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October 2016 Digest

This digest contains a wide variety of source material dealing with current trends, opinion, news, legislative action, investments, marketing, sales, consulting, and legal issues regarding 401k 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.

Use the SEARCH feature to located specific items from this digest and from our ARCHIVE.


Technology-Committed Firms See a Lot to Like in DOL Fiduciary FAQ

Abstract: Attorneys and executives working for robo advice technology providers suggest the DOL fiduciary rule -- as enumerated by the new FAQ publication -- paves the way for their approach to succeed.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Could Curtail Providers' Communications With Participants

Abstract: Broadridge looks at the new fiduciary rule's "far-reaching implications for the retirement plan participant experience" and how to avoid pitfalls.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Plan Sponsors Look to Providers for Support

Abstract: Plan sponsors are focused on cost reduction more than ever and cite plan administration fees as the top reason for switching recordkeepers. However, despite the demand for cost containment, significantly more plan sponsors indicate that adequately preparing participants for retirement is a top three area of focus for 2016.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2016

The Evolutionary Fiduciary

Abstract: Recent changes from the DOL are giving many financial professionals added responsibilities to act as ERISA-like fiduciaries. In this 3-minute video, Shelby George, JD, CEBS breaks down the new rule, its three main influencers, and offers advice on how best to evolve in this new environment.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, October 2016

The Power of Combining Plans

Abstract: If your goal is to maximize the retirement benefits provided through qualified plans sponsored by your company as well as to potentially skew benefits in favor of a specific group of employees or give disparate benefits to different groups of employees, a plan design that should be considered is to combine a 401k/Profit Sharing plan with a Cash Balance Plan.

Source: Legacyrsllc.com, October 2016

How to Pick Your Retirement Plan Providers

Abstract: Selecting a provider must be done through an actual process where you review potential providers in each area -- administration, financial advisory, ERISA attorney and auditors -- before choosing one and documenting the entire method of selection. This article is about what you should consider in deciding on a retirement plan provider.

Source: Jdsupra.com, October 2016

Retirement Plan Participants Remain Committed to Saving

Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through defined contribution plans during the first half of this year, according to ICI's latest study of retirement plan savers' actions.

Source: Ici.org, October 2016

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries -- Fall-Out From DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Abstract: Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. This article summarizes recent enforcement and regulatory developments thought to be primarily responsible for this re-examination, as well as responses that are reportedly being proposed or considered by intermediaries with respect to mutual fund sales charges and share class structures.

Source: Dechert.com, October 2016

Deciding between a Traditional 401k or Roth 401k

Abstract: The obvious answer is "it depends." However, in the majority of cases the author suggests recommending not doing just the traditional 401k or just the Roth 401k, but a combination of the two.

Source: Brightscope.com, October 2016

IRS Issues Draft Form 5500-EZ for 2016 Reporting

Abstract: The IRS has issued a draft of the Form 5500-EZ to be used by one-participant retirement plans for 2016 information reporting.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

Is There a Participant/Plan Sponsor Disconnect on Retirement Income?

Abstract: Survey authors suggest that the lack of retirement income solutions may actually result from sponsors not believing there is sufficient participant interest in a solution, since that among plans without a retirement income solution, only 26% believe participants would have interest in one.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

DOL FAQs on Fiduciary Conflict-of-Interest Regulations

Abstract: The DOL has issued anticipated additional guidance on its final conflict-of-interest (fiduciary definition) regulations. This guidance is in frequently-asked-question (FAQ) format.

Source: Ascensus.com, October 2016

The Unfortunate Truth About Your SPDs

Abstract: The idea behind Summary Plan Descriptions is simple and straightforward: to provide plan participants with an easily understood overview of the benefits a plan provides and how the plan operates. In reality, SPDs generally are not easily understood by the average participant. Litigation has changed the original focus of the SPD from being a clear and concise summary of benefits to being an extensive and legalistic enumeration of a plan's provisions. This article offers some suggestions on how to make them clearer.

Source: Bpsm.com, October 2016

2016 Retirement Plan Adviser Survey

Abstract: Survey questions pertained to the size and scope of advisers' qualified plan business, practice management, compensation and client service, as well as their assessments of investment managers, mutual funds and defined contribution providers. A total of 601 retirement plan advisers complete responses.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Prime Money Market Fund Exodus Slowing

Abstract: Prime money fund managers have begun to revert back to more normal portfolio management strategies following money fund reform implementation, as outflows from prime funds have stabilized, according to the latest Fitch Ratings Money Fund Reform Dashboard.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Conflict of Interest Exemptions FAQs Released

Abstract: This DOL FAQ provides additional guidance on application of the exemptions' terms. This guidance, like the Rule and related exemptions, is generally limited to advice concerning investments in IRAs, ERISA-covered plans, and other plans covered by section 4975(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Source: Dol.gov, October 2016

401k and Retirement Plan Limits for the Tax Year 2017 Announced

Abstract: The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2017.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Retirement Income Disclosure: No Reason for Further Delay

Abstract: How long would it take the Department of Labor to change a light bulb? Several years, judging by progress on the even simpler task of mandating standardized lifetime retirement income disclosure for defined contribution pension arrangements.

Source: Russellinvestments.com, October 2016

DC Plans in Review: A Quarterly Briefing for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: This 54-page quarterly review is designed to help CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers, Human Resource and Benefits Professionals and Investment Committees stay abreast of recent events that could have an impact on plans or plan participants. It includes a summary of new and pending legislation, news out of the DOL and other regulatory bodies, and an update on high-profile ERISA cases.

