What do you think of our site upgrade?
Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 11/30/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 11/30/18
December 03
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 Concerns on the Forefront of 401k Plan Sponsors’ Minds Right Now,” (, November 27, 2018) What if you were told the best way to calm your nerves was to be worried? Here are 7 reasons why this might be true.

Compliance – Policy Retreads:
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Only this time try something different if you please.
Minimum Distribution Problems—Why They Exist and What Can Be Done,” (401K Specialist, November 26, 2018) This is an underreported issue that can have grave consequences for both plan sponsors and plan participants. Whose responsibility is it to solve this problem? It’s a little bit of both, but plan sponsors that maintain a good compliance regime stand a better chance of avoiding the issue.
Dems Double Down on Federal DB Disaster,” (401K Specialist, November 26, 2018) Take out the partisan angle and you’ll discover a never-ending problem. Do you agree with this opinion piece?
Lame-Duck House Proposal Includes Popular Retirement Reforms,” (PLANADVISER, November 27, 2018) Is this a “last” chance or a “no” chance?
New tax bill would remove age limit on IRA contributions, among other retirement-savings changes,” (MarketWatch, November 27, 2018) In case you didn’t hear it the first time.
How To Save Social Security,” (Financial Advisor, November 28, 2018) Interesting idea that combines the current pay-as-you-go system with market investing.
Are 401k Plans in Crisis? ‘Ludicrous!’ Says Lou Harvey,” (ThinkAdvisor, November 29, 2018) Here’s a counter to somebody else’s point.

Fiduciary – Court Headlines:
Does it seem like we’ve been seeing more headlines lately about court cases involving fiduciary matters?
Surprising Fallout in 401k Fiduciary Fraud Case,” (401K Specialist, November 26, 2018) There’s a time to sue and a time not to sue. This is a story about both.

Fees – Nothing New to Report Here:
These things appear to go in cycles. We’re at the low end of the cycle now.

Investments – Aligning Reporting Requirements with Investor Behavior:
It’s not rocket science, but it is behavioral science. Maybe the SEC should look into it.
Why doesn’t the SEC ‘strive for five’? – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, November 28, 2018) This is all about the benefits of reporting performance in rolling five-year increments.

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.
K-12 403(b) Plans Require Unique Recordkeeping Solutions,” (PLANADVISER, November 28, 2018)
Association Sues New York DFS Over Best Interest Standard,” (PLANADVISER, November 28, 2018)
Employers Describe Financial Wellness Initiatives as Pilot or Ad Hoc Programs,” (PLANADVISER, November 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.
Advisers Play a Key Role in Estimating Monthly Income in Retirement,” (PLANADVISER, November 27, 2018)
Advice Helps Americans Confront Retirement Lifestyle Choices, But Eldercare Gaps Remain,” (Financial Advisor, November 28, 2018)
The Dangers of Saving for College Instead of Retirement,” (Wealth Management, November 28, 2018)
What If Clients Had To Audition For Retirement?” (Financial Advisor, November 28, 2018)
Individuals Not Effectively Preparing for Retirement-Related Risks,” (PLANADVISER, November 28, 2018)
Most struggle to save for retirement no matter age, gender or income,” (CNBC, November 28, 2018)
It may sound crazy, but employees are leaving money on the table at work,” (CNBC, November 28, 2018)
Retirement 101: Roth IRAs,” (Wealth Management, November 29, 2018)
Strategies to Maximize Social Security and Medicare,” (PLANADVISER, November 29, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Make sure participant records are secure |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The need to avoid the old mistakes of Open MEPs |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: They will remember what you do for them, good and bad |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: That Sal The Stockbroker Event |
Ary Rosenbaum: When a 401k Plan Sponsor May Have To Fire Their TPA |
RetirementRevised: At Social Security Administration, growing wait times, backlogs and public frustration |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Oregon opens up small business plan for individuals |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Connecting with plan participants |
Fred Reish: Best Interest and Best Practices #10 |
Squared Away Blog: Boomers Find Reasons to Retire Later |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
NAPA Net: Summary Judgment Moves (Mostly) Fall Short in Proprietary Fund Suit |
NAPA Net: Is the Market Ready for 3(16) Fiduciary Services? |
NAPA Net: A Government ‘Bailout’ for Multiemployer Plans? |
NAPA Net: Investors Conflicted Over Return Expectations, Risk Tolerance |
The Motley Fool: 76% of Baby Boomers Are Worried About This Retirement Risk |
Morningstar: Should Target-Date Funds Be One-Size-Fits-All in Retirement? |
Kiplinger: Annuities May Be a Better Option than You Think |
NAPA Net: Lame Duck Tax Bill Includes Retirement Measures |
NAPA Net: 6 Things Those Who Don’t Get the Saver’s Credit Don’t ‘Get’ About the Saver’s Credit |
NAPA Net: Waddell & Reed Reaches Accord in Proprietary Fund Suit |
NAPA Net: 401k Plan Design Features Can Lead to Unintended Consequences |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Discretionary Plan Trustee vs. Directed Trustee |
NAPA Net: Self-Directed 401k Investors’ Q3 Trading Remained Steady |
NAPA Net: October’s Long-Term Fund Outflows Highest Since 2015 |
The Motley Fool: Retirement Plan Balances Are Growing, but Will They Be Enough? |
Morningstar: How to Think About Healthcare Costs in Retirement |
Kiplinger: Afraid to Retire? How to Put Those Fears to Rest |
NAPA Net: Lame Duck Retirement Package Draws Fire |
NAPA Net: All Quiet on the Legislative Front? Hardly. |
NAPA Net: ‘No Consensus’ on NJ Proposed Uniform Fiduciary Standard |
NAPA Net: Issue New Guidance on Fidelity Bonds, Says ERISA Advisory Council |
NAPA Net: Survey Finds Advisor-Less Participants Not Adequately Preparing for Retirement |
NAPA Net: READER POLL: Are Plan Sponsors Ready to Join 3(16)? |
NAPA Net: DOL Provides Relief to California Wildfire Victims |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

Related Articles

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

1 Comment

Only registered users can comment. Login is sponsored by…

Vote in our Poll


The materials at this web site are maintained for the sole purpose of providing general information about fiduciary law, tax accounting and investments and do not under any circumstances constitute legal, accounting or investment advice. You should not act or refrain from acting based on these materials without first obtaining the advice of an appropriate professional. Please carefully read the terms and conditions for using this site. This website contains links to third-party websites. We are not responsible for, and make no representations or endorsements with respect to, third-party websites, or with respect to any information, products or services that may be provided by or through such websites.