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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/5/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 10/5/18
October 08
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:
When Must a Fiduciary Say ‘No’ to No-Fee Funds?” (, October 2, 2018) “Still, others remain cautious, especially given the novelty of the idea and the fact it remains untested.”

Compliance – When Things Go Bad:
There comes a time when attention needs to be paid to what is, not what might be. Compliance deals with the what is. Policy deals with the what might be.
ERISA Statute of Limitations,” (PLANADVISER, July/August, 2018) Good read from one of our favorite sources Marcia Wagner.
IRS Revenue Procedure Takes VCP Program Digital,” (PLANADVISER, October 1, 2018) Now it’s even easier to turn yourself in!
Fred Reish: DOL Wants to Audit …Now What?” (401K Specialist, October 1, 2018) Spoiler Alert: Contact a good lawyer.

Fiduciary – Good Enough For You:
This is the steady drip-drip-drip of the marketplace saying you better get on board the fiduciary train before it leaves the station.
Charles Schwab ethics is future of investment advice,” (Financial Planning, October 2, 2018) The founder of one of the biggest adviser custodians says investment advice should be the same as doctors’ advice.
Fiduciary investment advisers add more than 6% in value,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, October 5, 2018) This is more of a high concept discussion starter than an academic piece.

Fees – About that “Free” Lunch:
Or would a better title have been, “You can pay me know, or you can pay me later”?
‘No fee’ doesn’t mean no liability – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, October 3, 2018) Yep, this is why the DOL wanted plan sponsors to focus on value, not fees.

Investments – Interesting Tidbits from Around the Media Stream.:
Here’s potpourri of that’s and anecdotes. Enjoy.
3 easy ways to invest for retirement—then relax,” (MarketWatch, October 1, 2018) The key here is in no can do any of these ideas require a human.
The Bull Market Could Ruin Your Retirement,” (Bloomberg, October 1, 2018) Because it could turn into a bear market.
Academic Survey Says Active Management Creates Value for Investors,” (Wealth Management, October 1, 2018) Looks like this is more a study of studies that point to other factors showing how active management benefits investors.
Can Bonds Disrupt Your Retirement?” (Forbes, October 2, 2018) This article is about 10 years too late.
Top 10 equity holdings through 401k self-directed brokerage accounts,” (BenefitsPRO, October 2, 2018) This is fascinating because it’s broken down by generation. What do you think this tells you?

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.
Principal Defeats Guaranteed Investment Contract Lawsuit in District Court,” (PLANADVISER, September 28, 2018)
403(b)s Adopting Best Practices,” (PLANADVISER, September 28, 2018)
Why these teachers’ retirement plans aren’t making the grade,” (CNBC, September 29, 2018)
Washington University Defeats 403(b) Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, October 2, 2018)
What plan sponsors want is not what plan advisors think they want: Survey,” (BenefitsPRO, October 2, 2018)
International Paper and Prudential Transfer $1.6 Pension Obligation,” (PLANADVISER, October 2, 2018)
Where Are We With Total 401k Assets?” (401K Specialist, October 3, 2018)
Neuberger Berman Dismissed as Defendant in 401k Self-Dealing Suit,” (PLANADVISER, October 4, 2018)
SS&C Technologies Sued Over Profit Sharing Plan Investment in Valeant Pharmaceuticals,” (PLANADVISER, October 4, 2018)
Retirement Security Has Improved, But There’s Room For Improvement,” (Financial Advisor, October 5, 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.
Don’t Let Magical Thinking Jinx Retirement Planning,” (NerdWallet, September 27, 2018)
Retirement: The Big Payoff From a Few Extra Years on the Job,” (Bloomberg, September 27, 2018)
Retirees Slow to Draw Down Assets,” (PLANADVISER, September 28, 2018)
Millennials Save More in ETFs and Cash,” (PLANADVISER, September 28, 2018)
Women are losing sleep over this retirement savings fear,” (CNBC, September 29, 2018)
Yes, you should pay off your mortgage before retiring,” (The Washington Post, September 30, 2018)
Seven Year-End Retirement Planning Strategies,” (Financial Advisor, October 2018)
Taking on the Ugliest Trend in Retirement,” (Wealth Management, October 1, 2018)
The ‘sidecar’ plan that could soon be attached to your 401k,” (MarketWatch, October 2, 2018)
Why Clients Say Financial Freedom Trumps Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, October 2, 2018)
Parents Are Putting Their Retirements at Risk,” (ThinkAdvisor, October 2, 2018)
Why ‘Don’t Retire’ May Be The Best Advice For Some Clients,” (Financial Advisor, October 2, 2018)
Setting Realistic Expectations about Work in Retirement,” (PLANADVISER, October 2, 2018)
Why Americans Are Retiring Later,” (Financial Advisor, October 2, 2018)
Americans Are Retiring Later to Boost Social Security Benefits,” (Bloomberg, October 2, 2018)
Parents spend twice as much on adult children than saving for retirement,” (CNBC, October 2, 2018)
Prevent Family Problems From Ruining Retirement Plans,” (Financial Advisor, October 3, 2018)
Nearly 40% of Young Adults Think Retirement Savings Can Wait,” (PLANADVISER, October 4, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The Problem with 3(16) |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Detail those hardship requests |
Data “Points”: Data “Minding” |
Data “Points”: Misbehavioral Finance |
Data “Points”: Will the Administration’s Executive Order ‘Work’? |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: DOL on verge of issuing MEP guidance |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The De-Conversion Process is an eye opener |
Fred Reish: Best Interest and Best Practices #4 |
The Retirement Plan Blog: Playing the game of 401k audit roulette: the odds are getting shorter. |
Ary Rosenbaum: As A Plan Provider It Won’t Matter If You Can’t Fix This |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: IRS Makes Paperless Move With VCP |
NAPA Net: Another University Prevails in 403(b) Suit |
NAPA Net: Millennials Favor ETFs More Than Other Generations |
NAPA Net: What’s Holding Back HSAs? |
NAPA Net: ‘Puzzle’ Pieces |
NAPA Net: 401k Plans Keep Gaining Ground |
NAPA Net: 3 Reasons Why Retirement Savers Don’t Work with a Financial Advisor |
The Motley Fool: Too Many People Are Making This Retirement Planning Mistake |
NAPA Net: Ready for a Government-Run 401k? |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Definitions of Compensation for Plan Purposes |
NAPA Net: ORSB to Discuss Expanding OregonSaves |
NAPA Net: Retirement Income Estimates Can Help Boost Savings, Study Finds |
NAPA Net: How Do Plan Advisors Perceive the 401k Market? |
NAPA Net: Retirement Security: What’s Changed Since the Recession? |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: The Next Big Thing Is… |
NAPA Net: IRS Lays Out Employee Plan Program Priorities for 2019 |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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