Source: Rackcdn.com, October 2016

As DC Industry Shifts, Trust Becomes More Critical

Abstract: According to research by Cogent Reports with DC plan advisors, trust is a more critical factor than ever when deciding which investment manager they work with.

Source: Napa-net.org, October 2016

Excessive Fee Litigation

Abstract: Over the past decade, more than 75 lawsuits have been commenced alleging claims of "excessive fees" with regards to DC plans. While the suits initially focused on large, company-sponsored plans, they have since expanded to sponsors of smaller plans and even non-profits. In most cases, these excessive fee lawsuits can be broken down into three categories outlined here.

Source: Groom.com, October 2016

Five Signs You're Working With the Wrong 401k Recordkeeper

Abstract: While your 401k recordkeeper works in the background to support your plan, the role of the recordkeeper is a critical one and supports many building blocks to your plan and gives you and your participants the freedom to access your money easily. For a quick check on whether you have the right recordkeeper for your plan, review the five signs outlined in this article.

Source: Forusall.com, October 2016

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the DOL's Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: In this Proskauer Rose LLP update on the litigation challenging the U.S. Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule, they note that there has been a sixth lawsuit filed and oral arguments in two other cases.

Source: Erisapracticecenter.com, October 2016

Using Public Policy to Create IRA Irony

Abstract: By creating a "safe harbor" that allows states to mandate payroll deduction IRAs for these workers, the DOL fails to provide the protections afforded by ERISA to participants in these State-sponsored IRA plans. The irony is patent: IRAs are important enough to be caught within the gambit of ERISA's fiduciary rule, but large state plans using IRAs can otherwise avoid the myriad of other ERISA protections.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, October 2016

Owner/Trustee of 401k Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Abstract: A class action complaint was recently filed against the owner of the Emerald Coast Eye Institute. The two plaintiffs allege that they were terminated because of complaining to the owner and Plan Trustee about breaches of fiduciary duty with respect to the 401k Plan resulting in losses and damages over $1 million.

Source: Benefitsnotes.com, October 2016

The Next 10 Years Will Be Ugly for 401ks

Abstract: It doesn't seem like much to ask for -- a 5% return. But the odds of making even that on traditional investments in the next 10 years are slim, according to a new report from investment advisory firm Research Affiliates.

Source: Benefitnews.com, October 2016

Three Retirement Plan Head-Scratchers

Abstract: People often say that getting started is the hardest part. But, when it comes to saving for retirement, sometimes the decisions that come after enrolling in your employer's plan can be as difficult as making that initial choice to save. Here are three choices facing many retirement plan participants and ideas on how to think about them.

Source: Amazonaws.com, October 2016

DOL Changes the Landscape: How Will the New Fiduciary Rules Affect Plan Sponsors?

Abstract: Since the DOL issued new rules that go into effect on April 10, 2017, regarding the fiduciary status for purposes of providing investment advice to plans and participants, many plan sponsors have questions about the impact of these new fiduciary rules on them. Plan sponsors should be mindful of how the new fiduciary rules will affect them before the rules go into effect.

Source: Alston.com, October 2016

First Set of FAQs on Fiduciary Rule Coming 'Very Soon': DOL's Borzi

Abstract: The Labor Department is poised to release its first wave of answers to frequently asked questions about its fiduciary rule "very soon," Phyllis Borzi, assistant secretary of labor at the department's Employee Benefits Security Administration, said Tuesday morning. This first set of FAQs will focus on some of the questions that have been raised in connection with the exemptions.

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

2016 Employee Financial Wellness Survey

Abstract: The 2016 edition of PwC's Employee Financial Wellness Survey tracks the financial well-being of full-time employed U.S. adults nationwide. After several years of improvements, this year marks the first time we are seeing a downward slide in many of the key indicators of employee financial wellness. Overall, this year's survey highlights just how fragile the situation is with regard to employees and their personal financial well-being.

Source: Pwc.com, October 2016

Addressing the Most Serious DC Plan Leakage Problem

Abstract: Providers, industry groups and regulators agree efforts are needed to reduce defined contribution retirement plan cash outs.

Source: Plansponsor.com, October 2016

One Size Does Not Fit All DC Sponsors

Abstract: This 12-page white paper investigates the role plan sponsors play in participant retirement readiness. It also explores the plan features and services they are considering to ensure that their participants are adequately prepared for retirement.

Source: Marketstrategies.com, October 2016

Canada's Retirement System Receives 'B' Grade From Global Pension Index

Abstract: Canada's retirement system maintained its score of a 'B' on the 2016 Melbourne Mercer Global Pension Index, indicating a sound structure, many good features and some areas of improvement.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, October 2016

White Outlines EBSA Enforcement Priorities

Abstract: Attorney Nicholas White, a director at Trucker Huss, APC, and member of ASPPA's Government Affairs Committee, outlined EBSA's national and regional enforcement priorities, and shared tips service providers can take to prepare for them.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

Viewpoint: Are 401k Vesting Schedules in Need of an Update?

Abstract: As commendable as it is when younger workers commit to contributing up to the matching percentage or beyond, there is a risk of disenchantment that may dampen their future 401k savings habits when they are, say, a mere 20 percent vested in their matching funds upon departure. The author looks at how might matching and vesting might be revamped.

Source: Shrm.org, October 2016

DOL Ramps Up 401k Plan Provider Exams

Abstract: Regulators are more closely examining companies that serve employers' retirement plans, a sign that there may be harsher enforcement when new fee disclosure rules take effect this summer. Observers say exams are more far-reaching and time consuming.

Source: Reuters.com, October 2016

Money Market Reform Kicks In

Abstract: You may have missed it, but the Securities and Exchange Commission's new regulations on money market funds went into effect last week.

