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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/29/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/29/18
July 02
00:04 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:
7 Steps to Teach Your Child Good Financial Habits,” (, June 26, 2018) The real prize, though, comes courtesy of following Ben Franklin’s advice. Once you convince them to save and they see the perpetual motion machine known as “compounding,” your job is done.

Compliance – Heading into a Quiet Summer?:
Well, we’ll see. There was a “start/don’t start” episode concerning some legislation, but when hasn’t that happened.
CT Passes Law to Apply Fiduciary Standards to non-ERISA 403(b)s,” (PLANADVISER, June 22, 2018) The states start trying to fill a void.
Groom Law Group Calls for IRS Determination Letter Program Expansion,” (PLANADVISER, June 26, 2018) It turns out people would rather know for sure than be left guessing.

Fiduciary – The Phantom of the Fiduciary Rule:
Interesting. It seems like there’s a real ghost of the Fiduciary Rule that has forever changed the marketplace standard. One thing it hasn’t changed it the legal standard, but that doesn’t mean some won’t pretend it has.
In Memoriam: How the Fiduciary Rule Changed the Retirement Industry,” (PLANADVISOR, June 22, 2018) The title and the opening paragraph promise more than this short article can deliver.
Galvin: Scottrade Fiduciary Case Still On Despite 5th Circuit Ruling,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 25, 2018) The show must go on!

Fees – This Topic is Really Dying:

Investments – ESG Takes It on the Nose:
Folks that matter are suddenly realizing it’s their neck on the line if “feel good” doesn’t “perform good.”
Getting Serious About TDF Sequence of Returns Risk,” (PLANADVISER, June 22, 2018) Ron Surz talks about a problem that plagues not only Target Date Funds, but all mutual funds in general. It’s hard to manage for a sequence of returns risk in pooled vehicles. That’s the disadvantage of not building a portfolio of individual stocks and bonds – something very difficult to do in a 401k environment.
ESG Fund Performance Goes Under Cerulli’s Microscope,” (PLANADVISER, June 25, 2018) It’s an age-old debate – Is it more important for investments make you “feel good” or make you money?
The next bear market in stocks will spark a retirement crisis,” (MarketWatch, June 28, 2018) But only if you’re not prepared.

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.
Lawsuit Argues Health Provider Plan Lost Its Church Plan Status,” (PLANADVISER, June 22, 2018)
Betterment Settles FINRA Allegations Tied to Bookkeeping Practices,” (PLANADVISER, June 25, 2018)
MetLife Faces Court Challenges for Pension Risk Transfer and Beneficiary Practices,” (PLANADVISER, June 25, 2018)
Retirement readiness still a struggle for lawmakers,” (Employee Benefit News, June 26, 2018)
Evaluating Third Party Administrators,” (Wealth Management, June 26, 2018)
Are Roths the Future of 401k Plans?” (ThinkAdvisor, June 26, 2018)
Ex-State Street Banker Convicted Of Defrauding Retirement Funds,” (Financial Advisor, June 27, 2018)
Workers Worry About the Future of Social Security,” (PLANADVISER, June 27, 2018)
What’s in a retirement readiness score?” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 27, 2018)
Physician, heal thyself. Advisor, advise thyself – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, June 27, 2018)
University Points Out Differences Between 403(b)s and 401k Plans in Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, June 28, 2018)
Priorities for retirement plan sponsors: Plugging leakage, enabling auto-portability,” (Employee Benefit News, June 28, 2018)
Second Amended ERISA Complaint Targeting Xerox HR Solutions Tossed by District Court,” (PLANADVISER, June 28, 2018)
IRS DOL audit red flags and avoiding plan risks,” (Employee Benefit News, June 29, 2018)
Fight backlash against retirement planning nudges,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 29, 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.
Show Me the (Social Security) Money” (Wealth Management, June 22, 2018)
Claiming early Social Security may not be the best strategy for high earners.” (Financial Planning, June 24, 2018)
Forget saving more, try working longer,” (CNBC, June 24, 2018)
Retirees More Worried About Health Than Money,” (PLANADVISER, June 25, 2018)
3 Questions to Help Grow Your Retirement Savings,” (NerdWallet, June 25, 2018)
7 Ways to Retire Without Social Security,” (US News, June 25, 2018)
Two ways to improve your retirement savings,” (CNBC, June 25, 2018)
Two Big Ways To Boost Your Retirement Savings,” (Forbes, June 25, 2018)
A Retirement Perk For Deeply In Debt Millennials,” (Financial Advisor, June 26, 2018)
Think Twice Before Taking Retroactive Social Security Benefits As A Lump Sum,” (Forbes, June 26, 2018)
Retirement planning: 8 steps to building a better nest egg,” (USA Today, June 27, 2018)
The lure of a 401k loan could mask its risks,” (CNBC, June 28, 2018)
‘Wants’ Trump Long-Term Financial Priorities for Many Americans,” (PLANADVISER, June 28, 2018)
Roth IRA When does it make sense and what are the benefits?” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 29, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: Feel Lucky? |
Ary Rosenbaum: You Need To Tell Your 401k TPA What You Got |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The DOL is still targeting late deferrals |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The New Fiduciary Rule is Dead, Jim |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Pick up the phone |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #96 |
Proskauer: As DOL Fiduciary Rule is Officially Vacated, Focus Shifts to SEC |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Am I on Track for Retirement? |
RetirementRevised: Company Stock Ownership: The Risks Outweigh the Rewards |
Squared Away Blog: Kids Figure into Retirement Plans |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: FINRA Hits Betterment with $400,000 Fine |
NAPA Net: Got a Way(s) to Improve the 401k? |
NAPA Net: Retirement Paradigm Shift Needed to Assist Millennial Gig Workers |
NAPA Net: Participants Still Not Making Most of HSAs’ Benefits |
NAPA Net: ARA Asks Congress to Expand EPCRS Self-Correction Program |
NAPA Net: What’s (Really) Hindering Millennials’ Retirement Savings? |
NAPA Net: Letter-Writing Campaign Launched on SEC Proposal |
NAPA Net: Massachusetts Charges MetLife with Misleading on Pension Payments |
NAPA Net: Advisors Still Skeptical About ESG Investment Performance, Want Proof  |
NAPA Net: Pre-Retirees More Concerned About Falling Short in Retirement |
NAPA Net: Mitigating the Material Conflict of Interest in Rollover Recommendations |
The Motley Fool: Workers Are Retiring With Decent Savings, but Are Reluctant to Spend Their Money |
NAPA Net: Surprise: Rothification May Be Back on the Table – Not |
NAPA Net: Innovate, or Evaporate! |
NAPA Net: Plaintiffs Come up Short Again in Robo-Advice Suit |
NAPA Net: ARA Comments on Revised Pre-Approved Plan Document Program |
Kiplinger: Retirees, Maximize Returns on Your Cash Stash |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: Building a Better 401k |
NAPA Net: NAPA Net Exclusive: Ways & Means Responds on Rothification Rumors |

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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