Audit Unless

Abstract: The conventional wisdom that ERISA does not require an annual audit for the Form 5500 of a small plan is a misconception. In fact, under ERISA, all retirement plans require an audit by an independent qualified public accountant unless the plan meets very specific audit exemption requirements.

Source: Boutwellfay.com, August 2017

Fiduciary Rule Exemptions Face Delay Under DOL Proposal

Abstract: The Labor Department Aug. 30 officially proposed delaying the fiduciary rule's exemptions until mid-2019. The proposed 18-month delay of key provisions of the best-interest-contract and principal-transactions exemptions is necessary because the DOL has yet to complete the presidentially mandated review of the rule.

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

Impact of Stocks on Retirement System

Abstract: U.S. stock market performance has implications for our entire retirement system, not just your 401k. Three studies addressing the big-picture relationships between the market and retirees' financial security were produced in 2017 by the Center for Retirement Research.

Source: Bc.edu, August 2017

Five Ways to Make 401k Portability a 2018 Priority

Abstract: Many sponsors could miss an important opportunity to make straightforward changes to enhance portability, changes that can significantly improve participants' financial wellness, reduce plan expenses and minimize fiduciary liability.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, August 2017

A Decade After PPA and the QDIA Debate Continues

Abstract: The transition period, from five years before retirement to five years after, is the most critical phase of lifecycle investing and potentially the most difficult to manage with a standard TDF glide path.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

Morningstar and Prudential Deny Racketeering Claims

Abstract: Another ERISA lawsuit has emerged in federal court, this one naming both Morningstar and various Prudential companies as defendants in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The complaint suggests the companies engaged in “Tammany-like” collusion to steer assets into more favorable investments; both providers have issued strong denials and requests for summary judgement.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

New Players Emerge in 401k Services Market

Abstract: Three financial management firms -- American Funds, Empower Retirement and Voya -- are giving Fidelity Investments and Vanguard a run for their money in the 401k market, a new study shows.

Source: Nepc.com, August 2017

OMB Approves Proposal for 18-month Delay of DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The Office of Management and Budget has approved a proposal to delay for 18 months implementation of the remaining provisions in the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. The OMB made its determination on Monday and posted the decision on its website on Tuesday, taking only a fraction of the 90 days that it could have had to review the proposal.

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

Ten Important Facts About 401k Plans

Abstract: The Investment Company Institute issued this 14-page paper that reviews ten important facts about 401k plans.

Source: Ici.org, August 2017

NYU Retirement Plan Suit Trimmed by Judge but Moving Forward

Abstract: New York University convinced a federal judge to dismiss several challenges to its retirement plans, but claims attacking the plans' recordkeeping fees and actively managed funds are moving forward.

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

Uber-Betterment Collaboration Draws in 2,500 Retirement Savers

Abstract: More than 2,500 Uber drivers used Betterment, an online financial advice service, to get on the road to retirement in the first year of the ride-share giant's collaboration with the robo-adviser.

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

Stable Value Protection and Growth: Not Mutually Exclusive

Abstract: During times of market volatility, stable value has protected benefit plan sponsors from market downturns, earning the trust of DC plan participants aiming to preserve the value of their retirement savings accounts. Article discusses how plan sponsors can better understand stable value and what the future holds for this capital preservation investment option.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

Tax Cut Proposals Have Advisers Worried About All-Roth 401ks

Abstract: With President Trump touting potential corporate and individual tax rate cuts, retirement plan sponsors and advisers are worried that could lead to the government switching 401k plans to all-Roth in order to raise revenue to offset the cuts. Advisers say the elimination of tax incentives to save would deter participation and lower savings rates.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

403b Tax-Sheltered Annuities

Abstract: Revised 4-page IRS document that looks at common 403b plan mistakes and IRS products (including the 403b Fix-It Guide), services, and assistance to help you keep your 403b plan healthy.

Source: Irs.gov, August 2017

IRS Revised Its Qualified Plans Correction Program to Address the Determination Letter Program Changes

Abstract: The intent behind most of the changes to the EPCRS program that are highlight in this 4-page article is to conform the correction program with the changes being made to the determination letter program, and to help plan sponsors manage the risks that the loss of the determination letter cycle program has on audit.

Source: Groom.com, August 2017

Regulation of Robo-Advisers by the DOL

Abstract: As the use of robo-advisers to provide investment advice and discretionary management services has become more popular and as related technologies have developed, regulators are beginning to take note. Robo-advisers should consider their legal responsibilities under ERISA and the IRS Code in addition to those under the Advisers Act and other applicable law. This 20-page paper provides an in-depth review.

Source: Groom.com, August 2017

Redesigning the Audit Reporting Model for ERISA Plan Financial Statements

Abstract: The Auditing Standards Board created a special task force in 2015 to consider a proposal to improve the quality of employee benefit plan audits by strengthening the EBP auditors' report. The Chief Accountant of the Department of Labor requested the ASB enhance the ERISA plan audit report to provide better insight regarding the scope of the responsibilities of management and the auditor.

Source: Belfint.com, August 2017

Does Your Investment Policy Statement Have Gaps?