Source: Napa-net.org, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Delay Rumors Are Just That

Abstract: Will the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule be delayed? According to BenefitsPro, there are rumors to that effect, but they likely are nothing more than that.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, October 2016

How Will State-Sponsored Retirement Plans Affect Employer-Sponsored Plans?

Abstract: Many states and even cities are planning to sponsor retirement plans for people who aren't covered at work. Large employers, though not yet directly affected, worry about where the trend may lead.

Source: Hreonline.com, October 2016

Retirement Unreadiness Continues to Plague Women

Abstract: Women continue to face inequality when it comes to retirement readiness, according to T. Rowe Price, which has produced a seven-part series of videos to help women navigate the retirement landscape.

Source: Fa-mag.com, October 2016

IRS Solicits Comments on Facilitating Compliance With Qualified Plan Document Requirements

Abstract: In Announcement 2016-32, in connection with the changes recently made to its determination letter program for qualified retirement plans, the IRS solicits comments on facilitating compliance with the requirements which apply to such plans.

Source: Erisalawyerblog.com, October 2016

IRS Overhauls the Retirement Plan Correction Program

Abstract: With the looming end of the determination letter program as we know it, the IRS has issued an updated Revenue Procedure for the Employee Plans Compliance Resolutions System. Released on September 29, 2016,Rev. Proc. 2016-51 updates the EPCRS procedures, replaces Rev. Proc. 2013-12 and integrates the changes provided in Rev. Proc. 2015-27 and Rev. Proc. 2015-28. Highlights from the new revenue procedure are outlined here.

Source: Benefitsbryancave.com, October 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Won't Help Some 403(b) Retirement Plans

Abstract: Through its fiduciary rule, the Department of Labor is attempting to rein in conflicted investment advice and reduce costs for retirement savers. However, there's a corner of the retirement market plagued by the sort of high fees and sales practices the DOL is attacking that won't be touched by the regulation: public school districts.

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

These Top Law Firms Got the Most ERISA Class Action Biz

Abstract: The latest wave in ERISA class action litigation has seen more than 100 lawsuits brought against a wide range of entities, including financial institutions, universities, religiously affiliated organizations and multinational companies. With this uptick in litigation, it looks like employers are relying more on a small pool of big law and boutique firms to represent their interests.

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

401ks Can Make Loans, Hardship Distributions to Victims of Hurricane Matthew

Abstract: The IRS announced that 401ks and similar employer-sponsored retirement plans can make loans and hardship distributions to victims of Hurricane Matthew and members of their families.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

The Reinvention of Defined Contribution Is Not for the Sake of Plan Sponsors

Abstract: While DC may be less cost-effective than DB, it's more cost-effective than IRAs. As those programs move forward, as open MEPs gain support, and as the reinvention not just of DC but of the whole retirement system continues, plan sponsors are an important stakeholder in the conversation, but there are many others, too.

Source: Russellinvestments.com, October 2016

Asset-Based 401k Admin Fees Are Unreasonable; Fiduciaries Should Avoid Them

Abstract: The problem with 401k providers charging asset-based administration fees is that plan assets have little to do with their level of service, meaning a 401k plan with lots of assets can pay way more than a 401k plan with fewer assets for the same 401k administration services. That's a potential source of liability for 401k fiduciaries with a responsibility to keep 401k fees reasonable.

Source: Employeefiduciary.com, October 2016

How to Choose a 401k Plan Auditor

Abstract: Selecting an auditor is a key aspect of running a plan. Those charged with the task should understand the complexities and risks involved in making the choice.

Source: Cfo.com, October 2016

Getting the Facts Straight About Qualified Plan Loans

Abstract: Is it worth taking a loan from your retirement plan? In short, no. However, it is still important to weigh the options of taking such a loan. This article provides the major pros and cons of taking loans from your employer's retirement plan.

Source: Castlerockinvesting.com, October 2016

401k Advisor Prospecting: What Are Today's Best Resources and Tools?

Abstract: Marketing takes time and work. It's not once and done. It takes dedication and focus to work and to work well. This article talks about three ways to turn curious plan sponsors into clients.

Source: 401k-marketing.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Checklist

Abstract: This 4-page 'checklist' covers areas of review that retirement plan fiduciaries may want to consider when fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities.

Source: Troweprice.com, October 2016

New Retirement Requirements for California Employers

Abstract: Under a recently approved law, some California employers in the private sector will have to offer an estimated 7,000,000 employees an automatic retirement savings arrangement that sends payroll deductions to a state retirement program, if they do not otherwise offer a retirement savings plan or individual retirement account (IRA).

Source: Paulhastings.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Set to Trigger Surge in Fund Reviews

Abstract: A new report claims that the Labor Department's fiduciary rule will cause a surge in mutual funds being reviewed and replaced in defined contribution plans, even before the Jan. 1, 2018 deadline for full compliance.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, October 2016

Roth 401k, Pre-Tax 401k, or Both?

Abstract: 401k plan participants often wonder whether they should contribute their hard-earned money to a Roth 401k or a pre-tax 401k account. Depending on their age and tax bracket, the answer may be both.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, October 2016

Enhancing DC Plan Design

Abstract: This 4-page paper covers steps plan sponsors can take to help improve plan outcomes.

Source: Jpmorgan.com, October 2016

DB to DC Plan Transitions: Thinking Long Term

Abstract: When designing an appropriate DB to DC transition strategy, a plan sponsor must address the Internal Revenue Code coverage and nondiscrimination requirements with their proposed plan design. Meeting these conditions may be relatively easy at the outset, but turnover in the organization over time may result in compliance issues in future years.

