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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/8/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/8/18
June 11
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:
What Plan Sponsors Must Do To Avoid Fiduciary Liability From These 3 Common Fee Blunders,” (, June 5, 2018) Plan sponsors shouldn’t let these three common fee foibles expose them to unnecessary fiduciary liability.

Compliance – What Doesn’t Work:
This week features articles focused on past and future government failures in terms of retirement policy.
Lawsuit Seeks to Halt Rollout of California Secure Choice Savings,” (PLANADVISER, June 1, 2018) Howard Jarvis, now that’s a name that brings back memories.
How well do you know ERISA rules?” (BenefitsPRO, June 5, 2018) Take the quiz and see how much you know.
Social Security trust fund reserves on track to be depleted by 2034,” (Financial Planning, June 5, 2018) Tell us something we don’t know. Oh, yeah, the author did. It’s right there in the first line of the story.
Social Security trust fund to run out of cash by 2034,” (BenefitsPRO, June 5, 2018) In case you didn’t get that the first time.
The federal government should fix the pension coverage gap,” (MarketWatch, June 6, 2018) This is a bad and misleading title. The article is not about pensions. It’s about retirement savings. Skip this one. Read the next one.
CRR Makes Recommendations for Improving Retirement System,” (PLANADVISER, June 5, 2018) Even though it came out a day before the previous article, it’s a much better piece.
CalSavers lawsuit raises tricky ERISA questions,” (BenefitsPRO, June 6, 2018) If state plans are ERISA plans, then they’re not state plans. Wasn’t this already decided?
Obama’s retirement fail,” (Politico, June 7, 2018) myRa was DOA. Do you think future presidents will learn from this abortive mistake?
Tax Reform, Fiduciary Rule Impact 403(b) and 457(b) Plans,” (PLANADVISER, June 7, 2018) If you’ve got one of these plans, this is a must read.
DOL Audit: Understanding the spectrum of risk,” (Employee Benefit News, June 7, 2018) A good rundown for those brave enough to take the plunge.

Fiduciary – Moving Along…:
The wheels never stop spinning for those inclined to thwart the fiduciary effort.
After Defeating DOL Rule, NAIFA Takes Aim At SEC ‘Advisor’ Title Prohibitions,” (Financial Advisor, June 6, 2018) Some may call this move arrogant (it is), but, hey, when you’re on a roll, why not? Of course, that’s exactly how Greek tragedies came to be.
Groups Urge 5th Circuit to End Uncertainty on DOL Fiduciary Rule,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 6, 2018) Delays like this are what start conspiracy theories.
How Smart Are You About the SEC’s New Regulation Best Interest Rules?” (Wealth Management, June 6, 2018) Are you smarter than a 5th grader?

Fees – Crickets:

Investments – Diversification Fever:
Let’s talk about diversification. Let’s everyone talk about it!
Participants in Advised SDBAs Have More Diversified Allocation,” (PLANADVISER, June 1, 2018) Despite the prominence given in the headline, it turns out to be a throw-away line at the end of the article without any attempt to either explain what it meant by “diversified allocation” nor speak to the context of the fact.
Everything you need to know about target-date funds,” (CNBC, June 4, 2018) Well, as least in one man’s opinion. And that man is not Ron Surz, who may have an opinion of his own on this matter.
Most 401k Participants Now Buy Only One Fund—But They’re Better Diversified Than Ever,” (Financial Advisor, June 5, 2018) What, is June “diversification” month? This one goes out to TDFs, the “one” size that apparently fits “most.”
TDF Investor Behavior Improves, But Allocation Mistakes Remain Common,” (PLANADVISER, June 5, 2018) It all depends on what your definition of “allocation” is.
The case for small-cap value just got stronger — even for retirees,” (MarketWatch, June 6, 2018) This isn’t a “just” thing. It’s been happening since the beginning of the year.

