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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 7/28/17 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 7/28/17
July 31
01:18 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:
A Better Way to Set Retirement Goals,” (, July 25, 2017) So one wants his epitaph to read “Here lies John Doe. He beat the S&P 500.” There needs to be an easy-to-understand and easy-to-implement system that properly reflects both your goals and the consequences of failing to meet those goals. Retirement savers want and need a system that represents a better way to set and meet retirement goals.

Compliance – “A Republic, if you can keep it”:
What’s that about what Ben Franklin said about our country. So now was see the real danger of state-run plans – a lemming-like rush for the exit doors on the part of the private plan sponsor. “Oh, ye who go willingly into the tempting arms of the monster, you have created a destiny from which your children will never escape.”
DC Plan Sponsors Express Desire to Move to State-Run Plans,” (PLANADVISER, July 26, 2017) Apparently, plan sponsors think they won’t get sued if they place their employs’ retirement assets with the state. Well, little do they suspect, but these state-run plans must follow ERISA, and the employer’s decision NOT to offer a company sponsored retirement plan in lieu of a state alternative is a fiduciary decision that transfers employee money into the hands of a third party. They would be placing their legal liability exposure in the hands of states. Remind us again the track record states have with managing retirement funds – or anything for that matter.

Fiduciary – Play it Again, Sam:
What’s this about the definition of insanity being doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result?
Strong Support Voiced for Further Fiduciary Rule Delay,” (PLANADVISER, July 24, 2017) First off, before you get too excited, this DOL comment thing is just like one of those internet surveys – it’s unscientific and the folks who know how to respond quickest with the mostest usually win.

Fees – Crickets:
The dog days are fast approaching and that means vacations for many,

Investments – Amid the Euphoria Some Sober Thoughts:
If you can bear it, read the article about Grizzlies. It may be the most important investment article you’ve read in a long time.
DOL Rules Have Popularized ESG Investing Among DC Plans,” (PLANADVISER, July 21, 2017) How long until the Trump administration reverses the relatively last minute Obama-era DOL rule that allows plan sponsors to play politics with employee retirement money?
Ken Leech: Passive Doesn’t Work For Fixed Income,” (Wealth Management, July 25, 2017)
Strategic Beta ETFs: Active or Passive?” (PLANADVISER, July 25, 2017) The era of dominance of passive-only ETFs appears to be coming to a close as active ETFs have begun to blossom everywhere. Let the games begin.
Grizzlies, goals & gravestones – One common investor mistake: Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, July 26, 2017) When it comes to investing for retirement, no one wants his epitaph to read: “Here Lies John Doe – He Beat the S&P 500.”
DC Plan TDF Use Is Changing,” (PLANADVISER, July 27, 2017) There’s a movement away from proprietary TDFs.