Source: Findleydavies.com, October 2016

Plan Forfeitures

Abstract: When a participant terminates employment prior to becoming fully vested in there employers contributions, the unvested portion is forfeited on a date specified by the plan. A plan that does not annually allocate forfeiture amounts may jeopardize its qualified plan status.

Source: Fidelity.com, October 2016

Mapping a Master Plan to DOL Compliance

Abstract: The DOL Conflict of Interest Rule is expected to have the biggest impact on financial services since ERISA was enacted in 1974. This 3-page paper provides a view of what tasks need to be tackled now, by April 10, 2017 when the new standard goes into effect, during the transition period up to the final ruling (April 10th through year-end), and finally what ongoing processes and checkpoints need to be implemented post-DOL after January 1, 2018.

Source: Broadridge.com, October 2016

Deutsche Bank Can't Shake 401k Fee Lawsuit

Abstract: A lawsuit accusing Deutsche Bank of stuffing its 401k plan with high-fee, in-house funds is moving forward after a federal judge largely denied the banking giant's motion to dismiss.

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

What the 403(b) Excessive Fee Lawsuits Do Not Consider

Abstract: Numerous lawsuits have been filed against large universities over alleged excessive investment and recordkeeping fees for their 403(b) plans. These lawsuits are in many ways clones of 401k lawsuits, but they completely disregarding some of the distinctions between the two plan types.

Source: Plansponsor.com, October 2016

DC Plans Ask About Cyber Security Insurance, but Not for Them

Abstract: Defined contribution service providers generally have cyber security insurance when they take on recordkeeping and other duties, but DC plan sponsors themselves are more likely to be lacking such coverage. There is no legal requirement for plan sponsors or service providers to have cyber insurance, but it's best practice.

Source: Pionline.com, October 2016

DC Plans Face Threats to Crucial Data

Abstract: Cyber security issues are not really unique in defined contribution. Hackers are getting smarter and are getting better at decrypting. DC plans need to get smarter overall in protecting online sites like banking and DC portals. But there are specific issues to defined contribution plans when it comes to cyber security.

Source: Pionline.com, October 2016

IRS Provides New Self-Certification Procedure for Accepting Late Rollover Contributions

Abstract: According to Rev. Proc. 2016-47, retirement plan administrators and individual retirement account trustees may now accept late rollover contributions from individuals who self-certify that they qualify for a waiver of the 60-day rollover requirement.

Source: Towerswatson.com, October 2016

DOL Obtains Order to Remove Fiduciary From $2.2mm Employee Savings Plan and Trust

Abstract: The DOL filed a complaint against Horizon NR LLC and Lance Sogan in Ashland, Kentucky. Sogan, the alleged fiduciary to the Horizon NR LLC Employee Savings Plan and Trust, waived his response to the complaint and entered into a consent order and judgment with the court.

Source: Dol.gov, October 2016

A Closer Look at the Form 5500 Modernization Initiative

Abstract: Transparency and accountability are behind the DOL's latest effort to update the Form 5500. At least so say the speakers in ASPPA's recent webcast on the subject.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

Acceptance Building for Collective Investment Trusts and Liquid Alternatives

Abstract: New research from Cerulli finds that CITs and liquid alternatives are gaining momentum for their potential to lower costs and reduce portfolio volatility, but obstacles still remain.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

401k Service Providers and Cyber Security: Questions to Ask

Abstract: 401k plan fiduciaries have an obligation to secure and keep private the personally identifiable information of plan participants and beneficiaries. Part of this essential task is ensuring that plan service providers take cyber security preparedness and plan data protection seriously.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Seen Expanding 401k Plan Assets

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule could swell the assets in 401k plans by discouraging rollovers to individual retirement accounts, according to a recent report from research firm Cerulli Associates.

Source: Treasuryandrisk.com, October 2016

401k Plans Are Popping up at Small Businesses

Abstract: Although the most recent numbers from the U.S. Government Accountability Office show just 14% of small businesses offer 401k plans to employees, small business owners, as well as benefits experts, say such plans are getting easier and easier to offer, while also becoming more important in the competitive recruitment landscape.

Source: Thestreet.com, October 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule Will Trim 401k Advisers' Stable of Recordkeepers

Abstract: Advisers to DC plans will likely trim the number of recordkeeping firms and asset managers they regularly use for DC business because of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule, mainly with an eye to cutting costs, according to a new study by Sway Research.

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

Podcast: Investor Protections Missing From New State-Run Retirement Plans

Abstract: New state-run retirement plans for private-sector employees will be exempt from important investor safeguards. In this podcast, ICI General Counsel David Blass details what workers need to know.

Source: Ici.org, October 2016

How Obamacare Has Raised 401k Plans' Perceived Value

Abstract: The DOL's fiduciary rule could swell the assets in 401k plans by discouraging rollovers to individual retirement accounts, according to a recent report from research firm Cerulli Associates.

Source: Hrmorning.com, October 2016

Hispanic Workers Are Less Likely to Have the Opportunity to Participate in Retirement Plans

Abstract: The lack of access to a 401k makes it hard for Hispanics to prepare for retirement and increases their reliance on Social Security and working in old age. Only a quarter of prime-working-age Hispanic families have retirement account savings and the median balance is just $22,000.

Source: Epi.org, October 2016

Podcast: Cyber Security and 401k Plans: Real or Theoretical Risk?

Abstract: This podcast discusses the evolving world of cyber risk or cyber threats and how they can impact 401k and other employer benefits plans.