Abstract: If your IPS has problems or gaps, they can create legal problems, but it is not too late to fix them. Your IPS should be reviewed regularly for needed changes. Here are some red flags.

Source: 401ktv.com, August 2017

How to Guard Benefits Plans From Cyberattacks

Abstract: Cyberattacks -- including incidents of ransomware -- are making headlines almost daily. Because employee health and retirement plans are often top targets, HR professionals should take precautions to defend against these assaults, especially since breaches can also result in penalties and fines.

Source: Shrm.org, August 2017

Fiduciary Rule Best Interest Requirements: Creditor Protection in ERISA Plans

Abstract: The DOL states that financial advisors need to determine the client's individual needs and circumstances. If they are an investor with debt or in a position that predisposes them to debt, that affects their suitability for a rollover into an IRA.

Source: Rixtrema.com, August 2017

403b Plans Improving Plan Design

Abstract: In a survey of 608 nonprofit organizations conducted by the Plan Sponsor Council of America, the council found these nonprofits are making improvements to their 403b plans, particularly with respect to auto-plan features.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

Fiduciary Rule Requirements Disrupting Annuity Market

Abstract: Many annuity providers argue they won't be able to meet the best-interest contract exemption (BICE) requirements, because of the commission-focused distribution structures of fixed-indexed annuities. Therefore, many could turn to fee-based products.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

More 403b Plans Offering Target-Date Funds as QDIA

Abstract: Target-date funds grew in popularity among 403b plans last year as more plans offered this option as a qualified default investment alternative, according to a report just issued.

Source: Pionline.com, August 2017

Corporate DC Plans Report Flat Fees

Abstract: NEPC published the results of its 12th Annual Defined Contribution Plan and Fee Survey, which looks at trends in the management of America's employee-fueled retirement plans. For the first time since 2010, the results show that recordkeeping, trust and custody fees bucked the longstanding trend of declining year-over-year and remained flat.

Source: Nepc.com, August 2017

Excessive Fee Suit Alleges Fiduciary "Abdication"

Abstract: A new excessive fee suit claims that plan fiduciaries "abdicated" their responsibilities, allowing the plans' trustee "to lard the Plans with high-cost mutual funds."

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2017

Expense Ratios for DC Plans Stall Out at a New Low

Abstract: For years, fees on investments in workplace retirement savings plans have been falling. Now, at least for the moment, they're stalling. But there's room for improvement in plan options, and look out for new fees creeping in.

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

Harnessing Behavioral Economics to Reinvent Employee Education

Abstract: Education in its current form does not work and a radically new approach is needed. An approach that incorporates behavioral economics and visually disruptive and intuitive design.

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

Four Reasons You Should Never, Ever Take a 401k Loan

Abstract: While it can theoretically seem like a smart financial move to use that money to pay off high-interest debt, put down a down payment on a house, or fulfill another immediate need, you should resist the urge and leave your 401k cash right where it is. Here are four big reasons why you should leave the money in your 401k alone so you don't have major regrets later.

Source: Cnn.com, August 2017

Retirement Plan Investment Lineup Construction for Future Markets

Abstract: With all of the attention paid to retirement plan fees and the associated lawsuits, plan sponsors and their retirement plan committees tend to be very focused on ensuring that plan investments provide consistent long-term performance, are competitively priced, and offer good diversification. However, potential concern over future market returns has led some plan sponsors to plan for new investment lineup construction that will respond to the changing market conditions.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, August 2017

Why Most Participant Communication Is Horribly Ineffective; and What You Can Do About It

Abstract: Whether witty, entertaining, simplistic, or dramatic, plan sponsors should take steps to ensure their retirement communication is engaging for participants. Otherwise, the message, no matter how well-constructed, will be lost.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, August 2017

New Report Highlights 403b Retirement Plan Trends

Abstract: nonprofit organizations surveyed saw noticeable improvements in investment selections and auto-plan design features, such as increased default deferrals. The percentage of plans with a default deferral rate of more than 3 percent increased from 21.6 percent to 34 percent. In addition, organizations saw average employer contributions increase to 5 percent, up from 4.7 percent in 2015.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2017

DOL Again Signals Death of Fiduciary Rule's Arbitration Ban

Abstract: A legal challenge to the fiduciary rule's anti-arbitration provision will "likely be mooted in the near future," the Department of Labor told a federal district court.

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

DOL Makes "Moot" Point in Fiduciary Litigation

Abstract: In a written response to a judge in litigation involving the fiduciary rule's anti-arbitration provision, the Labor Department says the provision will "likely be mooted in the near future."

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

DOL Withdraws Rule Requiring Fee Disclosure Guide

Abstract: The DOL has announced that it is withdrawing a rule requiring that employers provide a guide or similar material along with fee disclosures. The Obama administration had issued a notice of proposed rulemaking about the requirement on March 12, 2014.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

Tibble and Class Action Plaintiffs Win Round Two

Abstract: Members of plan investment committees have an affirmative duty to monitor the investment performance of offered fund investments and in addition monitor fees charged against the Plan assets which impact the ultimate return to the participants. This is an ongoing fiduciary duty and that selection of fund managers and Plan investment options is not a "set and forget" decision.

