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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 12/21/18 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 12/21/18
December 24
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:
Top 5 Stories in 2018 for the 401k Plan Sponsor and Fiduciary,” (, December 18, 2018) Who would you ask if you wanted to know the best way to do something.

Compliance – He Said, She Said:
Nothing like a last minute policy fight to get in the spirit of the season.
PBGC Issues 2019 Premium Filing Instructions,” (PLANADVISER, December 17, 2018) Only for those impacted by this.
401k Plans Are Failing; Here’s What We Need Instead, Professor Says,” (ThinkAdvisor, December 18, 2018) This is the same-old, same-old Chicken Little warning with the same tired “better way.”
Bad Data Bunk—401k Coverage Isn’t ‘Falling’,” (401K Specialist, December 17, 2018) A counterpoint to the previous article. All we can say is that, after reading this, if you don’t say “ouch” in sympathy of the pain inflicted on the policy advocate quoted in the previous article, then you have no soul.
New 401k Legislation Could Bring Big Changes For Retirement Savers,” (Forbes, December 18, 2018) Yeah… no.

Fiduciary – Best Interests Takes a Break:
Home for the Holidays.

Fees – They’re Silent at Night:
Apparently waiting for the after-Christmas sales.

Investments – It’s Not Rocket Science:
In a few short weeks, we’ve seen something we haven’t seen in a long time – a grand reversal of the market trend. The last time we’ve seen something this stark was nearly 20 years ago. This isn’t a crash like 2008/2009. It’s a transition like in 2000/2001.
Why Value Investing is Making a Comeback,” (U.S. News & World Report, December 19, 2018) Articles like this are what happens when the market suddenly and emphatically declines. Data in this piece indicates the shift from Momentum to Value in November of 2018.

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.
Advisers, Providers and Sponsors View In-Plan Income Differently,” (PLANADVISER, December 14, 2018)
DC Plan Participants Mishandle Retirement Savings, Withdrawals: J.P. Morgan,” (ThinkAdvisor, December 14, 2018)
Pension Plan Glide Paths Need to Evolve,” (PLANADVISER, December 17, 2018)
Pensions, retirement & markets: 5 questions for 2019,” (BenefitsPRO, December 17, 2018)
IBM Stock Drop Litigation Revived by 2nd Circuit,” (PLANADVISER, December 17, 2018)
Why ‘Well Off’ 401k Participants Are Sometimes Harder to Enroll,” (401K Specialist, December 17, 2018)
Yale Says 403(b) Plan Changes Not a Result of Ongoing Litigation,” (PLANADVISER, December 17, 2018)
403(b) Plans: A Snapshot,” (ThinkAdvisor, December 18, 2018)
9th Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Intel Alternative Investment Suit,” (PLANADVISER, December 18, 2018)
Finally! ERISA Record Retention Requirements in Plain English,” (401K Specialist, December 18, 2018)
More DB Plan Sponsors Facing Lawsuits Over Use of Outdated Mortality Tables,” (PLANADVISER, December 18, 2018)
Nearly Two-Thirds of Retirees Wish They Had Been More Knowledgeable About Saving and Investing,” (PLANADVISER, December 18, 2018)
401k Financial Wellness Hindered by Ongoing Debt Debacle,” (401K Specialist, December 19, 2018)
Why did 401k plan sponsors seek these answers in 2018? – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, December 19, 2018)
MetLife Fined $1 Million, Ordered To Pay $510 Million To Retirees ‘Presumed Dead’,” (Financial Advisor, December 19, 2018)
Employer Retirement Plan Rollovers Feed Traditional IRAs,” (PLANADVISER, December 19, 2018
MetLife Fined $1 Million, Ordered To Pay $510 Million To Retirees ‘Presumed Dead’,” (Financial Advisors, December 19, 2018)
Mercer Lays Out Goals for DC Plans for 2019,” (PLANADVISER, December 20, 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.
5 End-Of-Year Strategies To Get Your Finances In Order For 2019,” (Forbes, December 13, 2018)
Maximize Roth retirement savings through ‘back door’ contributions,” (CBS News, December 13, 2018)
Higher Confidence Seen in Retirement Readiness,” (401K Specialist, December 18, 2018)
Kitces: What happens when the paychecks stop for retirees?” (Financial Planning, December 17, 2018)
How 401k Financial Wellness Compares Among Ethnic, Demographic Groups,” (401K Specialist, December 17, 2018)
America Needs To Help Millennials Better Prepare For Their Financial Future,” (Financial Advisor, December 18, 2018)
Why do women ‘torpedo’ their retirement plans?” (Financial Planning, December 18, 2018)
How Former 401k Participants are Faring in Retirement,” (401K Specialist, December 18, 2018)
How to Take an Early Retirement in 8 Steps,” (TheStreet, December 19, 2018)
Should we really wait until age 70 to receive Social Security benefits?” (MarketWatch, December 19, 2018)
For Roth conversion fans, the tax sale is on,” (Fox Business, December 19, 2018)
For Older Americans, Working a Little Longer Is Less Costly Than It Used to Be,” (Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2018)
How to save for retirement in an era of FOMO,” (MarketWatch, December 19, 2018)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Data “Points”: 6 Things Those Who Don’t Get the Saver’s Credit Don’t ‘Get’ About the Saver’s Credit |
Data “Points”: 8 Things to Know About the State of Financial Wellness |
ERISA Lawyer Blog: Ninth Circuit Reviews Claims Under ERISA Sections 404 (Breach Of Fiduciary Duty) and 510 (Unlawful Retaliation) |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
Morningstar: When Couples Retire Together – or Don’t |
The Motley Fool: Over 70? You Have Until Dec. 31 to Avoid a 50% IRS Penalty |
NAPA Net: Extend Reg BI Protections to Small Plan Fiduciaries: ARA |
NAPA Net: Rare Win for Stock Drop Participants |
NAPA Net: Investors Rely on 401k Providers the Most for Financial Advice |
The Motley Fool: Social Security Will Be Around When You Retire, but Don’t Expect to Live Off It |
NAPA Net: Are Your Retirement Savings Naughty? Or Nice? |
NAPA Net: ARA Makes Suggestions on Electronic Disclosures, Required Notices |
NAPA Net: Why Employers Should Care About Employee Financial Stress |
NAPA Net: Legislation Opens Door for Retirement Match on Student Loan Repayments |
NAPA Net: Case of the Week: Voluntarily Correcting Governmental 457(b) Plans |
NAPA Net: Is There an Accurate Way to Measure the Value of Financial Wellness? |
NAPA Net: NJ Assembly Passes Secure Choice Bill |
Morningstar: How to Make the Most of Your RMDs |
NAPA Net: A Change for the Better? |
NAPA Net: Portman, Cardin Introduce Sweeping Retirement Reform Legislation |
NAPA Net: PSCA Finds High Fiduciary Awareness Among 403(b) Plan Sponsors |
The Motley Fool: It’s Harder for Women to Save for Retirement. Here’s Why (and What to Do About It) |
NAPA Net: House Attempts ‘Hail Mary’ with Tax, Retirement Legislation |
NAPA Net: Additional Efforts Needed to Position HSAs as a Retirement Benefit |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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