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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/2/17 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/2/17
June 05
00:58 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:
The #1 Retirement Saving Goal for People in Their 60s and the Most Useful Strategy to Get There,” (, May 31, 2017) “As you reach your seventh decade (that would be turning age 60 for those who forgot your first decade includes only your single digit years), you find yourself fast approaching that universal goal line known as ‘retirement.’ Don’t let the nearness to the final goal may fool you into inaction.”

Compliance – Conflicting Realities:
You think you know the answer? So does the other guy – and his is the exact opposite of yours. If only we all agreed that math rules, then we might agree on more.
Even Young People Are Counting on Social Security,” (PLANADVISER, May 26, 2017) As Scooby Doo would say, “Rut Roh!”
Agency Predicts ‘$224 Trillion Retirement Gap’ (Seriously),” (The 401(k) Specialist, May 26, 2017) Just to make the politics behind this clear, the author says the proponents of this view consider it the financial equivalent of “climate change.”
Who killed retirement security? If you look closely, it wasn’t the 401k,” (TheHill, May 28, 2017) Cannot say it better than the end of the article: “There is a real threat to retirement security, but it’s not 401ks. Yes, the federal government should make it easier and cheaper for small business to offer 401ks. But should we expand Social Security? Not before fixing its large and growing funding gap. Should state governments establish retirement plans? Not before addressing states’ own problems with excessive risk-taking in public employee pension funds, sometimes-high fees in state-run 529 college savings plans, and investment-related bribery scandals that sent the New York State Comptroller and the head of the California’s largest pension system to prison. Reforms to the U.S. retirement saving system should build on what’s working and fix what’s not.”
3 Reasons Cities Should Switch to 401ks,” (The 401(k) Specialist, May 29, 2017) A great primer on all that is wrong with state-sponsored pension plans.

Fiduciary – Shifting Sands:
It appears we may be in the midst of a watershed shift in the manner we will be discussing everything fiduciary.
Minimizing legal risk under the DOL fiduciary rule,” (BenefitsPRO, May 26, 2017) In the end, that’s what it’s all about.
Secretary Acosta, Candor and the DOL Rule,” (ThinkAdvisor, May 31, 2017) Interesting. Acosta shifts the fiduciary debate from the arcane words of regulators to the Rule of Law. Is this a harbinger of things to come?
SEC Chair Makes Move In Wake Of DOL Rule,” (Financial Advisor, June 2, 2017) It’s never too late to join the party.

Fees – The Long Memorial Day Weekend Takes its Toll:
And the concern regarding fees diminishes.

Investments – The Screw Turns:
What’s amazing is that it’s taken this long for folks to write about Modern Portfolio Theory in the past tense.
The smart way to fine-tune your portfolio,” (MarketWatch, May 29, 2017) Yet another study shows value investing is better over the long-term versus growth investing. This is important to reiterate as the market hits new highs. Market highs generally coincide with growth stocks beating value stocks in the short-term. Retirement investments aren’t short-term investors, they’re long-term investors.
Investing: It’s OK to Be Emotional About Your Portfolio,” (Money, May 31, 2017) Explore how behavioral finance can make you a better investor.

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.
Biggest Financial Regret for 401k Participants?” (The 401(k) Specialist, May 25, 2017)
Retirement calculator seen as critical tool,” (Employee Benefit News, May 29, 2017)
Lawsuit Filed for Retirement Plans Using United of Omaha GICs,” (PLANADVISER, May 30, 2017)
Should Advisers Advocate Employer Paternalism?” (PLANADVISER, May 30, 2017)
Wells Fargo Proprietary TDF Suit Dismissed,” (PLANADVISER, May 31, 2017)
What plan sponsors need to know now about the fiduciary rule,” (BenefitsPRO, June 2, 2017)
How retirement savings education is falling short,” (Employee Benefit News, June 2, 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.
Gen X Faces Hurdles,” (PLANADVISER, March/April 2017)
7 Ways To Start A Business And Protect Your Retirement,” (Forbes, May 25, 2017)
401k problem: Saving too much for retirement can limit cash,” (USA Today, May 25, 2017)
Near Retirees Are Rethinking Retirement Dates,” (Financial Advisor, May 26, 2017)
Are retirees worse off now than in prior generations?” (CBS News, May 26, 2017)
Understanding Share Classes in DC Plan Funds,” (PLANADVISER, May 26, 2017)
The 401k follies: The right and wrong way to save,” (CNBC, May 29, 2017)
I retired early, in spite of these 4 big investing mistakes,” (MarketWatch, May 29, 2017)
Caregiving responsibilities hindering retirement savings,” (Employee Benefit News, May 29, 2017)
Retirement Gifts: Don’t Choose This, a Recent Retiree Says,” (Money, May 30, 2017)
How to spend your money in retirement without dying broke,” (MarketWatch, May 30, 2017)“Is it ever OK to raid your 401k?” (CBS News, May 30, 2017)
A process to ease plan participants into retirement,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, May 30, 2017)
The New Worry For Life After Work: Preparing For Retirement FOMO,” (Forbes, May 30, 2017)
Job misery can cripple retirement,” (BenefitsPRO, May 30, 2017)
Remember, there’s more to retirement (and life) than money,” (BenefitsPRO, May 31, 2017)
When you should establish an IRA as a trust,” (Financial Planning, May 31, 2017)
Your One Stop Guide To Retirement Planning,” (Forbes, May 31, 2017)
It’s time for a new American retirement dream,” (CBS News, May 31, 2017)
401k borrowing isn’t free,” (Employee Benefit News, June 1, 2017)
She retires. He doesn’t. Why retiring together makes sense (usually),” (On Wall Street, June 2, 2017)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Fred Reish: Department of Labor Releases New Fiduciary Rule Enforcement Policy and FAQs |
Nerd’s Eye View: What Does It Really Mean To Live Within Your Means? |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Financial Advisor Compensation |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #49 |
Nerd’s Eye View: Correlation Matrix Assumptions In Monte Carlo Retirement Analysis |
The 401(k) Plan Blog: Where has the all the content gone? |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: My problem with Target Date Funds |
Squared Away Blog: Young Workers’ Hopes Confront Reality |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
Morningstar: What’s So Bad About Debt in Retirement? |
NAPA Net: Acosta Lining Up Meetings on Fiduciary Rule |
NAPA Net: 7 Reasons Why HSAs Are ‘Hot’ |
NAPA Net: Another Stable Value Provider Sued |
NAPA Net: Steering Clear of Fiduciary Enforcement Troubles |
NAPA Net: Fiduciaries Prevail in TDF Self-Dealing Suit |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Automatic Escalation in a QACA |
NAPA Net: Millennials, Move Over – Gen Z Has Arrived |
NAPA Net: Bill Would Create a Portable Benefits Pilot Program for ‘Gig’ Workers |
NAPA Net: Can HSAs Lead to Healthier Behaviors? |
NAPA Net: How Will Retirement Fit With Tax Reform? |
NAPA Net: Millennials Optimistic on Retirement Age – Lifespan, Not so Much |
NAPA Net: The SEC (Re)Enters the Fiduciary Fray |
NAPA Net: Things Looking Up for Those June 30 Statements |
NAPA Net: Conflict ‘Ed’ – Things Are Heating Up |
Kiplinger: Debunking the Top 5 Retire-Myths |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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