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 to Run an HSA Exempt from ERISA,” (PLANADVISER, July 21, 2017)
Every company should offer a 401k retirement plan with job. No excuses,” (CNBC, July 21, 2017)
Trustee Ordered to Sell Real Estate to Replay Plan,” (PLANADVISER, July 24, 2017)
What Is a Solo 401k?” (NerdWallet, July 24, 2017)
Aon Pulls Company Stock From 401k Plan,” (PLANADVISER, July 24, 2017)
The New Era of DC Plan Menu Design,” (PLANADVISER, July 25, 2017)
DC Plans Focusing on Getting Employees Retirement Ready,” (PLANADVISER, July 25, 2017)
New Comparability Plans Popular Among Small, Professional Companies,” (PLANADVISER, July 26, 2017)
Why The Traditional 401k Is Underrated,” (Forbes, July 27, 2017)
Plan Sponsors Taking a Closer Look at Fixed Income,” (PLANADVISER, July 27, 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.
These Three Trends Are Eating Up the American Retirement Dream,” (Wealth Management, July 18, 2017)
Three Things I Should Have Said About Retirement Planning,” (The New York Times, July 21, 2017)
Major Behavioral Determinant of 401k Saving Success,” (The 401(k) Specialist, July 22, 2017)
Billionaire Joseph Segal’s Advice for Retiring,” (Money, July 24, 2017)
401k rollovers: How to avoid very costly mistakes,” (CNBC, July 24, 2017)
Women’s Retirement Income Literacy Is Lower Than Men’s,” (PLANADVISER, July 24, 2017)
401ks Show Signs of ‘Sudden Wealth Syndrome’,” (The 401(k) Specialist, July 24, 2017)
How This Man Was Able To Retire At The Age Of 33,” (Forbes, July 25, 2017)
3 Retirement Tips From the Very Rich,” (Money, July 25, 2017)
Can’t buy a house? Don’t worry, you can still build wealth,” (CNBC, July 25, 2017)
Your 401k match may have some strings attached,” (MarketWatch, July 29, 2017)
I’m 60 with little saved – what do I need to do to retire?” (CNN, July 26, 2017)
How much money you should have saved by 30,” (CNBC, July 26, 2017)
How to Guarantee an 8 Percent Return,” (US News, July 26, 2017)
Millennials may be far from retirement, but think ahead with 401k,” (USA Today, July 27, 2017)
Can Network Marketing Save Your Retirement?” (Forbes, July 27, 2017)
Switching jobs? Don’t forget that 401k plan,” (CNBC, July 27, 2017)
Only 45% of Millennials Started Saving for Retirement Before Age 28,” (PLANADVISER, July 27, 2017)
These are the times you’re actually allowed to put money back into your IRA,” (MarketWatch, July 28, 2017)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: Absurd Things About 401k Plans That Are Actually True |
Data “Points”: Are SDBAs the Next Litigation Target? |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Stressing Value is a better proposition than stressing cost |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Getting into trouble with the DOL and the IRS maybe just bad luck |
Squared Away Blog: Retirement Researchers Meet Next Week |
Nerd’s Eye View: Retirement: Pursuing The Non-Monetary Rewards Of Work? |
Squared Away Blog: How Your Data Get into the Wrong Hands |
Data “Points”: Why Your Recordkeeper Might Not Be an Automatic Enrollment Fan |
Business of Benefits: IRS’s New 401k Pre-Approved Document Rules Suggests a Path To Address 403(b) Document Challenges |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Excessive Fee Litigation Latest ‘Darling’ of Plaintiffs’ Bar |
NAPA Net: Lawmakers Respond to Fiduciary RFI |
NAPA Net: OregonSaves Pilot Launch ‘Successful,’ State Board Says |
Morningstar: Do’s and Don’ts for Beneficiary Designations |
The Motley Fool: 5 401k Facts You Didn’t Know |
NAPA Net: Halfway Through a ‘Year of Transition’ |
NAPA Net: Why Your Recordkeeper Might Not Be an Automatic Enrollment Fan |
NAPA Net: ARA Argues for Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings |
NAPA Net: U.S. Drops Three Spots in Global Retirement Index |
Kiplinger: Fiduciary Rule Could End Up Hurting Investors |
NAPA Net: Do Fund Manager Changes Affect Fund Performance? |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: What Constitutes a Partial Plan Termination? |
NAPA Net: Report Finds Moderate Interest in Dropping DC Plan for State-Run Plan |
NAPA Net: Washington State Commerce Dept. Updates Small Business Retirement Marketplace Rules |
Kiplinger: RMDs and Taxes Can Undermine Your Retirement Plans |
The Motley Fool: 4 Financial Milestones to Reach Before You Retire |
NAPA Net: Commonly Cited Participation Gauge Misses the Mark, Study Says |
NAPA Net: Retirement Income Adequacy Growing in Importance in Plan Design Decisions |
NAPA Net: Man Indicted for Ripping Off PBGC |
Kiplinger: Retirement Income Strategies for Next Bear Market |
NAPA Net: DOL Files for (Another) Stay in Fiduciary Litigation |
NAPA Net: Reader Poll: What Advisor Traits Do – and Should – Plan Sponsors Value? |
NAPA Net: Improved Tax Incentives Key to Small Plan Formation, Study Confirms |

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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