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FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 5/29/15

June 01
00:02 2015

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2015.06.01_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
10 Unexpected Changes Tibble Really Brings to 401k Fiduciary Providers and Plan Sponsors,” (, May 27, 2015) How many of these did you foresee coming?

Compliance – Can You Fix It? Yes We Can!:
When ever the government speaks these words, you can only be sure of one thing: The fix is in for someone!
Retirement plans for small business gaining steam,” (CNBC, May 20, 2015) Another inch forward in the government takeover of your retirement plans.
Pensions Drop Annual Targets After Financial Crisis,” (Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2015) And yet, we still treat these as serious retirement planning tools.
Save the Pensions: No Sudden Moves, Please,” (ThinkAdvisor, May 26, 2015) What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Why should public employees be protected from a risk private employees are always exposed to? Aren’t we all in the same boat? Aren’t we all equal?
How to Use Social Security to Fix Retirement Inequality,” (Money. May 28, 2015) Because robbing Peter to pay Paul has proven to work so many times before.
EBSA wants Congress to fix broken plan audit system,” (BenefitsPro, May 29, 2015) Could this be a rearguard action on the part of the DOL? Just as Congress launches a frontal assault on the DOL’s proposed Fiduciary Rule, the DOL comes up with a very legitimate concern and asks Congress to address it. Coincidence? We think not.

Fiduciary – They Still Do That?:
Here’s how you know an argument is old and tired: The contenders keep repeating the same boring points. Here’s how you know an argument is done: The contenders start changing the subject.
Finra’s Ketchum criticizes DOL fiduciary rule,” (InvestmentNews, May 27, 2015) How many times have we heard this?
Schlichter weighs in on Tibble victory,” (BenefitsPro, May 26, 2015) Schlichter takes a modest and well-deserved victory lap.
What Firms Claim About Their Brokers’ Fiduciary Duty (and Lack Thereof),” (ThinkAdvisor, May 27, 2015) Remember that show Kids Say the Darndest Things? This article could be titled Brokers Say the Darndest Things.
Why Tibble means…nothing,” (BenefitsPro, May 27, 2015) Or does it?
Anti-Fiduciary Bill Meant to Send a Signal,” (Employee Benefits News, May 28, 2015) So far only Republicans has co-sponsored this bill, which would require the DOL to wait for the SEC before making any new fiduciary rules. In the past, this has been bipartisan in nature.

Fees – Nobody must have gotten paid this week:

Investments – The Tail Wagging the Dog:
When everyone is talking about income, you know you’re in for some bad news with your investments. But only if they actually act on what they say.
Target-Date Funds in the Customization Crosshairs,” (Workforce Management, May 21, 2015) Interesting idea here. It appears some company’s want more control over underlying investments and glide path specifics for their target date options. It sounds like they don’t want Target Date Funds, but the balanced option alternative as their qualified default option.
Annuities, Insurance, Investments: A Triple Crown Retirement Income Strategy,” (ThinkAdvisor, May 26, 2015) An article on your mother would love, that is, if your mother sold insurance.
If you understand the cons, annuities can have a lot of pros,” (USA Today, May 27, 2015) This article makes sense. It’s caveat emptor all over again.
Dividend Stocks Beat Bonds for Retirement Income,” (Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2015) Yep, been that way for awhile.
Tap your 401k to buy high-yield CDs?” (USA Today, May 29, 2015) Um,… No? With the inflection on the question not intimating uncertainty of the answer but, rather, uncertainty as to why someone would be so foolish to ask the question in the first place – even if the circumstances happen to be the one case where the article says it’s OK to do it. (q.v., the Wall Street Journal article above.)

