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Fiduciary News Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 11/25/11

November 28
00:10 2011

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2011.11.25_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300Welcome to Fiduciary News Trending Topics. Each Monday, we’ll give you a quick synopsis of the major news events and trends impacting ERISA plan sponsors, 401k fiduciaries and those in the business of supporting these fine folks. If you smile when you read these entertaining snippets, well, that’s the idea. If you think we’re missing something important, then please let us know. But, note this well, we avoid press releases masquerading as news stories (even though they might be reported by journalists) as well as mass media pabulum that merely mouths investment myths and mistakes.

Fiduciary News Lead Story:
Plan Sponsors Smile: Hooray for the 401k!” (Fiduciary News, November 22, 2011). Will Congress be the Grinch that stole our 401k plans and try to balance the budget on the backs of retirees? Here’s the George Bailey treatment to what would have been missed without the much maligned 401k.

Compliance – Time for a New Beginning?:
Here’s the maligning part we were talking about.
Gingrich calls for private retirement accounts,” (BenefitsPro, November 21, 2011) Does this make life easier for corporate plan sponsors.
‘Father’ of the 401k’s Tough Love,” (SmartMoney, November 22, 2011) This is a great read. His answer” Blow it up! Read it to find out why, and then remember some past articles in FiduciaryNews that have said the same thing.
IRS Gives Update on 401k Questionnaire Project,” (, November 23, 2011) Here’s an update on the update.

Fiduciary – More Bad News:
Or at least a not-so-comforting prediction. Read at your own risk.
7 Areas of ‘Relief’ for Advisors in DOL’s Reproposed Fiduciary Rule,” (AdvisorOne, November 22, 2011) Fred Reish says the financial services industry should cheer the DOL’s withdrawal of its original proposal – but not too loud. Still, he’s predicting pretty much a total capitulation on the part of the DOL to the vested interests of the industry.

Investments – First, Do No Harm:
If only Hippocrates had been the father of investing instead of medicine, then things might have been so much easier. Bottom-line: Leaving the paved path to cut corners only trips you up.
The Intelligent Investor: Don’t Stock Up on Company Stock,” (Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2011) Bottom-line: Don’t invest in company stock, invest in a balanced lifecycle fund.
When do you want to get serious about your retirement plan?” (BenefitsPro, November 18, 2011) This is another hit piece on Target Date Funds.

Major Plan Sponsor Moves and News:
What are other plan sponsors and fiduciaries doing with their plans? And how are participants responding? The latest in legal proceedings involving plan sponsors and fiduciaries.
How to Tap Your Retirement Accounts,” (MarketWatch, November 19, 2011)
9 Principles to Help Boomers Live on Retirement Income,” (AdvisorOne, November 17, 2011)
Some industries lag in 401k adoption,” (BenefitsPro, November 22, 2011)
The worst retirement plan ever,” (BenefitsPro, November 24, 2011)
Thankfully, the 401k ain’t no turkey,” (BenefitsPro, November 24, 2011)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
fi360 Blog: “Fiduciary Links: Thanksgiving edition!

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
RIABiz: “Do 401k assets require all fiduciary care all the time?

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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