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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 7/13/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 7/13/18
July 16
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:
Ongoing Debate: When (If Ever) Can a Fiduciary Legally Engage in Self-Dealing?” (, July 10, 2018) On the face of it, there appears to be little room for debate. Upon closer examination, however, the specifics of particular circumstances can muddle things up. Would you like to see what we mean by this? Here’s what you get when you ask the experts whether or not a fiduciary can ever legally engage in self-dealing.

Compliance – Ouch! That Hurts:
The awful reality of regulation means you’ve got more work than you originally thought. And that it might explode right in front of your face.
Plan Documents Require Update After Tax Reform,” (PLANADVISER, July 6, 2018) FYI.
Another State-Run Scheme to Fleece Worker 401ks?” (The 401(k) Specialist, July 9, 2018) America’s “most messed up” state gets into the latest attempt to boost retirement savings.
Segal Warns Against Change to Actuarial Assumptions for Multiemployer Plans,” (PLANADVISER, July 9, 2018) Consider yourself warned. Usually in financial calculations, using conservative figures helps mitigate downside risk. In this particular case, it makes the risk explode.
IRS Finally Says Back-Door Roths Are OK,” (Financial Advisor, July 11, 2018) Yep. About seven months after Congress already said it.

Fiduciary – Zombie Apocalypse or Monty Python?:
Just when you thought it was safe to go back outside, out comes another judge saying, “It’s not dead, yet.”
Judge Opens Way for the DOL Fiduciary Rule’s Survival,” (Financial Advisor IQ, July 9, 2018) Long shot.
Critics Skeptical Of SEC Plan To Test Best-Interest Rule With Consumers,” (Financial Advisor, July 10, 2018) Looks to be the usual set of naysayers saying “nay.”
A good fiduciary shouldn’t push the envelope – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, July 11, 2018) Sometimes you do better taking a risk. Sometimes you don’t. Being a fiduciary is one of those times you don’t.
To the Fiduciaries Go the Spoils,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 13, 2018) As much as we’d like to think that, we’re still not sold on it for the long run. Until we can all agree on what “fiduciary” means, that is.

Fees – Nothing New Under the Sun:
And this surprises you why?

Investments – Sell in May and Go Away:
Maybe we need to update this to Sell in July and say “Bye-bye.”

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.
Is This the Most Absurd 401k Fraud Case Yet?” (The 401(k) Specialist, July 8, 2018)
Allergan Wins Stock Drop Suit Dismissal, Echoing Key SCOTUS Decision,” (PLANADVISER, July 9, 2018)
Auto-portability key to helping women save in retirement,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, July 9, 2018)
Is employees’ growing retirement confidence misguided?” (Employee Benefit Adviser, July 9, 2018)}
District Court Ruling in Multiemployer Pension Withdrawal Case Okays Use of Segal Blend,” (PLANADVISER, July 10, 2018)
Pension Buyout Market Strains Should Lead DB Plan Sponsors to ‘Hibernate’ Plans,” (PLANADVISER, July 10, 2018)
Tracking DC Plans’ Emerging Trends and Terms,” (Wealth Management, July 11, 2018)
Operating Under Rules of ERISA Does Not Mean Church Plan Elected to Be ERISA Plan,” (PLANADVISER, July 12, 2018)
401k Participation Surges at Small Businesses: Vanguard,” (ThinkAdvisor, July 12, 2018)
Simplifying Information in 401k Plans Doesn’t Lead to Better Decisions,” (PLANADVISER, July 12, 2018)
Small Plans Must Embrace Auto Features, for Employees’ Sake,” (PLANADVISER, July 12, 2018)
Is your clients’ 401k plan one of the best? Here’s how they can tell,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, July 13, 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.
Gen Xers on Shaky Retirement Ground,” (PLANADVISER, May/June 2018)
The Ins and Outs of Applying for a Loan in Retirement,” (US News, July 5, 2018)
403(b) Contribution Limits 2018,” (Yahoo, July 5, 2018)
Why didn’t many retirees see a Social Security increase?” (Fox Business, July 6, 2018)
Women outlive men. Why do they retire earlier?” (CNBC, July 6, 2018)
Millennials and retirees ditch city for a new kind of suburb,” (Yahoo, July 6, 2018)
One Big Retirement Lie… And What You Need To Know About It,” (Forbes, July 6, 2018)
What clients need to know before claiming Social Security spousal benefits,” (Financial Planning, July 8, 2018)
Do your homework before you move into this retirement haven,” (CNBC, July 8, 2018)
The Good And The Bad Of Retirement Saving,” (Financial Advisor, July 9, 2018)
When an IRA beats a 401k for your retirement savings,” (CBS News, July 9, 2018)
A Mere 6% of Retirees Continue Working,” (PLANADVISER, July 10, 2018)
Transamerica retirement study employees fear little saved,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, July 10, 2018)
3 reasons IRA plans beat out 401k plans when it’s time to tap nest eggs,” (Financial Planning, July 11, 2018)
How to Deal With a Financial Emergency in Retirement,” (US News, July 11, 2018)
Here’s what smart rich people really do with their nest egg,” (MarketWatch, July 11, 2018)
401k plans ignored to pay student loan debt,” (Employee Benefit News, July 12, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: Retirement Plan Advisors Advantage |
Squared Away Blog: Meeting to Focus on Retirement Research |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Fifth Circuit Holds That Plaintiff’s Complaint-Alleging Breach Of Duty of Loyalty And Prudence When Managing The Company Stock Fund-Did Not State A Claim Against The Defendants |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #97 |
Squared Away Blog: Why Less-educated Men Retire Younger |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Don’t pick a provider just because it’s popular/big |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Don’t discount offering participants at least an education |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: 2 For Chicago: Two great 401k adviser events and a Cubs game and Happy Hour |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: You can’t be everybody for everything |
The Retirement Plan Blog: In the era of electronic enforcement, fidelity bond issues easily revealed on Form 5500 |
Ary Rosenbaum: Surely, A Plan Sponsor Needs An ERISA Attorney |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
The Motley Fool: Why More People Should Probably Use Pre-Tax Retirement Accounts Instead of Roths |
NAPA Net: Company Stock Claims Come Up Short – Again |
NAPA Net: OregonSaves: One Year Later |
NAPA Net: Plan Design Boosted Clients’ Deferral, Contribution Rates, T. Rowe Says |
The Motley Fool: 10 Proven Ways to Boost Your Retirement Income |
NAPA Net: Mixed Messages? |
NAPA Net: How Do B/D & RIA Standards of Care Differ? |
NAPA Net: Retirement Confidence Improving, But Effects from Great Recession Linger |
Kiplinger: A ‘Wish List Journal’ Can Help With Retirement |
Morningstar: Is Your Retirement Portfolio All-Weather? |
NAPA Net: Attempt to Invoke Arbitration Clause Rebuffed Again |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Safe Harbor Validation of Rollovers |
NAPA Net: Understanding Legal Risks with Retirement Plan Missing Participants |
The Motley Fool: 3 Reasons to File for Social Security On Time |
Kiplinger: The Tax-Smart Way to Leave Money to Heirs, Charity |
NAPA Net: With Trial Looming, Excessive Fee Suit Parties Come to Terms |
NAPA Net: The Performance Trap and the Challenge of Immunization |
NAPA Net: Will Working in Retirement Be the New Norm? |
The Motley Fool: Most Americans Plan to Own Homes in Retirement, but That Might Be a Mistake |
NAPA Net: DOL Shifts Focus of Enforcement Letter Following ARA Comments |
NAPA Net: Ways & Means Moves on HSAs |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: The Lowdown on Lifetime Income Disclosures |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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