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Top Ten Most Widely Read Stories in 2011

December 28
00:11 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, we want to take this time to thank all our many readers and subscribers. Both have grown substantially over the year and we’re quite proud and honored so many have decided our reporting deserves a portion of their 461658_71533245_glasses_magazine_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300time each week.

A year ago we thought 2011 would be the watershed year when the DOL would finally implement long-awaited regulatory actions. Boy, were we fooled. Little did we know regulators would adopt a “why do today what you can put off until tomorrow” attitude. First, July’s Fee Disclosure Rule implementation was delayed until April 2012. Then the DOL surprisingly withdrew its proposed new Fiduciary Definition in September, promising to come out with a new and improved one in early 2012.

Yet, our internal analytics revealed some surprising results when it comes to most widely read stories in 2011. Do you remember these? Have they helped you enact important changes in a plan you might serve as a fiduciary for? Here are the top ten most widely read FiduciaryNews stories in 2011.

Honorable Mention #1:How Many Investment Options Should 401k Plan Sponsors Offer?” (October 18, 2011) The following is the first of a three part series covering the oft-asked titular question. It might surprise some plan sponsors to learn the trend is towards simplifying menus by reducing the number of options.

Honorable Mention #2:Should 401k Plan Sponsors Sell Their Souls for One-Stop-Shopping?” (December 6, 2011) There’s a growing realization among plan sponsors that the so-called “benefits” of bundled service providers come at a high cost, both in terms of fees and in terms of conflicts-of-interest. This article quotes the feelings of industry leaders on this issue.

#10 “Great Info for Every 401k Plan Sponsor: Review of 401k Averages Book,” (April 26, 2011) Everybody wants to know the score, and in the 401k world that means benchmarking. This article reviews the latest edition of a well-known book offering some benchmarking insights.

#9 “What 401k Plan Sponsors Might Expect from Proposed Fiduciary Rules,” (April 19, 2011) While the DOL was still supporting its original proposal, industry experts take the time here to share their thoughts.

#8 “How Should a 401k Plan Sponsor Construct an Appropriate Investment Policy Statement?” (June 7, 2011) Here’s a nine step approach towards creating an investment policy statement consistent with the needs of regulators and in consensus with investment theory.

#7 “10 Questions the DOL Wants 401k Plan Sponsors to Ask Their Investment Consultant,” (November 8, 2011) In 2005, the Department of Labor issued a list of questions it advised 401k plan sponsors to ask their investment consultant. This article reviews and attempts to update that list.

#6 “Should Plan Sponsors Fear? Is the 401k Merely a Ponzi Scheme?” (February 8, 2011) We reported on various internet blogs that had been drumming up some unwarranted fees about the 401k plan. Ironically, while most readers agreed with the article, the main stream media later picked up on this same Ponzi Scheme idea.

#5 “Should What DOL’s New Regs Reveal about Most Widely Held 401k Mutual Funds Worry Plan Sponsors?” (January 3, 2011) This is the last of a four-part series on the then impending and since delayed DOL mandated disclosure rules. It actually caps off a very revealing and informative series of articles.

#4 “Does Pending Appeal Decision Doom 401k Plan Sponsors?” (June 14, 2011) In the summer of 2010 in a case called Tibble v. Edison, a federal district court judge slapped a $371K judgment against Edison International because plan fiduciaries failed to pay attention to “fee creep.”

#3 “5 Criteria 401k Plan Sponsors Must Consider Before Hiring an ERISA Attorney,” (May 3, 2011) In this article, FiduciaryNews interviews ERISA attorneys who offer advice on important questions plan sponsors should ask when looking to hire Benefit Plan counsel. The piece includes a handy checklist.

#2 “401k Plan Sponsors: Is Your Investment Policy Statement Still Using Outdated Language?” (May 17, 2011) Does your Investment Policy Statement pass the “Tahiti Test.” Find out be reading this article and discover how plan sponsors might accidentally be including outdated language and learn how to easily update that language.

#1 “Ex-Employees Who Don’t Rollover – Will 401k Fees Increase Plan Sponsor Liability?” (June 28, 2011) Industry veterans explain the issues and benefits of rolling retirement funds out of former employees plans. Besides greater control, the investor can probably get better returns even when investing in the same funds just through the elimination of the administrative fees.

Happy New Year to all our readers! May 2012 find you joy and prosperity.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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