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FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/25/15

FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/25/15
September 28
00:03 2015

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2015.09.28_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:
Exclusive Interview: Andrew Golden Reveals the Huge Fiduciary Conflict-of-Interest Nobody Talks About,” (, September 22, 2015) Golden tells us how Swensen’s books have explained why a fiduciary cannot use a cookie-cutter approach.

Compliance – Whoops, There It Is!:
Is seems like the death of the 401k has been greatly exaggerated.
Can states help fill the retirement savings gap?” (CBS News, September 17, 2015) What part of “We’re from the government and we’re here to help” doesn’t scare the you-know-what out of you?
Can Tax Reform Save Retirement?” (ThinkAdvisor, September 17, 2015) Well, maybe…
I.R.S. Ruling Makes After-Tax Contributions More Attractive,” (The New York Times, September 21, 2015) Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
New research shows 401k plans produce same level of asset accumulation as traditional pensions,” (InvestmentNews, September 23, 2015) While experienced pros old enough to remember aren’t surprised by this finding, the real surprise is that this research was authored by Alicia Munnell. As a result, Munnell, a long-time proponent of pensions over 401k plans, has changed her tune. Welcome aboard Alicia!

Fiduciary – Entering the Realm of Fiduciary Fatigue:
It’s not all about fees. Remember that.
Fiduciary Rules Still Under Development, White Says,” (Financial Advisor, September 23, 2015) Apparently she’s waiting for Mr. Godot to arrive.
A conflict of interest that’s not related to fees,” (BenefitsPro, September 24, 2015) If you’re used to selling products, you might not realize this.

Fees – A Return to Ethics?:
When did we ever start using the word “transparent” when “trickery” remained the best description?
S.E.C. Turns Its Eye to Hidden Fees in Mutual Funds,” (The New York Times, September 25, 2015) Is pay-to-play (finally) on its way out?

Investments – PTSD – An Investment Reality?:
Seriously. Psychologists should study this.
How Retirees Can Survive – and Thrive – During Stock Market Volatility,” (Forbes, September 20, 2015) A lot of big “ifs” in this one.
Market crash of 2008 still affects Gen Xers, boomers,” (BenefitsPro, September 21, 2015) They’re still suffering from shell shock. This is a problem. And not just a “problem” in the sense that we shake our collective heads and brush it aside. This is a serious mental health problem that needs to be addressed. Can it be a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Let the big picture keep your portfolio safe,” (MarketWatch, September 21, 2015) Other opinions may differ.
Study says 401k advisors need to rethink active management,” (BenefitsPro, September 23, 2015) While portions of this study make sense (e.g., downside performance), the timing of this study implies it is perhaps a knee-jerk reaction to the current market cycle.
Some Funds in Your 401k Aren’t Really Mutual Funds After All,” (Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2015) If you haven’t already heard this about Collective Investment Trusts, then you haven’t been reading
Saving for Retirement with Target Date Funds,” (On Wall Street, September 25, 2015) The good news is that the article highlights the problems of TDFs for older investors. The bad news is that is fails to bring up the problems of TDFs for young investors.