Source: Benefitsnotes.com, August 2017

What Is Revenue Sharing and How Does It Work?

Abstract: There are a few ways to pay for retirement plan administrative fees. A popular method is called revenue sharing. This approach allows service providers, based on the plan sponsor's election, to collect all or a portion of the plan administrative fees implicitly through the plan's investment options.

Source: Principal.com, August 2017

401k DCIOs: Some Are Folding, Holding, and Doubling Down

Abstract: It behooves plan advisers to pay attention to their asset-management partners, because advisers rely on them for marketing and practice management support and guidance.

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

Major Developments in Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: There are two recent developments regarding the DOL fiduciary advisor regulation, sometimes known as the conflict-on-interest regulation (the Fiduciary Rule).

Source: Erisapedia.com, August 2017

Standing and Plausibility in ERISA

Abstract: A district court in New York has held that a plaintiff cannot assert claims against a plan in which she did not participate and cannot assert claims of fiduciary breach without plausible allegations of wrongdoing.

Source: Erisa-employeebenefitslitigationblog.com, August 2017

Edison Hit With $7.5m Judgment in Long-Running 401k Suit

Abstract: Edison International must pay more than $7.5 million to compensate employees for its decision to include high-fee retail share mutual funds in its 401k plan when identical institutional share classes were available at lower cost.

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

Re-Enrolling the Enrolled

Abstract: Employers who hope to positively impact their worker's lives in retirement know they have a few levers to pull. Getting as many employees as possible into the plan is an obvious step, as is increasing deferral rates, and including the best investment options possible. But what if you achieve all three objectives through thoughtful plan design and investment selection, yet your employees don't invest properly?

Source: Alliant401k.com, August 2017

Retirement Savings: Why Hedging Inflation Is Important

Abstract: Inflation has been calm for so long that many retirement investors have overlooked its potentially corrosive effects. But for defined contribution plan portfolios designed to last decades, inflation remains one of the greatest potential risks, making inflation-hedging assets critical.

Source: Pimco.com, August 2017

Everything You Wanted to Know About BICE but Were Afraid to Ask

Abstract: The best-interest contract exemption (BICE) is part of a large regulatory package with quickly approaching deadlines for compliance. BICE rules are important to plan sponsors and something they need to start considering in their interactions with plan vendors. This 8-page article is designed to heighten awareness to assist plan sponsors in fulfilling their fiduciary duties.

Source: Ifebp.org, August 2017

How to Build a Better TDF

Abstract: The DC industry has devoted tremendous amounts of time and effort to improve the likelihood of successful retirement outcomes. But, much like the ancient Roman goddess Fortuna capriciously interfering in the lives of mortals, random economic and market forces largely drive retirement outcomes.

Source: Callan.com, August 2017

At Small Phoenix Company, 401k Plan Is Taken Seriously

Abstract: Small employers rarely can afford to offer traditional pensions and often struggle in crafting a worthwhile 401k program, but it can be done. Norman S. Wright Co., a Phoenix company that represents air-conditioning manufacturers in dealing with contractors, is an example.

Source: Usatoday.com, August 2017

Adding Sustainable and Responsible Investing Options to DC Plans

Abstract: This 12-page step-by-step guide assists plan sponsors considering the addition of a sustainable, responsible and impact investing option to a defined contribution retirement plan.

Source: Ussif.org, August 2017

Is There an Optimal Strategy for Withdrawing Funds From a 401k

Abstract: Conventional wisdom tells us to maximize our contributions to a 401k account and to grow the balance as much as possible for retirement. However, we may not have considered the decumulation side of retirement income.

Source: Seekingalpha.com, August 2017

ETFs Are Hot Everywhere but Workplace Retirement Plans

Abstract: Of the $5 trillion in assets in company-sponsored 401k plans, two-thirds are held in mutual funds, the ICI says. ETF assets, meanwhile, are a mere fraction of the pool left over, with the exact percentage not tracked publicly. So why are so few ETFs offered in workplace retirement plans?

Source: Reuters.com, August 2017

Key Rules for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries

Abstract: This is a high level overview of some of the rules that beneficiaries must follow to help preserve the tax-deferred status of inherited retirement account, and avoid penalties.

Source: Retirementdictionary.com, August 2017

Fuzzy on Fiduciary Compliance

Abstract: Today the industry is left in a somewhat confusing spot, given that an anti-regulation Republican is in the White House and in command of the agency supposed to enforce the new fiduciary rule, a rule still not even fully in effect, as the applicability dates for various provisions stretch well into 2018.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

Tibble's Trials Near the End With a Win

Abstract: Nearly a decade to the day that Glenn Tibble, William Bauer, William Izral, Henry Runowiecki, Frederik Sohadolc, and Hugh Tinman, Jr. filed their excessive fee class action known as Tibble v. Edison, they may be nearing the conclusion of a case that has gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court and back.

