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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/22/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/22/18
June 25
00:03 2018

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: Kiplinger Retirement Report Editor Rachel Sheedy Reveals the One Retirement Question People aren’t Considering But Should,” (, June 19, 2018) Before one can advise investors, it’s critical one know what they’re thinking and understand why they’re thinking it.

Compliance – Yeah, Pensions are Retirement Plan Dinosaurs:
If you’re sick and your life depended on it, would you go to a doctor only capable of bringing 19th century ideas and medicine to help you? Why risk your retirement the same way?
Non-ERISA 403(b)s Should Pay Attention to SEC Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule,” (PLANADVISER, June 18, 2018) Be prepared. Always be prepared.
Enough about Social Security: For some, pensions are the more immediate issue,” (Financial Planning, June 18, 2018) Yes, but aren’t these really the same thing?
Public Pensions Need To Consider That Beneficiaries Are Living Longer,” (Forbes, June 14, 2018) Yeah, well, that train has kind of already left the station.
After the ruckus over Rothification, experts say tax reform favors after-tax contributions,” (BenefitsPRO, June 20, 2018) Well, this may be so, but the consensus favors a diversified savings strategy among both tax-deferred and after-tax vehicles.

Fiduciary – More Fallout on the Death of the Fiduciary Rule:
It’s too early to tell what it really means, but, chances are, this is a brilliant opportunity for someone.
BofA Weighs Allowing Commissions On Merrill Retirement Accounts,” (Financial Advisor, June 15, 2018) For some reason, it appears this week’s reports on this subject seem a bit more muted than last week’s.
Merrill Lynch reviews commission IRA business after DoL fiduciary rule dies,” (Financial Planning, June 15, 2018) …and another one.
We have reached the moment of truth for ‘fiduciary’ – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, June 20, 2018) It’s now or never when it comes to determining whether or not fiduciary has any legs.
5th Circuit Issues Order to Kill DOL Fiduciary Rule,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 21, 2018) The king is dead! Long live the king!

Fees – Stupid is as Stupid Does:
Why do we continue to make the same mistakes we’ve made in the past?
AARP, FSI, Charles Schwab agree: SEC’s lengthy Form CRS disclosure could confuse clients,” (On Wall Street, June 19, 2018) In 2012 the DOL came out with a Mutual Fund Fee Disclosure Rule. While the intent was good, without a mandated one-page template, the Rule became a farce. Fees were buried deep within 50+ page “disclosure” reports, and then accessible – or so it seemed – only via very long URLs that required hand entry. Let’s hope the SEC has learned from this unintended fiasco.
401k Participant Mutual Fund Expense Ratios Declined Substantially Since 2000,” (PLANADVISER, June 20, 2018) The article doesn’t explain why. It also doesn’t do a similar analysis on the reduction in mutual fund fees (12b-1, revenue sharing, and commissions), which probably had a greater impact on investors than the reported reduction in operating expenses (i.e., expense ratio).

Investments – Short Strokes:
Just a couple of quick hitters.
Selecting the Optimal QDIA,” (PLANADVISER, June 15, 2018) This is a case study on what one plan sponsor did.
10 insights into the target-date fund market,” (BenefitsPRO, June 15, 2018) The latest trends from the TDF world.
Dividends, Brokerage Accounts Key Sources of Retirement Income,” (PLANADVISER, June 19, 2018) As well it should be.

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.
The Status of Company Matches,” (PLANADVISER, May/June 2018)
Offbeat and Completely Original 401k Enrollment Strategies,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 13, 2018)
More Sponsors Search Out Fiduciary Services and Support,” (PLANADVISER, June 15, 2018)
Another Awful Example of 401k Fraud,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 17, 2018)
Lessons from Litigation: Process Matters Most,” (PLANADVISER, June 18, 2018)
Considerations for Helping Terminating and Retiring Participants,” (PLANADVISER, June 19, 2018)
7 signs of a successful 401k,” (Employee Benefit News, June 20, 2018)
Massive Savings From E-Delivery Update to 401k Disclosure,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 20, 2018)
DC plan sponsors’ focus: Long-term risks, participant retention,” (BenefitsPRO, June 20, 2018)
PSNC 2018: Educating Participants on Plan Data,” (PLANADVISER, June 21, 2018)
Tips for Establishing and Maintaining Plan Documents,” (PLANADVISER, June 21, 2018)

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.
Divorce Puts Retirement at Risk: CRR,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 15, 2018)
What is a backdoor Roth IRA?” (Fox Business, June 15, 2018)
When should you retire? Don’t die at your desk, but don’t outlive your money either,” (The Washington Post, June 15, 2018)
Married Women Are Making a Big Social Security Mistake,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 15, 2018)
On planner’s advice, widow reaps Social Security benefits windfall,” (Financial Planning, June 18, 2018)
Most Americans clueless on how much to save for retirement,” (BenefitsPRO, June 19, 2018)
The Really Surprising Thing People Get Wrong In Retirement,” (Money, June 19, 2018)
Most Retirees Only Withdrawing Required Minimum Distribution,” (PLANADVISER, June 21, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: (Re)Solving the Retirement Crisis |
Ary Rosenbaum: 401k Plan Sponsors Need To Read This Article! |
401k Plan Blog: What are the things you need to know before taking out a 401k loan? |
Squared Away Blog: Work-Life Imbalances Spur Retirement |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #95 |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Merrill Lynch Mulling Retirement Plan Compensation Decision |
NAPA Net: Will MEPs Matter? |
NAPA Net: ARA Seeks IRS Action on EPCRS, Determination Letters and More |
NAPA Net: OregonSaves Implementing, Refining Interactive Procedures |
The Motley Fool: Here’s How Social Security Generated $1 Trillion in Income Last Year |
Morningstar: 5 Retirement-Planning Blind Spots |
NAPA Net: Feel Lucky? |
Morningstar: Lester: The 3 Biggest Risks Retirees Face |
The Motley Fool: Social Security: How Much Can Married Couples Collect In 2018 |
NAPA Net: Small Biz Health Care Concerns? DOL Says There’s an ‘AHP’ for That |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Medicare Part B Premium Protection |
NAPA Net: Judge Orders Production of Facebook Posts in Excessive Fee Suit |
The Motley Fool: The Smart Retirement Move 42% of Americans Plan to Make |
NAPA Net: 401k Mutual Fund Expense Ratios Continue Downward Trend |
NAPA Net: The Surprising Lesson Baseball Cards Taught Me About Social Media |
NAPA Net: TDFs Top Transfers Out, Contributions In |
NAPA Net: It’s Official: The Fiduciary Rule is Dead |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: Mixed Messages on MEPs |
NAPA Net: Morningstar: Opaque Data Hinders Best-Interest Advice |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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