Source: 401kfridays.com, October 2016

Is Your 403(b) or 401k Retirement Plan on Autopilot?

Abstract: Over the last several months, plan participants of the 403(b) and 401k plans of many not-for-profit institutions filed class action lawsuits against their respective retirement plans, alleging excessive fees and mismanagement of retirement assets by the plan sponsor. This article suggests plan sponsors of both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations review and ensure they're following best practices outlined here in an effort to meet their fiduciary obligations.

Source: Plantemoran.com, October 2016

Target-Date Fund Glide Path Evaluation: What Really Matters?

Abstract: Given the importance of asset allocation decisions, plan consultants and advisors are increasingly seeing the value in fully understanding the philosophical underpinnings of the wide range of glide path designs available in the marketplace today. This article is intended to highlight key considerations plan fiduciaries may wish to incorporate into their glide path evaluation process.

Source: Manning-Napier.com, October 2016

Legacy Investments in Higher Education: What Is a Plan Sponsor's Responsibility to Participants?

Abstract: Even though a 403(b) sponsor may not have authority to move the legacy assets to a newly offered line-up of more prudently evaluated investments, they do have a responsibility to communicate the value of these options to the participants who hold these legacy assets.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, October 2016

How to Manage Your Company's Cyber Security Policy

Abstract: How can your firm protect itself from the growing number of cyber threats? It starts with exercising some online common sense. Here a few considerations to evaluate your company's security practices and processes.

Source: fi360.com, October 2016

Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents After Revenue Procedure 2016-37

Abstract: The presentation highlights key changes under Revenue Procedure 2016-37 and the consequential impacts on annual audits, plan drafting, choice of plan, existing plan administration, EPCRS and other various transactions.

Source: Employeebenefitsblog.com, October 2016

DOL Sues Baltimore-Based Architect to Recover $56k for 401k Plan Participants

Abstract: An investigation by the DOL led the Secretary of Labor to file a complaint which alleges the defendants failed to remit $56,065.27 in employee 401k contributions beginning on July 28, 2009.

Source: Dol.gov, October 2016

Survey Results Reveal Lack of Retirement Income Solutions in the Workplace

Abstract: In a new survey, Corporate Insight and Institutional Investor Institute for Defined Contribution interviewed more than 150 plan sponsors about retirement income solutions. The study analyzed topics including the cost and interest of these type of solutions as well as the factors preventing companies from having them.

Source: Corporateinsight.com, October 2016

Your Startup Business Plan Should Include a 401k

Abstract: Start-up companies don't always think of adding a 401k plan to the list of benefits for their employees, but any startup business plan should include a 401k or another retirement plan. It is a valuable perk that will help companies whether young or old recruit and reward their employees.

Source: Benefit-Resources.com, October 2016

College and University Benefits Study (CUBS) Latest Report

Abstract: This report notes developments and statistics in employee defined contribution plans, including how many institutions are offering matching contributions and the median percentage of contribution rate.

Source: Sibson.com, October 2016

Neuberger Berman Fights Back Against 401k Lawsuit

Abstract: Some large employers are facing lawsuits over the funds they offer to employees in their retirement programs, and a handful of employers have chosen to settle the claims. Neuberger Berman is not one of them.

Source: Institutionalinvestor.com, October 2016

Five Things Bad 401ks Have in Common

Abstract: Sometimes you can pinpoint what's wrong with your 401k. The returns may be awful or you just don't have enough education to make the right choice of funds. But in most cases, according to the author, you will never see how your retirement funds are being damaged.

Source: Forbes.com, October 2016

DCIO Assets Still Growing Strong, Reach $3.5T in 2016

Abstract: The tenth edition of Sway Research's annual in-depth study of DCIO distribution finds that asset managers remain committed to the growing DCIO market, despite pressure from passive management, as well as uncertainty brought on by the looming implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Plan Advice and Lifetime Income: A Recipe to Pursue Retirement Success

Abstract: As a plan sponsor, you can increase your employees' confidence in their financial futures by helping them access planning and professional advice solutions. You can help your employees determine how prepared they'll be by giving them access to education, advice and investment menu options aimed at helping them achieve income for life.

Source: Tiaa.org, October 2016

Infographic: Employee Engagement Can Help Drive Plan Success

Abstract: Getting your employees involved with their retirement planning is key to helping them plan for their overall financial well-being and meeting your plan goals.

Source: Tiaa.org, October 2016

Six Steps to Complying With the New Conflict of Interest Rule

Abstract: Many plan fiduciaries are not accustomed to testing the regulatory compliance status of their vendors. Although the responsibility to verify a vendor's regulatory status is a challenge for plan fiduciaries, the six-step approach outlined in this 4-page paper can eliminate the guesswork and streamline the work involved.

Source: Rolandcriss.com, October 2016

Understanding and Monitoring Retirement Plan Fees -- Podcast

Abstract: Jeremy Tollas, Senior Consultant with Plante Moran Financial Advisor's Institutional Investing practice, discusses the importance for sponsors to understand the fees in their organization's retirement plan, as well as ways to help monitor and document those fees on an ongoing basis.

Source: Plantemoran.com, October 2016

Nearly Three-Quarters of Retirees Experience a Financial Shock

Abstract: Nearly three-quarters, 72%, of retirees experience at least one financial shock, and for one-third of them, it depletes their savings by 25%, according to the Society of Actuaries' 2015 Risks and Processes of Retirement Survey.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Wells Fargo Cross-Selling Scandal Spawns ERISA Class Action

Abstract: Wells Fargo's month-long struggles continued Oct. 7th when a participant in the company's 401k plan filed a proposed class action challenging a 12 percent drop in the company's stock price following recent revelations of an illegal cross-selling scheme.