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2017

Anticipating Delay to Fiduciary Rule, BDs and RIAs Change Course

Abstract: Broker-dealers and registered investment advisers are pivoting in the wake of news that the DOL is likely to get a lengthy delay in the implementation date of its fiduciary rule. While strategies and mechanisms put in place thus far will largely remain intact, according to analysts and executives, firms are gearing up to halt ones that had been deferred or haven't yet materialized.

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

State Retirement Plans March Forward

Abstract: States are working to bring retirement-savings plans to residents who lack them. Fans and foes alike say the endeavors will likely end up scrutinized in court, as detractors contend the programs violate federal pension laws.

Source: Barrons.com, August 2017

Report Finds Participant Account Balance Size Influences 401k Plan Fees

Abstract: According to a new report published by the authors of 401k Averages Book, the size of a 401k plan's average participant account balance will influence the amount of fees they pay.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2017

Participants Do Not Factor Tax Rates Into Retirement Savings Decisions

Abstract: Researchers found that although education increased participants' use of expected tax-rate changes in their plan choices, participants continued to display an economically "irrational" preference for pre-tax deferrals over Roth deferrals.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

Majority of Small Businesses Do Not Offer Retirement, Health Benefits

Abstract: The majority of small- to mid-sized businesses do not offer health, retirement or other ancillary benefits, Paychex found in a survey of 318 such companies. Only 38% offer such benefits.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

Are You Overlooking Required RMD Beginning Dates?

Abstract: Required minimum distributions are a small but important part of retirement plans. Failure to start making them on time can lead to problems for employers and plan participants. If you're a plan administrator, you hold the responsibility of ensuring the first RMD is made in time to fulfill this requirement.

Source: Penchecks.com, August 2017

How to Select the Right TDF for a 401k Plan

Abstract: The promise of TDFs is that they are designed to protect investor assets from the risk of large losses stemming from inadequate or improper portfolio diversification. For advisers, this is directly aligned with the obligation under ERISA to protect assets. For participants, the funds simplify investment decisions. But simply choosing any TDF won't do, because there are underlying risks of choosing the "wrong" TDF relative to other available options.

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

What Ranks as the Top Retirement Worry?

Abstract: Is ignorance fueling participants' retirement paranoia? Americans rank inflation as their main economic worry, yet wildly overestimate the rate of inflation itself, according to a new survey from Allianz Life. Respondents predicted an average increase of 4.4 percent per year, with a third believing the cost of living would increase between 5 percent and 10 percent per year.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, August 2017

Get-Out-of-DOL-Rule-Jail Card for Those Who Dabble in 401k Business?

Abstract: Without recent guidance, 401k specialists were set to devour one-off accounts held by brokers but new DOL rule guidance offers well-lit path to build toward a far larger 401k practice.

Source: Riabiz.com, August 2017

Major Developments in Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: There are two recent developments regarding the DOL fiduciary advisor regulation, sometimes known as the conflict-on-interest regulation.

Source: Relius.net, August 2017

Many DC Plan Sponsors Must Annually "Notice" Their Participants

Abstract: Sponsors of DC plans with certain features are required to provide annual notices to participants. This chart summarizes the annual notice requirements for each of these notices, including timing, recipients, contents, and methods of delivery. Some plan designs may require multiple notices and some of the notices may be combined or packaged together in one mailing.

Source: Prudential.com, August 2017

Infographic: Top Re-Enrollment Misperceptions

Abstract: Re-enrollment may help put participants on the path to better retirement outcomes, but some common misperceptions could be preventing plan sponsors from leveraging this strategy. This infographic explores the top four re-enrollment misperceptions.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, August 2017

ERISA (7th Circuit): Are ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clauses Enforceable?

Abstract: ERISA gives plan beneficiaries a choice on where to bring suit seeking ERISA benefits. Section 1132(e)(2) allows plan beneficiaries to bring suit "in the district where the plan is administered, where the breach took place, or where a defendant resides or may be found." But what happens when the plan has a forum-selection clause? Are forum selection clauses enforceable?

Source: Boomerisablog.com, August 2017

Debt Regret Fuels Financial Stress, Finds New Retirement Study

Abstract: A new survey from Schwab Retirement Plan Services reveals that everyday money matters are dramatically impacting the lives and retirement saving efforts of Americans. The nationwide survey of 1,000 workers with access to a 401k plan -- half of whom are actively contributing to it and half of whom are not -- reveals that non-savers are increasingly challenged by day-to-day financial stresses, compounded especially by credit card debt.

Source: Aboutschwab.com, August 2017

DC Plan Sponsors: Fiduciary Matters Matter

Abstract: The DOL has cut financial advisors some slack in getting ready to comply with its new fiduciary rule. But DC plan sponsors don't have the same luxury. That's because plan sponsors have been subject to ERISA. Based on the results of ABG's latest survey, many don't know it.

Source: Abglobal.com, August 2017

401k World Is About to Change - Are You Ready?

Abstract: As a result of technology and new laws, the small and mid-size 401k and 403b market is about to go through even more dramatic changes than after the 2006 Pension Protection Act which spawned the growth of auto enrollment, auto escalation and target date funds.