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.
Recruiting college grads? Focus on the 401k,” (BenefitsPRO, June 1, 2018)
Why plan sponsors don’t need to be right with their investment picks,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 4, 2018)
Plaintiff Loses Second Attempt at Stock Drop Suit Against Edison,” (PLANADVISER, June 4, 2018)
Invesco Latest Target of ERISA Self-Dealing Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, June 4, 2018)
How can plan sponsors know what they don’t know? – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, June 6, 2018)
Vanderbilt University Faces New Claim Over Product Marketing to 403(b) Participants,” (PLANADVISER, June 6, 2018)
401k consolidation: What every plan sponsor should know,” (BenefitsPRO, June 6, 2018)
Financial Wellness Programs That Follow Up Are the Most Effective,” (PLANADVISER, June 7, 2018)
4 Ways Modern Plan Design is Driving Better Retirement Results,” (The 401(k) Specialist, June 7, 2018)
Hardship withdrawal compliance makes retirement plan administration easy,” (Employee Benefit News, June 7, 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.
Deferring compensation now could build retirement wealth,” (CNBC, May 31, 2018)
Self-Directed 401k Investors Favor Mutual Funds, Increase Account Balances,” (Financial Advisor, June 1, 2018)
5 Legal Ways To Get Tax-Free Income For Retirement,” (Forbes, June 1, 2018)
Claiming Social Security early could lead to poverty later in life,” (MarketWatch, June 1, 2018)
6 companies with the very best retirement plans,” (BenefitsPRO, June 1, 2018)
Roth Conversions Part of the Tax Diversification Tool Belt,” (PLANADVISER, June 4, 2018)
Not Prepared for Retirement? Here’s a Solution: Don’t Retire,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 5, 2018)
IRAs, Divorce and the Wisdom of King Solomon,” (Wealth Management, June 6, 2018)
Most Americans Don’t Know How Much They’ll Need, to Retire,” (PLANADVISER, June 7, 2018)
Wealthy children count on inheritance to fund retirement,” (Employee Benefit News, June 7, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: Life’s Lessons |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #93 |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Learn to say no |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Tell your TPA what you’ve got |
RetirementRevised: Why retirees are waiting longer to claim Social Security |
RetirementRevised: Repeat after me: Social Security and Medicare are not insolvent |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
The Motley Fool: Retirees’ Reliance on Social Security Ties a 16-Year High, New Survey Shows |
Morningstar: 4 Bucket Strategy Misconceptions |
NAPA Net: Taxpayer Advocacy Group Challenges CalSavers |
NAPA Net: But How Will Workers Respond? |
NAPA Net: Disruptive Megatrends Cited in Call for New Retirement ‘Social Contract’ |
NAPA Net: GAO Seeks (More) Clarity on ESG |
The Motley Fool: How Low-Income Earners Can Get Up to $2,000 by Saving for Retirement |
Kiplinger: Follow QCD Rules to Make Your IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions Count |
NAPA Net: So, How Much Should a 35-Year-Old Have Saved? |
NAPA Net: Slight Uptick in Q1 Self-Directed 401k Trading Activity |
Kiplinger: The Biggest Social Security Mistake You Can Make |
NAPA Net: Typically Confusing: The Fidelity Bond vs. Fiduciary Insurance |
NAPA Net: Data Sharing Claim Added to 403(b) Suit |
NAPA Net: Frays in that Social Security Blanket… |
The Motley Fool: IRA vs. 401k vs. HSA: Which Is the Best Way to Save for Retirement? |
Morningstar: How the Tax Changes Affect Retirees’ Bills |
Kiplinger: Planning for Retirement: Should You Pay Off the House Early? |
NAPA Net: Plaintiffs Press for Fiduciary Rule ‘Closure’ |
NAPA Net: Participants with Single TDFs Expected to Dominate by 2022 |
NAPA Net: Standards of Conduct: Regulation Best Interest and the ’40 Act |
Kiplinger: Americans Talk Themselves Out Retirement Security |
NAPA Net: EBSA Threats of ‘Alternative Enforcement Actions’ Trigger ARA Response |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: Participant Pushback on Plan Changes (Mostly) Overblown |
NAPA Net: House Subcommittee Chair, Ranking Member Press IRS for VCP Update |
Morningstar: How Should Nonportfolio Assets Affect Your Asset Allocation? |

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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