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

SunTrust Executives Avoid ERISA Stock-Drop Lawsuit

Abstract: SunTrust Banks' directors and general counsel dodged allegations that they breached their ERISA fiduciary duties by offering poorly performing company stock as an investment option in the bank's 401k plan.

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

How to Maximize Your Tax Savings With a Solo 401k

Abstract: When used efficiently, a Solo 401k could help you increase your retirement savings by up to ten times of the regular IRA contributions.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Lousy 401k Plan? Strategies to Make the Best of It

Abstract: Most people should maximize their contributions to their company's retirement plan. But what if your organization's 401k plan is lousy? Lousy could mean poor investment choices, high expenses or low or no company contributions. This article provides a few tips to help you make the most of a crummy 401k plan.

Source: Thechicagofinancialplanner.com, October 2016

Merrill Announces Post-Fiduciary Regulation Shift for Retirement Accounts

Abstract: The DOL may have left open a door for commission-based retirement investment advice in its fiduciary regulation, but a major broker-dealer has decided to take a pass. Last week Merrill Lynch announced that it would no longer give retirement savers the option of paying a commission for trades after April 10, when the new fiduciary regulation takes effect.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, October 2016

Infographic: The Unexpected Cost of Education Debt

Abstract: Student loan debt may be preventing workers from getting their finances on track, including funding their retirement account.

Source: Fidelity.com, October 2016

Paper on Financial Wellness Programs

Abstract: Can a financial wellness program reduce employee stress and grow your business? Based on a recent research study, financial wellness is the #1 stressor in the workplace. As an employer you can help. This white paper reviews the benefits of financial wellness for both employees and employers, lays out strategies for implementing an effective program, and provides information on how to tackle the obstacles you might encounter.

Source: Benefitnews.com, October 2016

Big Apple Unveils MEP, Retirement Program for Private Sector Workers

Abstract: New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer has unveiled a new city-run retirement plan for private sector workers, including a city-sponsored multiple employer plan (MEP).

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

401k Suit Survives Anti-Alienation Challenge

Abstract: Stock drop lawsuits are generally about employer stock that has suffered a precipitous drop in value, and in rare cases, where participants have been deprived from keeping that investment, and then there's this one.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule Will Change DC Plan Fund Menus in 2017

Abstract: The US Department of Labor's Conflict of Interest Rule, commonly known as the fiduciary rule, will cause a surge in mutual funds being reviewed and replaced in employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans, even before the Jan. 1, 2018 deadline for full compliance. This is according to a recent Ignites Retirement Research survey of 251 elite plan advisors.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

Brokerage Account Windows in Your 401k Plan: Company Stock Issues

Abstract: The SEC recently published a new interpretation discussing the requirements for registering an offering of employer stock on a Form S-8. Question 139.33 discusses whether an employer must file a Form S-8 registration statement for employer stock if the stock may be purchased by 401k plan participants through a brokerage account window.

Source: Wifilawgroup.com, October 2016

The System of Employer-Provided Retirement Benefits Is at a Crossroads

Abstract: In order for employers to retain control over the very tools that enable them to compete in the race for talent, it is important for employers to consider their own philosophy concerning employee benefits and the types of programs that they desire to offer their workers across their workforce. It is also necessary to assess compliance efforts with any programs that may be mandated by changing laws.

Source: Westminster-Consulting.com, October 2016

A Sigh of Relief From Plan Sponsors Over the New Fiduciary Standard

Abstract: Plan sponsors should be relieved to know that the new DOL fiduciary rule will have little direct impact on them, though there might be minor ramifications for participants calling service providers.

Source: Vanguardinstitutionalblog.com, October 2016

2016 Retirement Confidence Monitor

Abstract: This 16-page survey digs into the experiences and confidence levels of DC plan participants and members in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Source: Ssga.com, October 2016

How Should Defined Contribution Retirement Plans Be Organized?

Abstract: According to this white paper, the current rules regarding investment advice for DC plans do not address the two critical deficiencies of the current system, namely opacity and conflicts of interest. The paper proposes that one-master standard be instituted along with strict transparency requirements to control the conflicts of interest and improve retirement savings advice. It also recommends that only passive, well-diversified index funds for stocks and bonds should qualify as retirement vehicles.

Source: Ssrn.com, October 2016

403(b) Plans Looking a Lot Like 401k Plans by Making Similar Mistakes

Abstract: With 403(b) plans now look similar to 401k plans, the mistakes that plan sponsors are making are, not surprisingly, also similar. Here are the mistakes the IRS sees most often on 403(b) examinations.

Source: Retirementplanblog.com, October 2016

Fiduciary Rule to Lead to Changes in DC Plan Investment Lineups

Abstract: One-third of financial advisers who counsel DC plans already plan to make changes to mutual funds used in their clients' DC plans in 2017, a survey finds.

Source: Plansponsor.com, October 2016

Can CITs Be Used in 403(b)s?

Abstract: This question is illustrative of the differences of 403(b) plans from other plan types with respect to permissible investments. Generally, unless your 403(b) plan is a 403(b)(9) Retirement Income Account offered by a church, investments are restricted to two types: 1) 403(b) annuity contracts, and 2) 403(b)(7) custodial accounts, i.e., mutual funds.

Source: Plansponsor.com, October 2016

403(b) Lawsuits, Fees vs. Value

Abstract: The drumbeat of lawsuits against large 403(b) and qualified plan sponsors continues. The author of this article discusses the lawsuits against large 403(b) and qualified plan sponsors and what they entail.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, October 2016

Without Fanfare, IRS Issues New Revenue Procedure on EPCRS

Abstract: The current EPCRS, which was issued in 2013, was a bit "long in the tooth" because it contained outdated references and had been modified several times through subsequent guidance. The IRS has updated the EPCRS and wrapped up all of these changes in a new package.