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 the New-Model 401k Can Help Boost Your Retirement Savings,” (Money, May 21, 2015)
Why you need to ignore the anti-401k cranks,” (MarketWatch, May 21, 2015)
401k Outflows from Retirements Can Be Offset,” (PLANSPONSOR, May 22, 2015)
Retirement-readiness focus of new provider ranking,” (Benefit News, May 26, 2015)
Workers can’t be bothered with 401k plans,” (BenefitsPro, May 28, 2015)
Employers must instill importance of savings to Gen Xers,” (Benefit News, May 28, 2015)
Beneficiary determined by plan document, not designation form,” (Benefit News, May 28, 2015)
Fiduciaries Removed for Misusing Retirement Plan Funds,” (PLANSPONSOR, May 29, 2015)
Set-it-and-forget-it prevails in worker retirement accounts,” (Benefit News, May 29, 2015)

Trends and News for Retirement Savers:
If you’re a retirement plan fiduciary – whether a plan sponsor or a financial professional, don’t you think it’s a good idea to keep up on the topics retirement savers are most interested in? That’s what the media tries to do. Here’s what they think is on the mind of the people saving for retirement.
Personal Finance Tips for Americans Considering Retiring Overseas,” (Wall Street Journal, May 21, 2015)
Think Millennials Are Neglecting 401k Plans? Think Again,” (ThinkAdvisor, May 22, 2015)
Study: 41 percent expect no Social Security benefits,” (CNBC, May 23, 2015)
Ways to make a smooth transition to retirement,” (USA Today, May 23, 2015)
3 Things Clients Get Wrong on Social Security,” (OnWallStreet, May 26, 2015)
IRA balances soar,” (BenefitsPro, May 26, 2015)
Habitual retirement saving higher among wealthy,” (BenefitsPro, May 26, 2015)
How to protect your IRA,” (CBS News, May 26, 2015)
Life is short but retirement can last for years,” (MarketWatch, May 26, 2015)
Social Security Q&A: Are Spousal Benefits Half My Reduced Retirement Benefit?” (Forbes, May 26, 2015)
IRS hack: What to do when your Social Security number is exposed,” (Los Angeles Times, May 27, 2015)
Americans Feeling Better About Household Finances — Fed Survey,” (Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2015)
3 key retirement numbers you need to know,” (MarketWatch, May 28, 2015)
Retirement: It’s Never Too Late To Be A Millionaire,” (Now It Counts Magazine, May 28, 2015)
Retirement Readiness Low Among Young and Low-Income,” (PLANSPONSOR, May 28, 2015)
Is your retirement planning future-ready?” (MarketWatch, May 28, 2015)
The Big Mistake That Most 401k Savers Are Making,” (Money, May 29, 2015)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Pension Risk Matters: Derivatives, De-Risking and Disclosures |
The Fiduciary Hierarchy: The Retirement Plan Blog |
Behavior Gap: The Power of Getting Started |
Behavior Gap: When to Care More About the Return OF Your Money |
RetirementRevised: What’s the future hold for Social Security field offices? |
Squared Away Blog: Annuities: Useful but Little Understood |
Pension Risk Matters: An Economist’s Perspective of Fiduciary Monitoring of Investments |
The Trust Advisor: The Risks and Rewards of Self-Managing Investment Portfolios |
Behavior Gap: Ideas for People Who Use Money: Feeling the Urge to Buy More Stuff |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: The Risks of Revenue Sharing |
NAPA Net: 5 Investment Committee Lessons Learned From Tibble |
NAPA Net: Real Fiduciary Concerns of Mid and Small Market Plan Sponsors |
NAPA Net: Reeder Tapped to Head PBGC | Minimum Wage for Thee But Not for Me… |
NAPA Net: Building a Brand: Three Doors Down |
NAPA Net: Average IRA Balance Up 30% Since 2010 |
NAPA Net: Southern Workers More Likely to Miss Match |
NAPA Net: Tax Reform Working Groups Get an Extension |
Motley Fool: 3 Things You Should Put Off Until Your Retirement Is on Track |
NAPA Net: A Fiduciary Throwdown in D.C. |
NAPA Net: FINRA CEO Pushes Back on DOL Fiduciary Proposal |
NAPA Net: Language Barriers: Does Language Influence Savings? |
NAPA Net: Graff, Levine: DOL Rules Could Mean a New IRA Marketplace |
NAPA Net: Fox Raids Henhouse: SEC Charges Compliance Director With Fraud |
NAPA Net: A New Rationale For Roll-Ins? |
NAPA Net: Does a Retirement Plan Have an Obligation to Recover Overpayments? |
Motley Fool: 10 Immediate Steps to Start Planning for Retirement in Your 40s |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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