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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/16/17 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/16/17
June 19
00:03 2017

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:
What’s the Immediate Impact of the DOL Fiduciary Rule on 401k Plan Sponsors?” (, June 6, 2017) “Hopefully,” says Reese, “this past year gave employers a better understanding of what they need to look out for to act as fiduciaries for their plan participants.”

Compliance – Targeting HSA:
Well, maybe not targeting as much as it’s collateral damage.
Fiduciary Reforms Will Impact Expanding HSA Market,” (PLANADVISER, June 15, 2017) Surprise! You might not have been thinking og this, but it makes perfect sense.

Fiduciary – First Thoughts:
The Rule is real and the initial thoughts are coming in.
PSNC 2017: Final Fiduciary Rule Not So Final,” (PLANADVISER, June 12, 2017) DOL staffer tells conference attendees not to be surprised if changes appear between now and the end of the year.
The Fiduciary Rule: Now that it’s here, what comes next?” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 14, 2017) A quick and easy synopsis of where we are, where we’re going, and the likelihood of our getting there in one piece.
Don’t fall for the hype, but don’t ignore the DOL’s rule either: Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, June 14, 2017) This is a Goldilocks situation, with the porridge being neither too hot nor too cold.
For SEC Fiduciary Rule, Regulate Titles First: CFA Institute Comments,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 16, 2017) Maybe start by removing dual registration?

Fees – Crickets:
Nothing this week.

Investments – A New Hope:
My, my, my it’s interesting how investment talk has progressed in recent months. It looks like folks are starting to get serious again.
Swelling ranks of boomer retirees create negative impact on returns,” (CNBC, June 8, 2017) We heard a lot of this in the 1990s about “the coming market crash” due to the onset of baby boomer retirements. Didn’t happen. Will it happen now? Think about it. How many retirees have been told they need to plan to live for another 30 years after retirement. That means long term investing. That means stocks. Do the math.
My Big Problem with Target Date Funds: Opinion,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 8, 2017) Ary Rosenbaum telling it like it is.
Behavioral Finance Is a Promising Alternative to MPT,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 13, 2017) Another brick in the wall that should have been built two decades ago.
Why Target Date Funds Keep Looking Better,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 13, 2017) While it doesn’t explicitly say it, this may be a counterpoint to Ary’s earlier article (see above).
Popular 401k funds are packed with tech stocks,” (Employee Benefit News, June 15, 2017) Just in time for the one-day drop and rebound in tech stocks.

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.
PSNC 2017: Plan Sponsors Face an Exciting and Challenging Future,” (PLANADVISER, June 8, 2017)
PSNC 2017: The Top Trends Impacting DC Plans and Participants,” (PLANADVISER, June 8, 2017)
IRAs Work—Americans Should Use them,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 9, 2017)
PSNC 2017: Re-enrollment Helps Maximize Plan Performance,” (PLANADVISER, June 9, 2017)
PSNC 2017: How Plan Sponsors Can Reach Out Digitally When Participants Are Inaccessible,” (PLANADVISER, June 9, 2017)
PSNC 2017: How to Repair Common Plan Errors,” (PLANADVISER, June 9, 2017)
One Heck of a Participant Outcome Story,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 10, 2017)
What employers should do to ensure fiduciary rule compliance,” (Employee Benefit News, June 11, 2017)
How 401k Plans Have Changed Over the Past Decade,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 11, 2017)
PSNC 2017: ERISA Litigation in Perspective,” (PLANADVISER, June 12, 2017)
Are you ready to jump on the auto-enrollment and auto-escalation bandwagon?” (BenefitsPRO, June 12, 2017)
List of Pre-Approved 403b Plan Documents Issued,” (PLANADVISER, June 12, 2017)
Why employers should develop a multi-year enrollment strategy,” (Employee Benefit News, June 12, 2017)
Northrop Grumman Settles ERISA Suit,” (PLANADVISER, June 13, 2017)
Pentagon seeks better retirement benefits for servicemembers,” (BenefitsPRO, June 13, 2017)
Hospital Church Plan Challenges Still Face Long Road,” (PLANADVISER, June 14, 2017)
How much should employees save for retirement?” (BenefitsPRO, June 14, 2017)
PSNC 2017: Education for Plan Investment Committees,” (PLANADVISER, June 14, 2017)
How employers can evaluate a 401k investment adviser,” (Employee Benefit News, June 14, 2017)
The New Science Of Retirement Planning,” (Financial Advisor, June 15, 2017)
Stock Drop Challenge Filed Against Chicago Bridge and Iron,” (PLANADVISER, June 15, 2017)
Capital Group, American Funds Sponsor, Sued for Using Own Funds in 401k Plan,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 15, 2017)
Teachers’ retirement plans are flunking,” (BenefitsPRO, June 15, 2017)
Supreme Court rules church plans exempt from ERISA,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 15, 2017)
401k Self-Dealing Suit Filed Against Capital Group,” (PLANADVISER, June 15, 2017)
10 trends from the Vanguard plan universe sponsors and advisors should watch,” (BenefitsPRO, June 15, 2017)