Source: Morganlewis.com, October 2016

The Evolution of Advice: Digital Investment Advisers as Fiduciaries

Abstract: The landscape for retirement advice is shifting, and an innovative model has emerged that combines technology and investment expertise to deliver high-quality advice at a lower cost than traditional investment advisory services. This 19-page white paper explores the application of fiduciary standards to digital advisers. It concludes that fiduciary standards, such as those incorporated into the Advisers Act, are flexible principles that digital advisers and their non-digital counterparts (traditional advisers) are equally capable of satisfying.

Source: Morganlewis.com, October 2016

New California Retirement Plan Brings Many Risks

Abstract: Workers, employers, and taxpayers in California all face risks from the state's new "Secure Choice" plan. ICI's Chief Economist Brian Reid gives the details in this 3-minute video.

Source: Ici.org, October 2016

IRS Updates Plan Correction Program and Modifies Criteria for Monetary Penalties in Plan Audits

Abstract: This updated EPCRS revenue procedure does not introduce new concepts, but incorporates "correction" guidance previously issued by the IRS in 2015, and modifies EPCRS to take into account the major changes to the determination letter program for individually designed plans, reflected in Rev. Proc. 2016-37, as well as the criteria in the "Audit CAP" program.

Source: Groom.com, October 2016

401k Recordkeeper: What They Do and What to Look For

Abstract: According to PlanSponsor's 2016 Recordkeeping Survey, 401k recordkeepers hold $4.2 trillion of American's retirement savings on their platform. So what exactly does a recordkeeper do? What do they not do? And what should you expect in fees?

Source: Forusall.com, October 2016

Buying Power for Higher Education Institutions: When You Have It and When You Don't

Abstract: This article reviews ways to create increased buying power in within 403(b) plans in an environment where participant directed legacy contracts control a large portion of the plan value.

Source: Fiduciaryplangovernance.com, October 2016

The Limited Fiduciary

Abstract: This is about an implementation of the DOL's fiduciary rule for phone centers and websites that eliminates the high risks, high costs and long time or limiting service that other solutions require.

Source: Dalbar.com, October 2016

Canada's OSFI Releases New Guides for DC, DB Disclosure Requirements

Abstract: Canada's Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has published updated guides for the disclosure requirements of defined contribution and defined benefit plans. The new guides incorporate changes set out in the Pension Benefits Standard Act and the Pension Benefits Standards Regulations.

Source: Benefitscanada.com, October 2016

IRS Issues Explanations Related to Contributions and Required Distributions

Abstract: The IRS has issued publications that provide information and forms relevant to employee and matching contributions and required distributions.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

Experts Offer Counsel and Caution on the DOL Fiduciary Regulation

Abstract: While the industry has spent a lot of time, energy, effort and money getting ready for the Labor Department's fiduciary regulation, four of the nation's leading ERISA legal experts offer some final words of counsel and caution.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

IRS Updates Retirement Plan Correction Program

Abstract: The IRS' Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System is intended to help employer correct retirement plan qualification errors. On September 29, 2016, the IRS released guidance updating the EPCRS program.

Source: Ascensus.com, October 2016

More DC Plans Embrace Open Architecture

Abstract: More DC plans are moving to an open-architecture investment lineup strategy, seeking greater flexibility and less reliance on proprietary products offered by their recordkeepers. Consultants and ERISA attorneys say the strategic shift has many causes including a quest for greater diversification, tougher negotiating over fees and services, federal fee transparency regulations, and fiduciary breach lawsuits.

Source: Pionline.com (registration may be required), October 2016

Here's How 401k Plan Participants Build Larger-Than-Average Account Balances

Abstract: Do you get discouraged by news reports that harp on how small the average account balance is in 401k plans, and do the headlines make you feel like it's futile to save? This article talks about how 40% of 401k plan members build larger-than-average account balances. It includes three pointers.

Source: Nasdaq.com, October 2016

DOL Rule Change Forces Due Diligence Process Makeover

Abstract: For retirement plan sponsors, the risks of choosing the wrong investment advisor or consultant just became a lot greater. Spurred by new DOL guidelines, fiduciaries of plans of all sizes are scrambling to evaluate qualified retirement plan investment advisors/consultants using the request for proposal solicitation method. Typically, the process involves a large number of subjective questions and a small set of objective data. Plan fiduciaries can and should ask three key questions that will go some way toward identifying conflict of interest issues, helping to significantly reduce the confusion and complexity associated with the RFP process.

Source: Linkedin.com, October 2016

How Your 401k Participants Can Use Active Management

Abstract: A passive portfolio management approach is appropriate for many 401k plan participants. But indexing isn't right for everyone. The author suggests several action steps to make active management work in your 401k plan account.

Source: Lawtonrpc.com, October 2016

Updated Retirement Plan Correction Procedures

Abstract: Revenue Procedure 2016-51, released September 29, 2016, modifies the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, replaces Revenue Procedure 2013-12, and incorporates changes described in Revenue Procedure 2015-27 and Revenue Procedure 2015-28.

Source: Irs.gov, October 2016

Outsourced 401k Fiduciary Services Emerge After DOL Rule

Abstract: With the Labor Department's fiduciary rule upping the ante for many 401k advisers and their broker-dealers, providers from around the retirement market are looking at ways to defray fiduciary responsibility, and in some cases, possibly replace the adviser altogether. Providers such as MassMutual and Mercer have recently unveiled new services, part of this trend seeking to capitalize on disruption caused by the DOL fiduciary rule.

