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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/16/16 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/16/16
September 19
01:55 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:
When it Comes to Fiduciary Liability, 401k Plan Sponsors Must Determine if Bigger is Better… or Worse,” (, September 13, 2016) When the time comes for class action attorneys to scan the field for prospective litigation opportunities, they start from the biggest classes and work their way down.

Compliance – Taking a Breather:

Fiduciary – Semper Fi, Buddy:

Fees – Together with Death and Taxes…:
We all knew this day would eventually come, and now, it’s here. This particular case bears watching because it may represent a new strategy for class action attorneys now that most of the low hanging conflict-of-interest fruit has already been harvested.
Voya targeted in 401k fee suit hinging on relationship with Financial Engines,” (InvestmentNews, September 14, 2016) This is going to be interesting. It’s not about the usual conflict-of-interest fee. This is more about what might be interpreted as a referral fee.

Investments – Memories…:
Do these articles take you back to your younger years?
The value of dividends in retirement,” (InvestmentNews, September 9, 2016) Nothing new here but it is a refreshing dip in some traditional thinking.
8 Facts and Fictions of Momentum and Value Investing,” (ThinkAdvisor, September 9, 2016) Speaking of traditional thinking, how about revisiting this classic debate. Ah, what nostalgia it beckons…

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.
Advice, Education Fails 401k Participants,” (Financial Advisor, September 8, 2016)
5 Surprising Fears from a 401k Focus Group,” (The 401k Specialist, September 9, 2016)
Two-Thirds of Small Businesses Do Not Offer a 401k,” (PLANADVISER, September 9, 2016)
3 New Methods for Correcting 401k Elective Deferral Failures,” (The 401k Specialist, September 12, 2016)
Is Your 401k A Rip-Off? One Easy Way To Tell,” (Forbes, September 12, 2016)
Why retirement portability should become clients’ next big focus,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, September 13, 2016)
Small-business owners not on board with 401k plans,” (BenefitsPRO, September 13, 2016)
Retirees Should Look Beyond Their Investments For Income Planning,” (Forbes, September 13, 2016)
Finding the Right Independent Record Keeper,” (Wealth Management, September 14, 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.
How Planning to Work in Retirement Can Backfire,” (MONEY, September 8, 2016)
When Retiring Early Is Not a Choice,” (The New York Times, September 8, 2016)
7 Tips to Maximize Social Security Benefits From an Ex-SSA Director,” (ThinkAdvisor, September 9, 2016)
Are 97% Of Social Security Recipients Doing It Wrong?” (Forbes, September 11, 2016)
The ‘Secret’ to 401k Participant Success?” (The 401k Specialist, September 11, 2016)
8 financial mistakes couples make that could derail retirement,” (BenefitsPRO, September 12, 2016)
Retirees share their 401k faux pas,” (Employee Benefit News, September 12, 2016)
Retirees who want kids’ help can’t be a bottomless money pit,” (USA Today, September 12, 2016)
Here’s how much the average American family has saved for retirement,” (CNBC, September 12, 2016)
Don’t Panic! How to Protect Your 401k from the Markets,” (Fox Business, September 13, 2016)
Here’s how much the richest Americans have saved for retirement,” (CNBC, September, 13, 2016)
Why More Women Than Ever Are Putting Off Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, September 14, 2016)
Gaps grow in retirement preparedness,” (BenefitsPRO, September 15, 2016)
Many Have Unrealistic Expectations for Retirement Savings,” (PLANADVISER, September 15, 2016)
Market Trends Buck Traditional Retirement Planning Rules,” (Financial Advisor, September 15, 2016)
Boeing’s retirement plan soars to new heights thanks to asset size, plan design,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, September 15, 2016)
Many Have Unrealistic Expectations for Retirement Savings,” (PLANADVISER, September 15, 2016)
Gaps grow in retirement preparedness,” (BenefitsPRO, September 15, 2016)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: Never Forget |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Resolving Financial Issues Before Marriage |
Nerd’s Eye View: How Financial Advisors Set Financial Planning Fees |
fi360: Fiduciary Talk 37: A Fiduciary Angle to Business Continuity? |
Squared Away Blog: Parents’ Dilemma: Kids Who Don’t Launch |
Behavior Gap: Feeling Anxious? Learning to Cope with Advisor Anxiety |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #19 |
Nerd’s Eye View: The Sorry State Of Risk Tolerance Questionnaires |
Squared Away Blog: When a Diamond Isn’t Forever |
Behavior Gap: The One Financial Concept I Wish Everyone Knew |
Nerd’s Eye View: Managing Reverse Age Bias Against Older Financial Advisors |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NerdWallet: From Millennials to Boomers, What to Do Now for Your Retirement |
NAPA Net: Retirement Bill Would Boost Some Savings, Cut Back on Others |
NAPA Net: How Many Retirement Accounts Do You Have? |
NAPA Net: Think Like a Lawyer, Act Like a TPA But Be an Entrepreneur |
NAPA Net: Rep. Kline Offers Composite Plan Solution for Multiemployer Plan Ills |
Kiplinger: QLACs Can Deliver Late-in-Life Income |
The Motley Fool: 4 Clever Retirement Plans Geared to the Self-Employed |
Morningstar: Investors Share Their Biggest Retirement Fears |
NAPA Net: Newest 401k Fee Suit Challenges Admin, RK, Investment Fees |
NAPA Net: Retirement Plans and Retirement Income: It’s Complicated |
NAPA Net: Small Biz Owners Skeptical of State-Run Retirement Programs |
NAPA Net: How Will the Fiduciary Regulation Affect Rollovers? |
Kiplinger: Why the Typical Retirement Withdrawal Strategy Is Wrong |
Morningstar: A One-Stop In-Retirement Portfolio-Maintenance Regimen |
NAPA Net: Plan Sponsors Weigh in on Retirement Income |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: What Standards Apply for Form 5500 Audits? |
NAPA Net: The Limits of ‘Hire Me’ |
NAPA Net: What Drives Partial Users of TDFs? |
NAPA Net: Advice Arrangement Spurs Another Excessive Fee Suit |
NAPA Net: DCIO Hiring Slowing Down |
NAPA Net: ACA Fuels Healthy Interest in Retirement Plans for Small Biz |
NAPA Net: Bipartisan Bill Boosts Small Biz Retirement Plans |
NAPA Net: Do NAPA Net Readers Regularly Roll Over Retirement Accounts? |
NAPA Net: Is Savings Ignorance Fueling Retirement Bliss? |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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