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.
Edelman: Nursing Homes, LTC And College Planning Are Toast, So Is Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, June 8, 2017)
5 Factors That Determine Your Retirement Withdrawal Rate (And Which One Is Most Important),” (Forbes, June 8, 2017)
We all know to put money into retirement accounts — what’s the best strategy for taking it out?” (MarketWatch, June 9, 2017)
Ouch! 3 ways poor health hurts in retirement,” (CNBC, June 9, 2017)
What Americans Will Miss Most When They Retire,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 11, 2017)
4 Retirement Myths That You Need To Know,” (Forbes, June 12, 2017)
These funds help boomers avoid a 50 percent tax penalty,” (CNBC, June 12, 2017)
What’s really draining employee 401k accounts,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 13, 2017)
Education Costs Put the Squeeze on Retirement Savings,” (PLANADVISER, June 13, 2017)
How Old is ‘Old’? The Answers Vary by Age,” (Money, June 13, 2017)
How women can save more money for retirement,” (MarketWatch, June 14, 2017)
401k Rollovers: Hot or Not?” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 14, 2017)
Are you entitled to a pension you’ve left behind?” (CBS News, June 14, 2017)
IRA trusts can protect your heirs from themselves,” (CNBC, June 14, 2017)
Deferring compensation now could help you in retirement,” (CNBC, June 12, 2017)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: How Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Cutting Their Nose To Spite Their Face |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Supreme Court Rules That A Retirement Plan Which Covers Church Employees, Is Maintained By An Organization  Intended To Administer Or Fund That Plan And Is Controlled By Or Affiliated With A Church, Is A Church Plan, Not Subject To ERISA, Without Regard To Who Actually Established The Plan |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #51 |
Squared Away Blog: Social Security’s Legacy to Ex-Wives, Kids |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Don’t gyp employees on retirement plans |
Scholarly Financial Planner: 8 Thoughts and 4 Questions on the DOL Fiduciary Rule and Its Impacts |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Second Circuit Rules That State Law Claim Pertaining To An Employee Benefit Plan Is Subject To The Three Year Statute Of Limitations Found In ERISA |
Squared Away Blog: Pre-Retirement Financial Review is a Must |
Nerd’s Eye View: How DOL Fiduciary Clean Shares Improve Mutual Fund Performance |
Ary Rosenbaum: Good Bets By A 401k Plan Sponsor That Will Limit Their Liability |
Data “Points”: What Plan Sponsors Want to Know About Financial Wellness |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Report Finds Professionally Managed Funds Improving Asset Allocation |
NAPA Net: Financial Wellness Programs Gain Momentum with Employers |
NAPA Net: The 4th Impartial Conduct Standard |
The Motley Fool: Four Factors That Could Derail Your Retirement  – and What to Do About Them |
Kiplinger: Uncle Sam Throws Many Retirement Surprise Parties |
Kiplinger: Taxes Can Be a Real Threat to Your Retirement |
NAPA Net: Time is Running Out to Simplify Saving for Retirement and Health Care |
NAPA Net: What Plan Sponsors Want to Know About Financial Wellness |
NAPA Net: Merrill Lynch Settles Suit with Small 401k Class |
NAPA Net: ARA Recommends Expanding Safe Harbor Amendments Guidance |
Kiplinger: How a Low-Fee Fund Can Be a High-Cost Mistake |
Morningstar: Morningstar’s Guide to 401k Plans |
The Motley Fool: Don’t Lose Your Roth IRA Tax Break by Making This Mistake |
NAPA Net: Schlichter Wrests Settlement from Northrop Grumman |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Cybersecurity and Retirement Plans |
NAPA Net: How Behavioral Biases Affect Financial Professionals |
NAPA Net: OregonSaves Program Edging Closer to Going Live |
NAPA Net: Another Money Manager Menu Draws Suit |
NAPA Net: One Idea on How to End the Fee Race |
NAPA Net: DC Plan Participants Stay the Course with Contributions, Asset Allocations |
NAPA Net: Another University ‘Schooled’ on Excessive Fees |
NAPA Net: Many Still Not Taking Steps Needed to Prepare for Retirement |
NAPA Net: Satisfying the Best Interest Standard |
Morningstar: An Overlooked Vehicle for Retirement Savings

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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