Source: 401ktv.com, August 2017

Seventh Circuit Upholds ERISA Plan's Forum Selection Clause

Abstract: In a mandamus petition involving an issue of first impression, the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that ERISA's venue provision did not invalidate a forum selection clause in an ERISA-governed health plan.

Source: Westlaw.com, August 2017

Deloitte White Paper on the DOL Fiduciary Rule: Response and Impact

Abstract: The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association engaged Deloitte to facilitate a study with 21 SIFMA member firms to understand and analyze the realized and potential impacts of the DOL's Fiduciary Rule on retirement investors and financial institutions. Report is 29-pages.

Source: Sifma.org, August 2017

The Case for Custom Target-Date Funds

Abstract: The increase in the use of custom TDFs by defined contribution plans has been significant. This 4-page paper explains why plan fiduciaries should consider custom TDFs when selecting the investment options for a 401k plan.

Source: Ipbtax.com, August 2017

Mitigate Qualified Domestic Relations Order Risk With Best Practices

Abstract: While QDRO administration can be problematic and time intensive, ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code clearly outline the obligations of a plan administrator regarding QDROs for qualified retirement plans. These obligations must be met by all plan sponsors.

Source: Findleydavies.com, August 2017

Do 401k Managed Accounts Live Up to All the Hype?

Abstract: Offering employees professionally managed accounts in a 401k plan might seem to be an excellent option, as this service seeks to provide an investment mix customized to individual needs and goals while increasing the odds of saving enough money for retirement. But managed accounts present challenges and concerns that both plan sponsors and participants should fully understand.

Source: Shrm.org, August 2017

October 1 401k Safe Harbor Deadline Gets Closer

Abstract: If you want to set up a new Safe Harbor 401k plan for 2017, it has to be done by October 1.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, August 2017

New Conflict of Interest FAQs Address 408b-2 Disclosure Transition Period

Abstract: The 408(b)(2) FAQ will allow some service providers to avoid changing previously provided 408(b)(2) notices and give others additional time to adjust the content of those notices.

Source: Groom.com, August 2017

Fifth Circuit Oral Arguments -- A New Hope for Fiduciary Rule Opponents?

Abstract: During oral argument in Chamber of Commerce v. Acosta, Judge Jones not only peppered both parties with questions that appeared to be largely based on the Chamber of Commerce's briefs, but also raised a new argument about why the Fifth Circuit need not defer to the DOL's analysis. Should Judge Jones and at least one of the other members of the panel side with the Chamber of Commerce, the Fiduciary Rule could be vacated.

Source: Groom.com, August 2017

Five Common Mistakes of Plan Sponsors

Abstract: There are a number of ways plan sponsors can reduce their liability and avoid costly penalties for operational errors. These include conducting a complete review of plan documents and company policies to ensure they are in accord. Here are five common mistakes plan sponsors make.

Source: Bsllp.com, August 2017

Sears Hit With Second Lawsuit Over Company Stock in 401k Plans

Abstract: Sears Holdings was sued for the second time in a month over its decision to retain and continue purchasing its own declining stock as an investment option in the retailer's 401k plans

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

Hardship Distributions: Source Documents vs. Documentation of Self-Certification by Participants

Abstract: The IRS released a Memorandum to its agents setting forth the substantiation they should expect to see for 401k plan hardship distributions issued. The IRS agents were instructed to examine source documents if they are obtained by the employer or third-party administrator, OR to examine the summary of documentation that the hardship distribution recipient will maintain.

Source: Belfint.com, August 2017

Fiduciary Considerations for Plan Sponsors - Evaluating Plan Fees

Abstract: A common theme running through class-action lawsuits filed against plan fiduciaries is the violation caused by not properly understanding and addressing the fees of their 401k plan. The article describes three methods for determining if plan fees are reasonable.

Source: Morganstanleyfa.com, August 2017

DOL Seeks to Delay Fiduciary Rule Until July 2019

Abstract: The Labor Department is seeking to delay implementation of the remaining parts of its fiduciary rule for 18 months. In a brief filed in a Minnesota lawsuit Wednesday, the DOL indicated it had submitted to the Office of Management and Budget a proposal to delay the rule from Jan. 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019. The OMB must review and approve the proposal before it can go into effect.

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

The Positive Impact of Automatic Features

Abstract: Automatic plan features offer numerous benefits. These positive impacts occur amidst a backdrop that surprises many employers: employees favor automatic features and appreciate an employer that utilizes them. This 7-page white paper will help employers to strengthen their commitment through a thoughtful and informed automatic enrollment and escalation structure.

Source: Qualifiedplanadvisors.com, August 2017

Participant Fails to Establish Class Status in Prudential Lawsuit

Abstract: A federal district court judge has denied class action status to an ERISA challenge filed by a retirement plan participant invested in a stable value product offered by Prudential. The denial of the class certification motion goes into some detail regarding what it takes to establish class standing under ERISA.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

Why Some 403bs May Delay Form 5500 Filing

Abstract: Many retirement plan sponsors, including 403b plan sponsors, file an extension of time to file their Form 5500s. This article discusses the two primary reasons.