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

Senate Finance Committee Approves Bipartisan Pension Bills

Abstract: The Senate Finance Committee unanimously approve a package of retirement reforms -- compiled into a single bill called the "Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016" (RESA) -- to improve the retirement system generally. RESA has the potential to significantly alter the retirement landscape in several ways. The key provisions of RESA are summarized briefly in this 5-page article.

Source: Groom.com, October 2016

PBGC Issues Proposed Regulation Expanding Missing Participants Program

Abstract: On September 20, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the agency that guarantees benefits under certain single- and multi-employer defined benefit pension plans, published a long-awaited proposed regulation relating to the Missing Participants Program under ERISA section 4050. This is a 5-page review of the proposed regulation.

Source: Groom.com, October 2016

401k Accused of Investing in "Patent Troll"

Abstract: A Florida optometry practice is the latest small employer to be sued for 401k mismanagement, with a newly filed lawsuit accusing the practice of over-investing in alleged "patent troll" VirnetX.

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

Sanofi Avoids ERISA Challenge to Stock Losses in Its 401k Plan

Abstract: Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC is the latest company to dodge a lawsuit accusing it of breaching its ERISA fiduciary duties by allowing participants in its 401k plan to continue investing in company stock despite knowing its value was artificially inflated.

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

BICs Litigation Provisions Trigger Another DOL Suit

Abstract: A new lawsuit has been filed challenging the Department of Labor's fiduciary regulation's interference with existing arbitration structures.

Source: Asppa.org, October 2016

DCIIA Proposes Industry-Standard Lexicon on Auto Feature Practices

Abstract: The Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association proposed a standardized lexicon for defined contribution retirement plans to increase the common understanding and usage of these practices to promote further adoption of automatic features.

Source: 401khelpcenter.com, October 2016

The Applicability of the DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

Abstract: The DOL's new Conflicts of Interest rule expands the scope of the definition of "fiduciary" to cover more classes of financial advisors and advisors should not delay in determining their fiduciary status and preparing a plan of action for compliance. This 7-page article addresses common questions related to the final rule and provides recommendations of actions for advisors to take prior to its applicability date.

Source: Winstead.com, October 2016

Going Solo 401k

Abstract: Self-employment isn't for everyone, including knowing your retirement plan options. When considering your options solo 401k plan might be for you. Here is an overview.

Source: Tristarpension.com, October 2016

DOL Fiduciary Rule: A To-Do List for Plan Sponsors

Abstract: The authors provide a to-do list for service providers and sponsors of retirement plans and benefit arrangements that are affected by the DOL's recently published regulation expanding the circumstances in which individuals and entities will be deemed to provide fiduciary investment advice.

Source: Sutherland.com, October 2016

Stock Drop Plaintiffs in the Fifth Circuit Fail to Meet the High Pleading Standard of Dudenhoeffer and Amgen

Abstract: In Whitley v. BP, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that retirement plan participants did not state a plausible stock drop claim under the pleading standards established by the US Supreme Court's Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision.

Source: Practicallaw.com, October 2016

2016 PLANADVISER Recordkeeper Services Guide

Abstract: Retirement plan advisers may often find themselves in the role of matchmaker: working with a defined contribution client to determine which investments and platforms or providers are the best fit. To be in a top position to guide the client, an adviser must keep abreast of the provider community, so as to stay current on what products and services are available to suit each client's needs.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

403(b) Requirements Will Be Covered in IRS Webcast

Abstract: Attendees will learn about hours of service; changes in employee status; student participation; and other 403(b) rules.

Source: Planadviser.com, October 2016

Designated Roth Contributions -- Dispelling the Confusion

Abstract: Designated Roth Contributions (DRCs) have been a permissible retirement plan feature since 2006; however, there is still confusion in the retirement plan community regarding DRCs. The author tests your knowledge and dispels the mist.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, October 2016

Wholesale DC Change

Abstract: The DOL's new fiduciary rules, set to take effect in April 2017, will alter the way that wholesalers work with retirement-specialist advisors. The new fiduciary rules will shift what advisors need from DCIOs and recordkeepers. Article also a list of the top 100 DC wholesalers for 2016.

Source: Rackcdn.com, October 2016

The Language of Defined Contribution

Abstract: Take a look at any education material targeted at DC participants and it is completely obvious that the language of defined contribution is math. And it's the most hated kind of math, the word problem we dreaded in high school. One can fight math anxiety with a supportive environment that builds up participants' confidence in their ability to make decisions.

Source: Napa-net.org, October 2016

Chart: A Short Plan Year as of 2016

Abstract: This is a compensation and limitation chart for a short plan year as of 2016.

Source: Mhco.com, October 2016

403(b) Universal Availability Rules

Abstract: The nondiscrimination rule for eligibility to defer to a 403(b) plan is known as universal availability. Generally, everyone must be able to defer. This is a review.

Source: Mhco.com, October 2016

Advisors Will Retire as a Result of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

Abstract: According to a recent LIMRA Secure Retirement study, 54 percent of Broker-Dealers surveyed believe some of their advisors will retire rather than sell under the new business rules to comply with the DOLs fiduciary rule.

Source: Limra.com, October 2016

DOL Rule Will Lead to Simplification of Many Retirement Products

Abstract: Financial advisors can expect some insurers to simplify many income and retirement products in the wake of the DOL's fiduciary rule, industry experts say. In addition, the rule will push distributors to use more efficient technology and recordkeeping.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, October 2016

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