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.
Retirement confidence is up, but why,” (CNBC, September 17, 2015)
5 things to know about Americans and retirement planning,” (BenefitsPro, September 18, 2015)
4 Pre-Retirement Savings Strategies,” (On Wall Street, September 18, 2015)
Thinking like a retiree is quite different than thinking like an investor,” (InvestmentNews, September 20, 2015)
Peer Pressure Doesn’t Help People Save More for Retirement,” (Money, September 21, 2015)
Half the world is worried about retirement,” (BenefitsPro, September 22, 2015)
Plan sponsors focused on investment costs,” (Benefit News, September 22, 2015)
Should an IRA Pass to a Trust?” (On Wall Street, September 22, 2015)
Retirement confidence: How does the U.S. stack up?” (Benefit News, September 23, 2015)
Beefing Up Advice Options For Workplace Retirement Plans,” (Wealth Management, September 25, 2015)
Retirement wealth holding steady,” (Employee Benefit News, September 25, 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.
Student loans cripple millennials’ retirement savings efforts,” (BenefitsPro, September 18, 2015)
5 things to plan for in your final stretch of unemployment – retirement,” (BenefitsPro, September 21, 2015)
Avoid this common retirement planning mistake,” (CBS News, September 21, 2015)
How much do you really need for retirement?” (CNBC, September 21, 2015)
Social Security Q&A: What’s Wrong with Using Life Expectancy Estimates?” (Forbes, September 21, 2015)
I’m 22. Should I Invest for Retirement in a Traditional IRA or a Roth?” (Money, September 22, 2015)
Social Security recipients: Don’t count on a raise in 2016,” (USA Today, September 23, 2015)
The simple reason you’ll probably never retire comfortably,” (MarketWatch, September 23, 2015)
Social Security Q&A: Can Non-Citizen Spouses and Children Collect Benefits?” (Forbes, September 23, 2015)
Clients Shouldn’t Deplete Retirement Savings to Pay for Kids Education,” (On Wall Street, September 24, 2015)
The Effects of Inheritances on Retirement Risk,” (Wealth Management, September 25, 2015)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Pension Risk Matters: Fiduciary Frenemies |
The Trust Advisor: 50 is Peak Age for Financial Decision Making |
Behavior Gap: Walking the Line Between Confident & Overconfident |
Scholarly Financial Planner: The End of Wall Street; The Emergence of a True Profession |
Behavior Gap: Getting Around Decision Fatigue |
Business of Benefits: Employee Asset Protection and State Auto-IRA Programs |
fi360: Is an IPS an invitation to lawsuits? |
Squared Away Blog: Prime-Age Job Market Still Weak |
Scholarly Financial Planner: “Objective Advice” & “Always Putting Your Interests First” – Really? |
Nerd’s Eye View: Don’t Use A QLAC To Avoid RMD Obligations |
Behavior Gap: One Weird Trick: Counter Your Cognitive Biases |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Should You Wait Until Age 70 to Collect Social Security? |
Pension Risk Matters: Pension Plans, Valuation and Venture Capital |
Squared Away Blog: Changes to Reverse Mortgages Continue |
RetirementRevised: Beefing up advice options in 401k plans |
RetirementRevised: How flat income growth late in your career can hurt your retirement plan |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: And the 2016 COLA for Contributions and Benefits Limits Are… |
NAPA Net: Older Workers Moving Into TDFs |
Kiplinger: Creating Multiple Income Streams in Retirement |
Kiplinger: RMD Rules for Older Workers |
Morningstar: Finding the Right Stock/Bond Mix in Retirement |
Motley Fool: 45% of Americans Face a Retirement Crisis: How 3 States Are Fighting Back |
NAPA Net: DC Switch Isn’t Bad for Retirement Savings Rates After All |
NAPA Net: 6 Questions For Your Next 401k RFP |
NAPA Net: Opportunities and Challenges for Plan Advisors |
NAPA Net: Loan Debt vs. Retirement: Mutually Exclusive? |
Motley Fool: 6 Annuity Fees You Should Know About |
Kiplinger: 101 Most Popular Mutual Funds for 401k Plans |
NAPA Net: SEC Fines Adviser for Security Breach |
NAPA Net: What is a Pension Buyout? |
NAPA Net: Congressional Dems Pushing Back on Fiduciary Proposal |
NAPA Net: Australians Saving More But Less Confident |
Kiplinger: Calculating, Withdrawing RMDs From Retirement Plan |
NAPA Net: ARA Expands on Importance of Level-to-Level Exemption |
NAPA Net: Chetney: Reshaping the Future Again |
NAPA Net: Crash Diets? The Lingering Effects of the Financial Crisis |
Kiplinger: Best Target-Date Funds for Retirement Savers |
Morningstar: Is the Case for Active Management Stronger in Retirement? |
NAPA Net: Barstein: In the DC World, 3’s a Charm |
NAPA Net: Transamerica Picks Up Mercer’s DC Admin Business |
NAPA Net: An Rx for Bad Meetings? |
NAPA Net: Are Robo Advisors Hurting Advisor Growth? |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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