Source: Plansponsor.com, August 2017

Robo-Advisers: More Complex Than They May Appear

Abstract: The article analyzes the growing trend of investment firms including robo-advisers as part of their service offerings. The SEC's Information Guidance and Investor Alert from February 2017 indicated that "robo-advisers, like all registered investment advisers, are subject to the substantive and fiduciary obligations of the Advisers Act." The article provides insight into the challenges robo-advisers face in terms of compliance with disclosure requirements, fiduciary obligations and other regulatory responsibilities.

Source: Kattenlaw.com, August 2017

These Five Retirement Issues Brought Out the Lobbyists

Abstract: Five hot-button issues in retirement policy were at the forefront of lobbying efforts in the second quarter of 2017, Bloomberg Government data show. They were the fiduciary rule, multiemployer reform, retirement issues relevant to tax reform, repeal of state retirement plans, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums.

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

Revenue Sharing: What's the Right Way to Apply It in a 401k Plan?

Abstract: Revenue sharing became an industry concern as technology advanced in the late 1990's. It comes in various forms or names. To understand the question of how to apply revenue sharing in a 401k plan, first we must examine what revenue sharing really is, what form it takes and how it is commonly applied.

Source: Unifiedtrust.com, August 2017

Pro-Rata Participant Fees and Fee Transparency: A Recordkeeper's Conundrum

Abstract: As 401k fees are being challenged in excessive fee lawsuits, and participants are, rightfully, checking their accounts and verifying their fees, it is prudent to have fees that are fair and transparent.

Source: Rpgconsultants.com, August 2017

Seven Ways a Fiduciary Can Follow "Procedural Prudence"

Abstract: "Procedural Prudence" is not a new concept. It underlies one of ERISA's bedrock requirements. A fiduciary must discharge their duties prudently with care, skill, and diligence. It's the process by which a fiduciary can accomplish this. Here are seven practical considerations for fiduciaries to shore up their defenses and improve their governance practices.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, August 2017

Begin Working on 2018 401k Plan Changes Now

Abstract: If you intend to review your 401k plan fees and/or providers this year, now is the time to get started. Most plan sponsors who decide to make 401k plan changes like to have those new features in place by January 1 of the new plan year. Here are a few things to consider.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, August 2017

Easing Into the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: The latest set of FAQs affirms that participant communications specifically encouraging larger plan contributions -- at specific individualized levels -- are not fiduciary in nature as long as investment recommendations are not specified. In addition, the FAQs provide helpful advice to new plan fiduciaries about fee disclosure responsibilities.

Source: Conduent.com, August 2017

Are We Ready to Fund Retirement From DC Plans?

Abstract: DC plans have been focused on the accumulation of assets for retirement, and the DC industry has spent considerable effort to improve investment offerings, control costs, encourage participation, and streamline the technology of the participant's interaction with the plan. But what about the distribution of accumulated savings to retirees?

Source: Callan.com, August 2017

Taking a Risk-Based Approach to Evaluating Target-Date Funds

Abstract: How can plan sponsors objectively assess the merits of a glide path and its affect on plan members? The once-popular method of comparing funds based on their equity percentage method doesn't do justice to what really matters to plan members: retirement outcomes.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, August 2017

401k Saving Harder at Lower Incomes

Abstract: Our 401k retirement system doesn't work as well for lower- and middle-income workers as it does for those at the top. That's because they face more severe headwinds in pursuit of their retirement goals, concludes a new study.

Source: Bc.edu, August 2017

What Hitchcock v. Cumberland Means for Plan Fiduciaries

Abstract: Earlier this year, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the participants in a university's pension plan do not have to exhaust administrative remedies before they pursue claims of ERISA violations. A recent blog entry discusses what this ruling means for plan fiduciaries.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

New Jersey Considers 403(b) Disclosure Bill

Abstract: A bill that would require new disclosures in New Jersey, A5151, has been filed by Assemblywoman Amy Handlin, the Deputy Republican Leader of the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2017

Survey Says Large Plans Nervous About Roth Mandate

Abstract: A CIEBA survey of larger plan sponsors finds most concerned about the potential participant response to a mandated shift to Roth tax treatment in 401k plans.

Source: Napa-net.org, August 2017

Checklist for Strengthening Your Defenses to 401k Plan Class Actions

Abstract: It is in the interest of plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries to take all reasonable steps to head off claims quickly if they are asserted. The following checklist is offered as a non-exclusive guide for those purposes.

Source: Jdsupra.com, August 2017

The Often Overlooked Fiduciary "Gotcha"

Abstract: The author wonders "why more plaintiffs' attorneys, plan sponsors and other investment fiduciaries have not fully utilized the cost-consciousness 'blueprint' that the Restatement provides in drafting pleading and addressing potential liability exposure based on alleged breaches of a fiduciary's duties of loyalty and/or prudence."

Source: Iainsight.wordpress.com, August 2017

Arch Coal Beats ERISA Lawsuit Over Company Stock in 401k Plan

Abstract: Arch Coal defeated a lawsuit by employees accusing it of failing to divest their 401k plan of the company's stock during a three-year period when its value declined from $680 to $1.42 per share.

