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FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/17/14

October 20
00:02 2014

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2014.10.20_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300Welcome to FiduciaryNews 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.

FiduciaryNews Lead Story:
Explaining 401k Investing Basics Through the Lens of History,” (, October 14, 2014). Honest, this was written a week before it was published. We had no idea it would be so spookily relevant.

Compliance – Government Run Amok:
You might be thinking we’re referring to the famous Looney Tunes cartoon entitled “Duck Amok.” But, of course, that would assume one believes Daffy Duck is running things.
EBSA chief accountant: Hire the right auditor to avoid DOL audits,” (Employee Benefit News, October 14, 2014) Does the DOL know something about plan auditors the rest of the world doesn’t?
Post-PPA: What’s in store for plan sponsors,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, October 15, 2014) A timely article ruined by assuming the reader is fully informed on the salient points of the issue.
DOL’s advisor crackdown ‘careening out of control’,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014) Well, it could be worse. It could be the SEC.
The coming nationalization of retirement,” (BenefitsPro, October 16, 2014) Don’t laugh. It worked for your health care plan.

Fiduciary – Uncle:
Be careful what your wish for – and what you say.
New fiduciary rule will hurt retirement, CFDD panelists say,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014) “Broker Dealer” panelists, as you might suspect.

Fees – Here Comes the Judge:
Things will be quiet for a while, then they’re going to get really loud, really fast.
Plenty to keep the ERISA lawyers busy,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014) A former Schlicter lawyer reveals the bad news regarding the next wave of plaintiff law suits.

Investments – As the World Turns:
There was excitement on Wall Street today, which means lots of talking heads telling long-term investors what to do “right now!” Long term investors would be better off reading a good long book.
How should a retiree gauge investment performance?” (MarketWatch, October 13, 2014) No one wants an epitaph that reads “He beat the S&P 500.” Life is about much more than that. And it’s the reason why investors must for on their own personal Goal-Oriented Target.
Making the case for active plan management,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014) How angels did you say dance on the head of a pin?
Don’t let the market downturn do you in,” (MarketWatch, October 15, 2014) The usual “stay calm and don’t open you’re 401k statement” type of article.
The problem with portfolio-centric thinking,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014) This article explains the folly of mutual fund investing at the wrong time. But you’ll have to know what you’re looking for.
Why the selloff is good for millennials,” (CNBC, October 16, 2014) After worrying they’d be scared by the 2008/2009 sell-off, it turns out millennials are probably the best saving generation. And the pullback means we’ve just had a sale on stocks, by far the best long-term investment any retirement saver could have.

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.
HSAs: the next big thing in retirement planning?” (BenefitsPro, October 12, 2014)
3(16)s: Prudent course or invitation for mischief?” (BenefitsPro, October 12, 2014)
What You Should Know About Social Security,” (Wall Street Journal, October 12, 2014)
How Late-Life Marriage Can Hurt Your Retirement Security,” (Money, October 13, 2014)
4 questions to ask before retiring overseas,” (CNN, October 14, 2014)
Why small (plans) really can be beautiful,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014)
The retirement plan you never heard of,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014)
6 principals behind the art of 401k persuasion,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014)
How to Whip Your 401k Into Shape,” (US News, October 15, 2014)
Accelerating auto-escalation,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, October 15, 2014)
Americans Three Times More Likely To Get Help Changing Their Oil Than Figuring Out 401k Investments,” (Insurance Broadcasting, October 15, 2014)
Savers want it easy,” (BenefitsPro, October 15, 2014)
Start Now: A Step By Step, Tough Love Guide To Saving For Retirement In Your 20s,” (Forbes, October 15, 2014)
Surprise: Retirees aren’t that vulnerable to fraud,” (MarketWatch, October 15, 2014)
3 Little Mistakes That Can Sink Your Retirement,” (Money, October 15, 2014).com
4 ways to save for retirement that won’t devastate your paycheck,” (US News, October 16, 2014)
HSAs are cannibalizing your 401k plans,” (BenefitsPro, October 16, 2014)
A multitude of threats to retirement system,” (BenefitsPro, October 16, 2014)
Keep brokerage windows in 401k plans down,” (BenefitsPro, October 16, 2014)
5 questions about retirement,” (BenefitsPro, October 16, 2014)
The Most Important Move to Make If You Want to Retire Early,” (Money, October 16, 2104)
Four Ways to Save for an Early Retirement,” (Wealth Management, October 17, 2014)
An Extra Step to Protect Inherited IRAs,” (Wall Street Journal, October 17, 2014)
How much longer might you live? Think again,” (CBS News, October 17, 2014)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Scholarly Financial Planner: A Walk with Grandfather, 20 Years Ago |
Pension Risk Matters: Asset Manager Talent and Pension Client Departures |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: “Ninth Circuit Discusses Standard For Arbitrary and Capricious Review Of A Fiduciary’s Decision” |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: Tibble v. Edison at the Supreme Court |
TrustAdvisor: The Crummey Trust: Not So Crummy |
Frugal Fiduciary: Hiring an ERISA 3(38) Investment Manager limits 401k investment liability |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: Q: Where Can You Sue an ERISA Plan? A: Where the Plan Sponsor Says |
fi360: Whose IPS is it, anyway? [Hint: not yours]  |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: What Are the Costs and Risks to Administrators When District Courts Remand Benefit Denials Back to Them? |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Five Things to do During a Stock Market Correction |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Third Circuit Holds That Issuer of Group Annuity Contracts Is Not A Fiduciary |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: The New York Times Extolls Dutch Pension System |
NAPA Net: The Link Between Health and Financial Well-Being |
Morningstar: In Hindsight, Here’s What Retirees Wish They’d Known |
NAPA Net: Median Record Keeping Fees Drop 12.5% in One Year |
NAPA Net: Moving Targets? |
Motley Fool: Changing Jobs Too Often May Shrink Millennials’ Retirement Funds |
NAPA Net: Amateur Hour Over for DCIO Providers |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: What’s a ‘Pension Advance’? |
NAPA Net: Left Behind? Potential Rollovers Remaining With Employer Plans |
NAPA Net: Will Health Cost Concerns Trump Retirement Savings? |
NAPA Net: Taming Volatility Through Asset Allocation |
NAPA Net: White House ‘Financial Capability’ Council Bypasses Retirement Planning |
NAPA Net: Managers Who Invest in Their Own Funds Outperform |
NAPA Net: Survey: Healthy Workers Are Better Savers |
NAPA Net: Grand Central Stations: An ‘Old School’ Twist on Insider Trading Scandal |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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