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FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 7/10/15

July 13
00:03 2015

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2015.07.13_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
These 7 Employee Concerns can Befuddle a 401k Plan Sponsor/Fiduciary,” (, July 7, 2015) 401k plan participant concerns come in three varieties: Those you know about and should do something about; Those you know about and shouldn’t do something about; and, Those you don’t know about and better do something about right now.

Compliance – Son of Big Brother:
You don’t know what’s best for you or your clients. That’s Big Brother’s job. Relax, and let him do all the worrying, all the work, and, did he tell you, get his own cut of the action.
Sen. Warren Reintroduces Bill to Restore Glass-Steagall,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 7, 2015) Heck, everything else reminds us of Depression Era thinking, why not this? Actually, this is less of a bad idea than it appears. First we get the banks pack to being banks. Then we get the brokers back to being brokers. And that would solve this whole fiduciary mess.
Regulators Want to Know How You’re Protecting Seniors,” (On Wall Street, July 7, 2015) Welcome to the shape of things to come.
Retirement reforms proposed by bipartisan Senate group,” (BenefitsPro, July 9, 2015) This article will be enjoyed by those who like to count the chickens before they hatch. (Hmm, was the pun intended, or was it merely a coincidence? You decide.)

Fiduciary – Artificially Flavored:
Does a Robo-Advisor dream a fiduciary sleep? Current expectations far exceed the abilities of today’s artificial intelligence programs.
Digital services must adhere to core fiduciary principles,” (, July 6, 2015) Blaine Atkin provides a thoughtful piece about how Robo-Advisors and human advisers are complimentary. (Could this signal the beginning of the “Web-MD” endgame for Robo-Advisors?)
10 common fiduciary errors,” (Employee Benefit News, July 8, 2015) Well, at least in the eyes of one man.

Fees – Don’t Get a Fee in Your Bonnet:
Beyond a certain point, there’s no longer any value in talking about fees.
Sabotage in your IRA: Sens. Warren and Booker,” (USA Today, July 1, 2015) It’s all about the fee, yeah, the fees, yeah, the fees. It’s all about the fees. Ironically, these two Senators, although supporting the proposal, don’t have a clue that the proposal will not do what the DOL says it will do and what they think it will do. It doesn’t outlaw conflict-of-interest fees (it was never about “excessive” fees), it institutionalizes them (with the proper disclosure, of course).
Are Flat Fees Really Better for Clients—or for Advisors?” (ThinkAdvisor, July 8, 2015) Bob Clark really doesn’t answer the question in this article. He does say he’ll answer it in next week’s piece.
Will transparency help fee disclosures?” (Employee Benefit News, July 8, 2015)

Investments – Perhaps this Section should be Retitled “Products”:
Once you understand the difference between investments and products, you’ll be a lot more successful.
External asset management service vies for DC participant, plan sponsor business,” (Employee Benefit News, July 7, 2015) They do retirement investing the old fashion way.
Fixed Index Annuities May Fill the Retirement Income Gap,” (On Wall Street, July 8, 2015) Or they may merely widen that gap. It depends on how much money you have.
Hybrid Annuities: Retirement Income Alternatives?” (On Wall Street, July 9, 2015) You can’t fault them for trying.

