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2012’s Top 5 Stories

January 02
00:08 2013

Welcome to the new year, when all indicators are reset to zero and we get to begin life anew. But before we forever leave last year, it might be instructive to revisit the most-read stories from 2012. It might put 2013 in perspective as well as give us a hint as to what we might expect in the next twelve months.

#5 “401k Plan Sponsors and the Risk of Fiduciary Liability,” (February 21, 2012) There’s a reason why this one made the top five. It’s really the clarion call describing why plan sponsors must pay attention to their fiduciary liability. But don’t just let the fancy copy that introduces the story convince you, read on and see what real-life ERISA attorneys have to say.

#4 “Will Fiscal Cliff Deal Harm 401k Investors?” (November 27, 2012) It’s very difficult for a recent story to make it to the top five, but this one contained the key words “fiscal cliff” which Google searchers apparently really like. This was also one of the first articles in the national press to really emphasize this issue. Within a week or two, the main stream media would run with this same story-line, complete with the usual lazy misconceptions and unintended misdirections. first began reporting this in, hmm, 2011.

#3 “The 4 Critical Elements of a Successful 401k Plan Education Program,” (February 28, 2012) Why is something so critical to success too often ignored? And what represents its greatest challenge to success? This article answers these questions and more. It also offers a clue to what those involved in 401k plans are truly looking for.

#2 “408(b)(2) Compliance and the Service Provider List,” (March 6, 2012) Ha! This is so nostalgic. Remember when our excitement over fee disclosure could only be described as something on par with that of a trusting tot the night before Christmas? We had this naïve notion 408(b)(2) would solve so many of the world’s problems, if only we could list our 401k fees by service provider. And we thought it would be easy to read and understandable. Remember when we thought all that? Those were the days.

#1 “New 408(b)(2) “Guide”: Not Necessarily What 401k Plan Sponsors Hoped For,” (May 8, 2012) “Guide,” said the DOL, “You don’t need no stinkin’ guide!” And they meant it. Without a guide, the DOL opened the door for a core dump from vendors, allowed them to “technically” comply without effectively providing the information required by the new law. Worse, if we’re not aware if the information is disseminated, then 401k plan sponsors may discover the Fee Disclosure Rule may be more hazardous than healthy.

For, 2012 has been nothing but superlative. We close the year with nearly 4,500 newsletter subscribers – that’s nearly a 50% increase from where we started the year. In addition, with 50,000 unique visitors reading our weekly articles, we almost doubled the number of website readers compared to the previous year. Finally, we saw strong demand in and very much appreciated compliments for the new book written by Christopher Carosa, our chief contributing editor, 401k Fiduciary Solutions, (published by our parent company, Pandamensional Solutions, Inc.)

Happy New Year to all our readers! May 2013 find your hearts filled with joy and your retirement portfolios filled with prosperity.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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