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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/29/17 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 9/29/17
October 02
00:06 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:
Guidelines for Minor Children: How to Avoid a Personal Retirement Crisis,” (, September 26, 2017) But, as the cliché goes, “What about the children?” Arguably, it is minor children who have the best (and easiest) opportunity to shield themselves from a retirement crisis. They have the advantage of time (to maximize the benefits of compound interest).

Compliance – Can You Pass the Test?:
It’s worth a shot.
Quiz: 401k plans and compliance,” (BenefitsPRO, September 25, 2017) This is a great idea. Check it out.
IRS Says 403(b) Plans May Use Effective Date Addendums,” (PLANADVISER, September 27, 2017) Just in case you were wondering.

Fiduciary – The Finally Understand:
Does this mean they will buy more copies of 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions?
Sponsors Upping Their Fiduciary Game,” (PLANADVISER, September 25, 2017) Read this to see the survey result of a Deloitte plan sponsor questionnaire. It looks like plan sponsors finally get the importance of “fiduciary.”

Fees – Paul McCartney’s Grandfather:
He’s very clean, just like his 401k plan’s mutual fund shares.
What Do Retirement Benefits Really Cost Participants?” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 21, 2017) This is the whole kit and caboodle.
DC plan fees flattened out in 2017,” (Employee Benefit News, September 24, 2017) This is in part due to the education process being enhanced by Jerry Schlicter’s law suits (thus exposing the true liabilities attached to fiduciaries) and to increased conflict-of-interest fee awareness (thus identifying for everyone what Jerry Schlicter has been looking for all along).
Where does the fiduciary rule leave mutual funds?” (Financial Planning, September 25, 2017) Looks like this “clean shares” thing is about to become a real SEC-endorsed thing. Perhaps “no-load” had too many holes in it.

Investments – Fads a poppin’:
Well, yeah, sure, why not?
Don’t Call it a Comeback: Why CITs are Suddenly Gaining Ground,” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 23, 2017) It’s a trade-off between flexibility (and maybe lower fees) in exchange for reduced (or at the very least, different) regulatory oversight.

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.
Wait …Company Stock is Now Good for Retirement Saving?” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 20, 2017)
Plaintiffs Fail to Meet Pleading Standards in Wells Fargo Stock Drop Suit,” (PLANADVISER, September 25, 2017)
What Are Business Owners Saying About Retirement Benefits?” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 25, 2017)
DC plan termination: Common mistakes plan sponsors make,” (BenefitsPRO, September 25, 2017)
Excessive Fee Suit Filed Against Novitex 401k Plan Fiduciaries,” (PLANADVISER, September 25, 2017)
The Top Reasons for 401k Plan Participation?” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 25, 2017)
How to regularly review 401k providers,” (Employee Benefit News, September 26, 2017)
U Penn 403(b) suit dismissed,” (BenefitsPRO, September 26, 2017)
Company stock loses its luster in 401k retirement landscape,” (Employee Benefit News, September 26, 2017)
Need Retirement Money? Selling Your Company Can Help. But First You Need to Plan.” (Entrepreneur, September 26, 2017)
Safe-Harbor 401k Plans Attractive to Both Sponsors and Participants,” (PLANADVISER, September 27, 2017)
3 mistakes plan sponsors make that cause trouble,” (BenefitsPRO, September 27, 2017)
Education on Lifetime Income Needed in Not-for-Profit Sector,” (PLANADVISER, September 27, 2017)
SPARK Offers Best Practices for Recordkeepers to Report Cyber Security Capabilities,” (PLANADVISER, September 27, 2017)
8 Myths About Small-Business 401k Plans (Debunked),” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 28, 2017)
General Electric 401k Fiduciaries Accused of Self-Dealing,” (PLANADVISER, September 29, 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.
How prepping for retirement is like prepping for a hurricane,” (Florida Today, September 20, 2017)
Check pay records to make sure you’re getting proper benefits,” (Everett Herald, September 20, 2017)
Reverse Mortgages Rules To Change Positively And Negatively For Retirees,” (Forbes, September 21, 2017)
5 Financial Milestones You Should Hit Before Turning 30,” (Money, September 23, 2017)
You can still save for retirement with a 401k,” (USA Today, September 24, 2017)
A stronger economy raises incomes, but less so for seniors,” (MarketWatch, September 25, 2017)
Retirement Savings: Why It’s Possible to Save Too Much,” (Fortune, September 25, 2017)
Financial Struggles Overshadow Millennials’ Retirement Savings Confidence,” (PLANADVISER, September 26, 2017)
What killer asteroids teach fiduciaries about retiring in comfort: Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, September 26, 2017)
Why October is the scariest month for your retirement,” (CNBC, September 26, 2017)
Boomers, Millennials Race Ahead Of Gen Xers In Retirement Planning,” (Financial Advisor, September 27, 2017)
The Toll Anxiety, Depression Take on Retirement Savings,” (The 401(k) Specialist, September 27, 2017)
How ‘New Frugality’ Influences Boomers’ Rising Retirement Optimism,” (ThinkAdvisor, September 30, 2017)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: Good Housekeeping Tips Every 401k Plan Sponsor Should Follow |
Data “Points”: “Checks” and Balances |
Data “Points”: Are You (Just) a Retirement Plan Monitor? |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: No joke: Gucci sued for “expensive” 401k plan |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #63 |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: You Might Be The Plan Provider That They Don’t Need Right Now |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Using Funds From Only One Family Is An Awful Idea |
RetirementRevised: Using a reverse mortgage to delay Social Security: does that really make sense? |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Wells Fargo Wins Stock Drop Suit |
NAPA Net: University of Pennsylvania Prevails in 403(b) Excessive Fee Suit |
Kiplinger: What’s the Big Deal About Health Savings Accounts? |
The Motley Fool: Why You Should Pay Off These 3 Debts Before You Retire |
NAPA Net: ‘Talking’ Points |
NAPA Net: Excessive Fee Suit Targets Advisor Comp |
NAPA Net: Millennials Prefer Traditional Financial Advisors Over Robo-Advisors |
Kiplinger: This Will Make You Rethink Your Dividend Strategy |
The Motley Fool: 3 Retirement Rules You Should Know by Heart |
Kiplinger: Five Ways to Ponzi-Proof Your Retirement |
The Motley Fool: 3 Mistakes You’re Likely to Make After Retiring |
NAPA Net: Clayton Says SEC ‘Pushing’ on Fiduciary Regulation |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Recharacterization Deadline |
NAPA Net: Equity Market Performance Propels Strong Growth for DC Plans |
The Motley Fool: 7 Retirement Rules to Live By |
Kiplinger: Planning Your Transition Toward Retirement |
NAPA Net: Is Rothification off the table?  |
NAPA Net: Why You Need Surround-Sound Networking |
NAPA Net: Tax Reform Proposal Could Undermine Incentives for Small Business Plans |
NAPA Net: Rep. Wagner Again Introduces Bill to Repeal DOL Fiduciary Rule |
NAPA Net: Industry Leaders: Build on Existing Framework to Address Retirement ‘Challenges’ |
NAPA Net: Congress Approves Hurricane Relief Bill |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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