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What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/12/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/12/18
October 15
00:02 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:
New Fiduciary Role: What Happens When the Retirement Honeymoon is Over?” (, October 9, 2018) The financial news media and the investment industry constantly bombards employees with reminders to save for environment. It’s probably the most recognized financial goal people have. Could it be, then, that society has built up an aura around retirement that the anticipation exceeds the actual event?

Compliance – Silliness and Soundness:
Public policy is always a bit of a challenge. It’s far easier to go for the quick sound-bite, but that usually ends up with a silliness in policy more suitable for the stylings of a naïve school child. When that happens, adult minds must come up with a sound counter-move to stop that silliness. Not that any of this speaks to efficiency. But you already knew that.
NYT Targets Trump Taxes, Hits 401ks Instead,” (401K Specialist, October 9, 2018) If you’re not familiar with the New York Times expose on Fred Trump’s astute estate planning, this quick piece tells you everything you need to know.
Amid DOL Scrutiny, Provider Crafts Solution for Missing Participants,” (PLANADVISER, October 9, 2018) This is all about compliance concerns associated with IRA rollovers.

Fiduciary – This Could be the Coming Thing:
Maybe investment advisers are really life coaches. The good ones always have been.
Another (overlooked) reason a fiduciary adds value – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, October 10, 2018) There’s more to “best interest” than just financial matters. While this is very during the course of one’s career, it becomes more apparent during retirement.

Fees – Thank You, Come Again:
Nothing doing on fees this week, although the article above in the Fiduciary Category might be a bit related.

Investments – Starting to See Classic Headlines:
Or variations on classic themes. This could be considered a return to “normalcy” when it comes to investing. But, like an aircraft carrier, this turn may take a long time.
How 5 Major 401k Income Options Compare,” (401K Specialist, October 9, 2018) This article doesn’t offer any specific recommendation, but it does a fairly fair job of describing the pros and cons of each.
Views of ESG Investing Changing Among Institutional Investors,” (PLANADVISER, October 9, 2018) This is actually a phenomenon of generational values. Investment analysis is secondary.
What to Do With Your Retirement Portfolio in This Volatile Market,” (TheStreet, October 10, 2018) How does “nothing” sound?

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.
DOL, Reliance Trust Settle ESOP Pricing Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, October 4, 2018)
How We ‘Ought To’ Be Talking to 401k Participants: GRPAA 2018 Summit,” (401K Specialist, October 5, 2018)
SEI Faces ERISA Self-Dealing Lawsuit in District Court,” (PLANADVISER, October 8, 2018)
Fred Reish: A Baseline for Acting in 401k Participants’ Best Interest,” (401K Specialist, October 8, 2018)
Deloitte: 401k Loan Defaults Are A $2 Trillion Retirement Problem,” (Financial Advisor, October 10, 2018)
Fidelity Faces a Myriad of Allegations in New ERISA Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, October 11, 2018)
Deloitte Suggestions Could Help Plan Sponsor Clients Address Loan Leakage,” (PLANADVISER, October 11, 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.
Parents Preventing Children from Failing, Flourishing Financially,” (401K Specialist, October 2, 2018)
Thinking of being a landlord in retirement? These tools could make it easier,” (MarketWatch, October 4, 2018)
Retirement Security Has Improved, But There’s Room For Improvement,” (Financial Advisor, October 5, 2018)
11 Ways to Make Your Retirement More Relaxing,” (US News, October 5, 2018)
Retirement planning tips for investments, succession planning,” (USA Today, October 7, 2018)
How Low Returns Affect Retirement Withdrawal Strategies, (ThinkAdvisor, October 8, 2018)
Don’t have a 401k? State governments have a retirement plan for you,” (MarketWatch, October 8, 2018)
FINRA’s 7 Myths About Millennials and Money,” (401K Specialist, October 9, 2018)
What is a ‘real interest rate’ and how does it affect retirees?” (MarketWatch, October 9, 2018)
Most Americans Identify Themselves as Savers,” (PLANADVISER, October 10, 2018)
8 Questions To Help You Decide Whether To Move In Retirement,” (Forbes, October 10, 2018)
Americans’ financial plans don’t back up their big retirement dreams,” (CNBC, October 10, 2018)
Aggressive Saving Is Simply Essential for Retirement Adequacy,” (PLANADVISER, October 11, 2018)
Americans’ Top Financial Concern is Retirement Savings,” (PLANADVISER, October 11, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: ‘Puzzle’ Pieces |
Fred Reish: TPAs as Fiduciaries . . . of Their Own Plans |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: VCP Program to go paperless |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Is University 403(b) plans the Dien Ben Phu of ERISA litigation? |
Squared Away Blog: The Marshmallow Test for Retirement |
Fred Reish: Best Interest and Best Practices #5 |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The Problem of the inefficient plan design |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
The Motley Fool: You’re Probably Underestimating How Much Retirement Will Cost |
Kiplinger: Avoid These 5 Mistakes in Your Retirement Plan |
NAPA Net: Are Advisors Actively Making a Passive Shift? |
NAPA Net: ARA Comments on RMD Life Expectancy and Distribution Tables |
NAPA Net: The ‘Storm’ of Your Lifetime |
NAPA Net: Why Employees Still View HSAs as Spending, Not Savings, Accounts |
The Motley Fool: This Retiree Trap Can Send Your Social Security Benefits to the IRS |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Comparing Profit Sharing Allocation Formulas |
NAPA Net: ‘Enhanced Active Choice’ Offers a Twist on Behavioral Finance |
NAPA Net: House Flip Could Fuel Focus on Retirement Policy |
NAPA Net: Social Security Announces 2.8% Benefit Increase for 2019 |
NAPA Net: Providers Launching ESG Products, But Adoption Still Lags |
NAPA Net: Are Financial Wellness Programs Entering the Mainstream? |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: The Dumbest Question(s) |
NAPA Net: What Determines ‘Retirement Happiness’? |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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