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

Improving Participant Communications

Abstract: It's always been important to communicate effectively with plan participants. Not to mention that law and regulation set certain bottom lines for performing that function. A recent paper offers some insights on how those communications can be improved based on current circumstances.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

MyRA Phase-Out Clips a State-Run Auto-IRA Program

Abstract: The U.S. Treasury's winding down of the myRA program will cause at least one state-run retirement program to delay its opening.

Source: Asppa.org, August 2017

Maximize Your Auto-Enrollment 401k Plan

Abstract: More and more companies have started automatically enrolling employees in their organization's retirement plan unless they specifically opt out. While the change has resulted in more workers saving for retirement -- that's a good thing -- leaving the contribution amount and investment mix of your retirement savings up to your employer may not be a great idea.

Source: Usnews.com, August 2017

Questions Employers Should Ask About Stable Value Funds

Abstract: Stable value investments have been a core investment option in defined contribution retirement plans since the 1970s and are an attractive alternative to money market investments due to steady returns and principal preservation guarantees. This article suggests 11 questions employers should ask about stable value funds.

Source: Strategicbenefitservices.com, August 2017

Plan Design Can Help Participants Get the Full Company Match

Abstract: Advisers can help retirement plan sponsors design their plans and financial wellness programs to get participants to defer enough to receive the company's matching contribution.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

The Hardship of Administering 401k Plan Hardship Withdrawals

Abstract: Many employers contract with a third-party administrator or platform vendor to administer the hardship application and approval process. But, even if outsourced, employers are the ones at risk of tax liabilities or plan disqualification if the process is not consistent with the very limited authority for early distributions on account of hardship contained in the Code and related regulations.

Source: Frostbrowntodd.com, August 2017

Comparison Across Two Generations of 401k Savers in Their 20s Shows Contrast in Asset Allocations

Abstract: The asset allocations of 401k retirement plan savers in their 20s at the end of 2015 differed significantly from the allocations of 401k participants in their 20s in the mid-1990s, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Source: Ebri.org, August 2017

401k Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2015

Abstract: EBRI and ICI released "401k Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2015." Since 1996, the Employee Benefit Research Institute and the Investment Company Institute have worked together on collecting and analyzing annual data on millions of 401k plan participants' accounts. This report reflects the year-end 2015 update of these data and EBRI's and ICI's ongoing research into 401k plan participants' activity.

Source: Ebri.org, August 2017

New Conflict of Interest FAQ

Abstract: This FAQ provides information on (1) a "fiduciary status disclosure" issue under the DOL's ERISA section 408(b)(2) service provider disclosure regulation that applies to ERISA pension plans, (2) whether recommendations to plan participants and IRA owners to contribute to or increase contributions to a plan or IRA constitute fiduciary investment advice under the Fiduciary Rule, and (3) whether recommendations to employers and other plan fiduciaries on plan design changes intended to increase plan participation and contribution rates constitute fiduciary investment advice under the Fiduciary Rule.

Source: Dol.gov, August 2017

Fiduciary Best Practices for Protecting Your Company

Abstract: Failing to follow best practices may leave a fiduciary personally liable for losses to the plan and result in removal from their duties. There are a number of actions fiduciaries can take to limit potential liability.

Source: Bsllp.com, August 2017

Fidelity Q2 Retirement Analysis: Balances Again Reach Record Levels

Abstract: Fidelity Investments released its quarterly analysis of its 401k and Individual Retirement Accounts. Rising stock markets could lead to overexposure in equities, but target-date funds and managed accounts can help keep investors on track.

Source: Businesswire.com, August 2017

Winning Early Motions to Dismiss Breach of Fiduciary Claims, the Ministerial Defense

Abstract: One argument to use in seeking early dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims is the ministerial defense. The recent case that highlights the point is Turner v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

Source: Boomerisablog.com, August 2017

QDIAs...A Recipe for Fiduciary Protection

Abstract: A Qualified Default Investment Alternative is a provision available to 401k and 403b plans that reduces the potential personal liability of plan fiduciaries while improving the ability of participants to build toward retirement. Since a QDIA offers advantages to plan sponsor and participants alike, one might wonder what would prevent an employer from implementing one.

Source: Alliantwealth.com, August 2017

Penalties Hit ERISA Plans in Spite of CPA Audits

Abstract: The DOL is concerned about the increasing number of deficiencies it sees for plans that receive a CPA's annual financial audit. Mistakes on an ERISA plan's Form 5500 create a nice target for the Internal Revenue Service's auditors, too.

Source: 401ktv.com, August 2017

Four Reasons for 401k Advisors to Partner With TPAs

Abstract: TPAs also help bolster your firm by providing your client confidence and allow you to manage more. Here are four of many reasons why a TPA relationship is beneficial to your firm and your clients.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, August 2017

All About Retirement, An Employer Survey

Abstract: Sixty-nine percent of employers believe that most of their employees could work to age 65 and still not save enough to meet their retirement needs, a disturbing finding given the vital societal role that employers play in helping workers save, plan, and prepare for retirement, according to a study released by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.

