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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 8/10/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 8/10/18
August 13
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:
7 Rules Every Professional Fiduciary Must Follow,” (, August 7, 2018) In an otherwise quiet week, does anyone else think it strange that a whole slew of articles came out on this one particular topic?

Compliance – Mid-August Blahs:
Lotsa talk. We’ll see what action it leads to.
Deep Dive into DOL EBSA Enforcement Activities,” (PLANADVISER, August 6, 2018) Keepin’ on keepin’ on.
Rubio: ‘Use Retirement Benefits for Parental Leave’,” (401(k) Specialist, August 6, 2018) Sure. Why not. It’s not like leakage has ever been considered a problem. JK. This proposal is really about using the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for parental leave. It’s not like anyone’s ever thought that Trust Fund might run out of money some day.
The Looming Retirement Crisis: Who Is Responsible, Anyway?” (ThinkAdvisor, August 7, 2018) A flurry of activity in legislative chambers throughout the country. As the article says, we won’t know what it all means, even if they do pass, until quite some time.
Do DOL stats offer EBSA enforcement clues?” (BenefitsPRO, August 7, 2018) Maybe, just maybe, they do.
Reducing the Risk of a DOL Audit,” (Wealth Management, August 8, 2018) Whether you’re a plan sponsor or you work with plan sponsors, it’s always goes to read these kinds of articles.
US sends ‘myRA’ accounts to Retirement Clearinghouse,” (Retirement Income Journal, August 9, 2018) And so ends the Edsel of retirement planning policy.

Fiduciary – More on the SEC Proposal:
Probably some left overs from last week.
‘O’ No! Ken Fisher Tells SEC to Ban Use of ‘Advisor’,” (ThinkAdvisor, August 6, 2018) Don’t know if the title is sarcastic, but check the name of the media outlet publishing the story. BTW, Fisher is spot on.
SEC’s Best-Interest Broker Rule Proposal Bashed By State Regulators,” (Financial Advisor, August 8, 2018) This is what happens when you have little competition among regulators.
Groups Say SEC’s Best Interest Proposal Fails to Provide Uniform Fiduciary Standard,” (PLANADVISER, August 9, 2018) As the article hints, it all depends on what you mean by “best interest.”

Fees – It All Depends on What You Mean by “Free”:
We report. You decide.
Reading Into Fidelity’s ‘Zero Expense Ratio’ Retail Mutual Funds,” (PLANADVISOR, August 3, 2018) Is this too good to be real. Time will tell.
SEC Gives Brokers Free Pass On Fee Disclosures, Fiduciary Group Says,” (Financial Planning, August 6, 2018) Another problem, and this one might be a big one.

Investments – Still Fishin’:

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.
Educational Resources Bolster Retirement Readiness,” (PLANADVISER, August 6, 2018)
Wells Fargo Gets Dismissal of Proprietary TDF Suit Affirmed,” (PLANADVISER, August 7, 2018)
Citigroup, 401k Participants Agree to Settle ERISA Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, August 8, 2018)
Motivating millennials to participate in retirement savings,” (Employee Benefit News, August 9, 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.
Gray Divorce Boom: A Retirement Train Wreck,” (Financial Advisor, August 2018)
Will ‘Chasing’ Retirement Savings Do More Harm than Good?” (401(k) Specialist, August 1, 2018)
Retirement planning: Tips for couples with age differences,” (Financial Planning, August 6, 2018)
Retirees Cite Decline in Income as Reason for Bankruptcies,” (PLANADVISER, August 6, 2018)
Even With Student Debt, You Could Save Over $5 Million For Retirement,” (Forbes, August 7, 2018)
Try these strategies if you’re going to retire with debt,” (MarketWatch, August 8, 2018)
6 Factors to Consider Before Using Your Retirement Savings for Caregiving,” (US News, August 8, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: Advice For 401k Plan Providers On Hosting Events |
Data “Points”: ‘Multiple’ Choices: All MEPs Not Created Equal |
Fred Reish: Interesting Angles on the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule #100 |
Scholarly Financial Planner: A Proper Interpretation of the Investment Advisers Act’s Fiduciary Standard |
Proskauer: Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Action |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: When I don’t get the gig |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Most TPAs are in the administration business, some are not |
Squared Away Blog: Divorce Very Bad for Retirement Finances |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: ARA Submits Comments to SEC on Proposed Regulation Best Interest |
NAPA Net: Retirement ‘Chasers’ Worry it May Be Too Late |
Morningstar: How to Blend Work and Retirement |
Kiplinger: Dividing Your Assets in a Gray Divorce |
NAPA Net: Wells Wins Again in Proprietary TDF Self-Dealing Suit |
NAPA Net: Expert Opinions |
NAPA Net: Warren Says SEC Proposal Needs 4 ‘Fixes’ |
NAPA Net: OregonSaves Options May Expand |
Kiplinger: Volunteer Abroad in the Peace Corps in Retirement |
Motley Fool: Can You Open a Roth IRA for Your Kids? |
Morningstar: The Keys to Financial Success Are Incredibly Mundane (Sorry!) |
Kiplinger: Social Security Benefits for Surviving Spouses |
NAPA Net: ARA Asks DOL for Clarity on Rollover Recommendations |
NAPA Net: NQDC Benefits Burnished by Tax Reform |
The Motley Fool: A Social Security Surprise Awaits 49% of Millennials and 30% of Gen Xers |
NAPA Net: Our Baskin-Robbins Industry |
NAPA Net: Bay State Balks at Best Interest Proposal |
NAPA Net: SEC’s Proposed ‘Best Interest’ Standard Draws Industry Support, Critics |
NAPA Net: Citi Strikes ‘All-In’ Settlement of Proprietary Funds Suit  |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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