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.
403(b) plan sponsors committed to employer match,” (Benefit News, July 6, 2015)
Retirement assets on the rise,” (Benefit News, July 6, 2015)
The Case for Skipping the 401k-to-IRA Rollover,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 6, 2015)
Voices: Bret Magpiong, on Clients Who Want to Retire Early,” (Wall Street Journal, July 7, 2015)
For Small Businesses, an IRA With Pension-Like Features,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 7, 2015)
Retirement Basics: IRA or 401k?” (US News, July 7, 2015)
Not a Repeat: Millennials Lag in Retirement Savings,” (Financial Advisor, July 8, 2015)
3 kinds of issues 401k sponsors have,” (BenefitsPro, July 8, 2015)
Advisers’ big opportunity in the small 401k plan space,” (InvestmentNews, July 10, 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.
5 Steps for a Comfortable Retirement,” (US News, July 1, 2015)
Social Security Q&A: How Should I File if Single and Never Married?” (Forbes, July 1, 2015)
5 biggest financial mistakes Gen X and Gen Y make,” (MarketWatch, July 2, 2015)
Nearing Retirement? It’s Time to Be Creative,” (The New York Times, July 3, 2015)
Tapping into 401k plans early is tempting but perilous,” (USA Today, July 3, 2015)
Baby Boomers and Their Legacies,” (WealthManagement, July 6, 2015)
Social Security: When to Claim at 66,” (On Wall Street, July 6, 2015)
How to pick which retirement account to draw from first,” (MarketWatch, July 6, 2015)
7 questions to ask yourself before deciding to retire,” (CBS News, July 6, 2015)
Protecting Retirement Assets and Lifestyle from Cognitive Impairment,” (WealthManagement, July 6, 2015)
Social Security: When to Claim at 70,” (On Wall Street, July 7, 2015)
Two behaviors that can sink your retirement,” (MarketWatch, July 7, 2015)
Here’s How Greece Could Affect Your Retirement Savings,” (Money, July 7, 2015)
Why your next dollar shouldn’t go to your 401k,” (CNN, July 7, 2015)
Hacking retirement,” (BenefitsPro, July 8, 2015)
How You Can Form a Retirement Village in Your Community,” (US News, July 8, 2015)
Financial success requires sacrifice,” (MarketWatch, July 8, 2015)
12 steps to a stronger 401k,” (US News, July 8, 2015)
Help boomers recognize reality bites when it comes to wages in retirement,” (InvestmentNews, July 10, 2015)
Want to Work in Retirement? You May Be in for a Surprise,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 10, 2015)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: The Course of Human Events |
The Trust Advisor: Three Retirement Loopholes Seen Likely to Close |
The Retirement Plan Blog: Legal Advice on Your 401k Plan – Is It Confidential? |
RetirementRevised: Need to Work in Retirement? Think Small |
Squared Away Blog: College Debt = Student Stress |
Proskauer’s ERISA Practice Center Blog: Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Section 510 Claim |
The Trust Advisor: How Boomers Are Redefining ‘Legacy’ |
Behavior Gap: Your Credit Card Statement: A Personal Manifesto |
fi360: Understanding Marketing Volume III: Social Media Marketing |
Fred Reish: The Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Sales of Insurance Products |
Behavior Gap: Ideas for People Who Use Money: Focus on the Right Things |
Fiduciary Matters Blog: On Remand, Tussey v. ABB Defendants Found to Breach ERISA but Win on Procedural Technicality |
Proskauer’s ERISA Practice Center Blog: District Court Rules Privately-Held Stock Plan Fiduciary May Have Affirmative Duty To Disclose |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
Kiplinger: Big Changes Coming for Medicare, Social Security |
NAPA Net: NAPA Net Updates DCIO List |
NAPA Net: Reader Poll: How Many Are on the Installment Plan? |
NAPA Net: The Access Gap Between Rollovers and Installments |
NAPA Net: A Dip in Values for Those June 30 Statements? |
Motley Fool: The IRA Rules You Need to Know |
NAPA Net: 5 Things You Should Know About Target-Date Funds |
NAPA Net: FINRA Dishes Out $30 Million in Fines Related to Retirement Plan Fund Waivers |
NAPA Net: The Myths of Automatic Enrollment |
NAPA Net: Hill Action on Fiduciary Rule Will Continue, Saxon Says |
Motley Fool: What Does the Future Hold for Social Security? |
NAPA Net: Fitch Cautions on Fiduciary Rule Impact on RIAs, Annuities |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: The Importance of Beneficiary Audits |
NAPA Net: What’s on Congress’ Summer Agenda? |
NAPA Net: Tech-Savvy Millennials Want More Digital Outreach, Match Plans |
NAPA Net: Tax Reform Working Groups Turn in their Homework |
NAPA Net: Bipartisan HRA Legislation Introduced |
NAPA Net: IRS Reins in Pension De-risking Options |
NAPA Net: Working with TPAs |
NAPA Net: Most Plans Lack Installment Option; Few Use Them |
Kiplinger: Maximize the Social Security Spousal Benefit |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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