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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/21/16 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/21/16
October 24
00:03 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:
Exclusive Interview with fi360’s Blaine Aikin: DOL’s Fiduciary Rule ‘Takes Advisors to a Fork in the Road’,” (, October 18, 2016) Aiken says “There is no turning back” on DOL’s Fiduciary Rule as its momentum is “unstoppable” and regulation is “a lagging indicator.”

Compliance – The Retirement Crisis: It’s All Your Fault:
Apparently life gets in the way of saving for retirement. This is a touchy subject. To what extent should we encourage short-term sacrifice for long-term comfort? What if there isn’t a chance for long-term comfort if not for the short-term sacrifice?
Why our retirement system is broken,” (Employee Benefit News, October 18, 2016) This article is primarily about leakage, but also about how people just don’t have the wherewithal to take care of administrative things themselves. One surprising fact that came out of the piece: The most confident age groups when it comes to retirement are the oldest and youngest cohorts (seniors and millennials).

Fiduciary – There is an Alternative – For Plan Sponsors:
What’s a plan sponsor to do? The gig is up. They can’t hide from fiduciary any longer. But… there is a way out.
DOL Fiduciary: Outsourcing Offers Small Firms a Lifeboat,” (ThinkAdvisor, October 17, 2016) This is all about the 3(38); 3(21); 3(16) thing, which is important to keep reminding plan sponsors about.
Is regulation a lagging indicator?” (BenefitsPRO, October 19, 2016) With or without the DOL’s Rule, we live in a Fiduciary World now.

Fees – What, Me Worry?:
All the fee trolls must have been busy trolling the election.

Investments – Those that don’t Learn from History…:
…are condemned to repeat it. It looks like it’s time for the millennials to learn the requirements of long-term investing success the hard way – by ignoring what has historically worked. And don’t try to say past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. It doesn’t. But one good adage deserves another, and that’s this: You can’t hit the ball if you don’t swing the bat.
Investing: The money blind spot for millennials,” (Forbes, October 13, 2016)  When your primary experience with the stock market is day trading and watching CNBC, you know you’re in trouble.

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 Proposed Caps Could Impact IRA and 401k Accounts,” (InvestmentNews, October 14, 2016)
Dave Ramsey: 401k Savers ‘Scared, Confused’ and in Need of What?” (The 401(k) Specialist, October 16, 2016)
Verizon Pension Buyout Lawsuit Dismissed for Second Time,” (PLANADVISER, October 17, 2016)
Second Wells Fargo Stock Drop Complaint Filed,” (PLANADVISER, October 17, 2016)
Retirement plan sponsors: Are you doing these 5 things? If not, start today,” (BenefitsPRO, October 17, 2016)
New employer strategy to help employees save for retirement,” (Employee Benefit News, October 17, 2016)
A 10-Step Retirement Planning Not-to-Do List for Clients,” (ThinkAdvisor, October 17, 2016)
How employers can help employees prepare for retirement,” (Employee Benefit News, October 18, 2016)
DOL Sues ESOP Fiduciaries for Inflated Price of Purchase,” (PLANADVISER, October 19, 2016)
401k Financial Stress Test Fail,” (The 401(k) Specialist, October 19, 2016)
Time to Standardize the Language of Auto-Features,” (PLANADVISER, October 19, 2016)
Should retirees fear rising interest rates?” (MarketWatch, October 19, 2016)
How to Choose a 401k Plan Auditor,” (CFO Magazine, October 19, 2016)
The future of retirement is now — time to get ready,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, October 21, 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.
12 tips to help retiree avoid being scammed,” (Marketwatch, October 12, 2016)
How to Get Over Your Worries and Invest Like You Should for Retirement,” (MONEY, October 13, 2016)
Divorce is Destroying Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, October 17, 2016)
It takes a lot of work to be ready to retire. Don’t forget these things.” (The Washington Post, October 15, 2016)
The Best Way To Save For Your Golden Years Isn’t Even A Retirement Account,” (Forbes, October 16, 2016)
Home sharing has real benefits for retirees,” (MarketWatch, October 17, 2016)
The Guaranteed 50% Return You Are Forfeiting,” (Barron’s, October 17, 2016)
Millennials Increasingly Saving for Retirement in Mutual Funds ,” (PLANADVISER, October 18, 2016)
A good time to do a reality check on your retirement savings,” (The Washington Post, October 18, 2016)
The Two Money Questions Retirees Most Often Ask,” (MONEY, October 18, 2016)
Millennial Women Who Take Career Breaks Risk Retirement-Savings Shortfalls,” (Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2016)
How retirees on Social Security can stay afloat despite tiny COLA,” (USA Today, October 18, 2016)
When retirement savings goals seem hopelessly unrealistic,” (CNN, October 19, 2016)
Student loans can smother your retirement savings,” (CNBC, October 19, 2016)
You Can Retire Early Even If You’re In Debt: 7 Things To Know About Retiring Before 45,” (Forbes, October 19, 2016)
How to Get Serious About Creating Retirement Income,” (MONEY, October 19, 2016)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Behavior Gap: Insert Your Opinion Into the World |
Nerd’s Eye View: Is Delegating To An Advisor Just About Passing The Buck? |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: IRS Solicits Comments On Facilitating Compliance with Qualified Plan Document Requirements |
fi360: DOL Rule Change Forces Due Diligence Process Makeover |
Behavior Gap: Investing in Adventure: One of the Best Investments You’ll Ever Make |
Squared Away Blog: Your Social Security: 35 Years of Work |
Behavior Gap: Handling the Uncertainty of Being an Entrepreneur |
RetirementRevised: Social Security beneficiaries must swallow flat COLA in 2017 |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #24 |
Pension Risk Matters: Creating A Life Plan Before It’s Too Late |
The 401(k) Plan Blog: Scary Times (not an October pun) |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
Kiplinger: Financial Decisions You Will Regret in Retirement |
NAPA Net: Second Stock Drop Suit Plows Some New Ground(s) |
NAPA Net: Has Your Recommended Investment Mix Changed? |
NAPA Net: What Are the Biggest Financial Shocks in Retirement? |
The Motley Fool: How Can You Make a Too-Small Nest Egg Last Longer in Retirement? |
NAPA Net: Money Market Reform Kicks In |
NAPA Net: 6 Things People Who Need to Save for Retirement Need to Know About Saving for Retirement |
NAPA Net: Those Extra 5500 Compliance Questions? Never Mind. |
NAPA Net: Have You Hugged a TPA Today? |
The Motley Fool: Just How Much Money Do You Really Need for Retirement? |
Morningstar: When It Comes to Retirement Distributions, 401k plans Lack Valuable Flexibility |
NAPA Net: Digital Advisers as Fiduciaries |
NAPA Net: Are 3-Year Track Records Necessary for TDFs? |
NAPA Net: How Big Is the Financial Wellness Gender Gap? |
NAPA Net: Cyber Threats: What Fiduciaries Should Know |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Valuing Life Insurance Contracts Distributed from a 401k Plan |
NAPA Net: How Much Might Longevity Income Annuities Matter? |
NAPA Net: Health Care Costs Taking a Bite Out of Retirement Savings | The Truth About Social Security (That Was Ignored in the Debate) |
NAPA Net: Dealing with Differential Comp Under the Fiduciary Rule |
NAPA Net: Reader Poll: Subtle Shifts in Investment Category Recommendations |
NAPA Net: Are 3-Year Track Records Necessary for TDFs? Industry Insiders Weigh In |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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