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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/3/16 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/3/16
June 06
00:06 2016

Welcome to 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. “When everybody’s a fiduciary…  no one is.”

FiduciaryNews Lead Story:
401k Fiduciary Concern: Financial Literacy and the Savings/Investing Dichotomy,” (, June 1, 2016) It turns out it’s not a question of “either/or” but more of the interconnectedness of “Yin/Yang.”

Compliance – Capitalism is a Terrible Thing to Lose:
As we come off of Memorial Day and enter the unofficial start of summer, we begin a series of holidays that seem to define the fundamental values that have made America John Winthrop’s “Shining City on the Hill.” Remember the exceptionalism of the American Experiment as you read the article below.
Survey: Governments Expected to Fund Almost Half of Global Retirements,” (Financial Advisor, May 27, 2016) It might not surprise you to learn that this was an international survey. Kinda tells you what the rest of the world thinks about the role of government.

Fiduciary – A Suit Tailored to Fail?:
That’s what many are saying. On the other hand, even a failure can succeed if the goal is to merely run out the clock. But the clock was running out anyway. Go figure.
Suit To Void Fiduciary Rule Filed By Five Trade Groups,” (Financial Advisor, June 2, 2016) Oddly, one of these trade groups is still planning to go ahead and prepare for compliance.
Nine groups file lawsuit to strike down ‘capricious’ DOL fiduciary rule,” (InvestmentNews, June 2, 2016) Hmm, how many groups are there? Maybe the other article didn’t include Texas.
Fiduciary rule: Bulletproof to first attack?” (Financial Planning, June 2, 2016) Well, it looks like any ruling would be limited to Texas. Another harbinger of succession?
Lawsuit against DOL fiduciary rule could delay implementation indefinitely,” (InvestmentNews, June 2, 2016) They didn’t need the lawsuit for this.
Lawsuit against DOL fiduciary rule seen as ‘weak’ by some observers,” (InvestmentNews, June 2, 2016) Point, counterpoint, point. From a different perspective than the previous two articles.
NAFA files second lawsuit against DOL fiduciary rule,” (InvestmentNews, June 3, 2016) But wait! There’s more!

Fees – Gotcha:
The SEC is showing its enforcement teeth even as the DOL is defining what should be enforced.
Momentum Investment Partners fraudulently failed to disclose higher fees, SEC says,” (InvestmentNews, May 31, 2016) Here we go folks. This is a general fiduciary issue, not just limited to retirement plans.

Investments – EXTRA! EXTRA! Man Bites Dog:
This isn’t what they wrote up when they distributed the talking points. Sure, you might question the “newsworthiness” of an old story, but if the questions remain unanswered, do we simply stop asking them?
The Hidden Costs of Passive Investing,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 2, 2016) This is old data but it hasn’t changed.

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.
EPSs said to boost 401k plan engagement, retirement readiness,” (Employee Benefit News, May 30, 2016)
The best approach for setting retirement withdrawal rates,” (Financial Planning, May 31, 2016)
Majority of millennials not participating in 401k plans,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, May 31, 2016)
Fidelity sued by Delta 401k participants over alleged fiduciary breach,” (, May 31, 2016)
Is 4.5% Still Safe?” (Financial Advisor, June 1, 2016)
Plan design considerations daunting for many plan sponsors,” (Employee Benefit News, June 1, 2016)
Onset of 401k lawsuits should prompt rigorous plan evaluations,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 2, 2016)
Here’s what 401k education must emphasize,” (BenefitsPro, June 2, 2016)
Employers advised to re-evaluate retirement readiness gaps,” (Employee Benefit News, June 3, 2016)
Should You Use a Roth 401k or a Traditional 401k?” (US News, June 3, 2016)

Trends and Truths 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 Actions Boomers Need To Take Before Retirement,” (Forbes, May 25, 2016)
Retirement planning for singles can be extra tough,” (USA Today, May 25, 2016)
Retirement planning tips for an older divorcee,” (CBS News, May 25, 2016)
A New Meaning for ‘Social Security’,” (Fox Business, May 26, 2016)
A Retirement Withdrawal Strategy That Can Save Your Sanity,” (Forbes, May 26, 2016)
Retirement readiness: Slow progress globally and in U.S.,” (BenefitsPro, May 27, 2016)
A Retirement Withdrawal Strategy That Can Save Your Sanity,” (Forbes, May 27, 2016)
How a single person can minimize taxes in retirement,” (Yahoo, May 31, 2016)
Why Empty-Nest Spending Is Making the Retirement Crisis Worse,” (MONEY, May 31, 2016)
Congratulations, graduates, you have 70 years of learning ahead,” (MarketWatch, May 31, 2106)
Retirement spending: Good news at last,” (CNBC, May 31, 2016)
A New Kind Of Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, June 1, 2016)
A $3 million dollar graduation gift,” (Benefits Selling Magazine, June 1, 2016)
Is 4.5% Still Safe?” (Financial Advisor, June 1, 2016)
More Americans Plan to Retire After 70,” (Financial Advisor, June 2, 2016)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Nerd’s Eye View: Getting Stretch IRA Treatment With An A/B Trust |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Ninth Circuit Rules That Plaintiffs Can Seek Equitable Relief Under ERISA Section 502(a)(3), Even Though They Also Claimed Additional Benefits Under ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B) |
Behavior Gap: Reinvest the Slack in Your System |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Review Your 401k Account |
Behavior Gap: The Value of Financial Peace |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: Initial Comments on Chamber of Commerce v. Thomas Perez and the Department of Labor |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #7 |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: Challenging the Department of Labor’s Authority to Regulate the Annuity Marketplace: National Association for Fixed Annuities v. Thomas Perez and the Department of Labor |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: PBGC Issues Proposed Rules On Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NASDAQ: The best approach for setting retirement withdrawal rates |
Kiplinger: Saving for Retirement When You Are in the Military |
NAPA Net: Are Student Loan Repayment Programs Ready to Take Hold? |
NAPA Net: Strength in Numbers |
NAPA Net: Report: Contributions Climb With Financial Wellness |
NASDAQ: 3 Things Millennials Should Know About Their 401k |
NAPA Net: Court Battle Over Fiduciary Regulation Looms |
NAPA Net: CITs Gaining Traction in TDFs |
NAPA Net: Got ESG? |
NAPA Net: What Are the Biggest Problems With 401k Loans? |
Kiplinger: Why Bonds Still Make Sense in Retirement |
NASDAQ: Don’t Wait for a 401k to Start Saving for Retirement |
NAPA Net: It’s On! Litigation Filed Challenging DOL Fiduciary Regulation |
NAPA Net: Index and TDFs Propel Top DC Money Managers |
NAPA Net: What is the Maximum Equity Exposure Allowed in TDFs as QDIAs? |
RIABiz: Skip Schweiss awakens FPA NorCal crowd with must-do DOL laundry list that starts with IRA billing and the need for chief laundering officers |
NAPA Net: Recordkeeping Recommendations a Fiduciary Act? |
NAPA Net: Second Lawsuit Filed Against Fiduciary Rule |
NAPA Net: Fees Matter in RK Changes, But Not as Much as… |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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