Source: Transamericacenter.org, August 2017

Red flags on Form 5500 Alert IRS and DOL to Plan Issues

Abstract: Plan mistakes happen and can generally be corrected, but here's four red flags that the IRS and DOL look for and want to make sure are fully corrected.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, August 2017

Inside View of DOL Fiduciary Rule Arguments Before 5th Circuit

Abstract: Oral arguments in the consolidated case against the DOL and its fiduciary rule reforms were heard Monday morning by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals; ERISA attorney Erin Sweeney offers her take.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

Can States Pick Up DOL Fiduciary Enforcement Slack?

Abstract: There are certainly states that are attempting to do so, but it's unclear whether ERISA's preemption of state law will render their efforts toothless.

Source: Planadviser.com, August 2017

A Procrastinator's Guide to the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: This article is an adapted and updated transcript of the May 17, 2017 FPA Public Policy and Regulation Knowledge Circle presentation, "A Procrastinator's Guide to the DOL Fiduciary Rule" by Steve Niehoff.

Source: Onefpa.org, August 2017

Entrepreneurs & Retirement Plans: Scoping, Selecting & Scaling a Sound Strategy

Abstract: Reviews a few key concepts and then follow the journey of an entrepreneur from a "solopreneur" with an idea or inspiration for a business to experiencing some success, hiring employees, scaling and eventually selling the business and weave in along the way how different retirement plan strategies could potentially support their personal and business goals.

Source: Linkedin.com, August 2017

The Upside-Down 401k World Is About to Change

Abstract: In the next three years, defined contribution plans will go through a transformation, driven by new laws and technology, whereby what is currently customized (plan design, investment menus and fiduciary services) will be mass produced and what is mass produced (participant services) will be customized.

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

More Americans Participate in Retirement Plans, Upsetting Conventional Wisdom

Abstract: Data shows that 63 percent of all workers aged 26 to 64 participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan either directly or through a spouse. The data provide an alternative measure to the most commonly cited data on retirement plan participation.

Source: Ici.org, August 2017

Fiduciary Rule Change Delay Results in No Changes

Abstract: This rule has been a topic of debate and was recently delayed in order to make potential amendments. All the anticipation as to what actions the new administration might take during this time extension was for naught.

Source: Frenkelbenefits.com, August 2017

Regulatory Burdens Threatening Retirement Plans

Abstract: The ERISA Industry Committee submitted comments to the Department of Treasury outlining ways to reduce regulatory burdens for retirement plans. "It is imperative that regulations do not create uncertainty or introduce new risks that can drive plan sponsors further away from offering important and meaningful retirement benefits."

Source: Eric.org, August 2017

I'm Not a Fiduciary -- It's That Other Guy

Abstract: We are stuck at 43%. A 2017 DC plan survey by J.P. Morgan indicates that there has been no improvement in this percentage of corporate plan decision-makers who don't understand that they are fiduciaries. Seventeen percent even thought that they could pass on all of their fiduciary responsibilities to third parties such as their provider, recordkeeper, or investment adviser.

Source: Cohenbuckmann.com, August 2017

Voluntary Compliance Program Fees

Abstract: The following general fees apply to single submissions involving qualified retirement plans established under IRC 401(a) or IRC 403(b).

Source: Boutwellfay.com, August 2017

Reliance Escapes Lawsuit Over SandRidge's 401k Stock Losses

Abstract: Reliance Trust isn't liable for the losses suffered by SandRidge Energy employees who invested their retirement savings in the natural gas company's stock as it declined into bankruptcy, a federal court ruled.

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

Target Defeats Challenge Over Company Stock in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: Target Corp. defeated a lawsuit by employees challenging the retailer's decision to allow company stock in its 401(k) plan despite allegedly knowing its value was artificially inflated because of its now-defunct Canada operations.

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

Avoid Getting Sheared by Revenue Sharing

Abstract: One of the most common approaches to recordkeeping fee payment is revenue sharing. It's not easy to track investment revenue shared with 401k plan recordkeepers, but fiduciaries must.

Source: Amazonaws.com, August 2017

The Shift From Recordkeeper Proprietary Target-Date Funds to Nonproprietary Solutions

Abstract: Competition is crowded in the target-date market today. The number of target-date providers has risen 16% from five years ago, as more and more asset managers started offering new target-date solutions. About 78 firms offer more than 139 different target-date fund series today.

Source: Abglobal.com, August 2017

RFP for Target-Date Funds? It's a Good Idea

Abstract: Although target-date funds may be very popular, they are widely misunderstood. TDFs must be prudently selected and have reasonable fees to satisfy the DOL's default investment safe harbor and analyzing them isn't easy.

Source: 401ktv.com, August 2017

401k Plans Sponsors Reject Proprietary Fund Products

Abstract: Study reveals a dramatically shifting target-date landscape where recordkeepers who offer their own target-date funds are losing share of assets on their own platforms as plan sponsors are increasingly choosing funds from other providers.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, August 2017

New Challengers Take Aim at Leaders in 401k Market

Abstract: Three firms -- American Funds, Empower Retirement and Voya -- are giving Fidelity Investments and Vanguard a run for their money in the 401k market.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, August 2017

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