Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker?
What do you think of our site upgrade? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/28/19 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 6/28/19
July 01
00:56 2019

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:
Exclusive Interview: Robert R. Johnson Says Cryptocurrency ‘Laughable,’ Won’t End Well,” (, June 25, 2019) The height of absurdity was in 2017, when Long Island Ice Tea Corp changed its name to Long Blockchain Corp and its shares soared.

Other Top Stories:
Will offering too many options get a plan sponsor in trouble?” (BenefitsPRO, June 23, 2019)
Leave money on the table… or else – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, June 26, 2019)
When Can I Use My 401k To Pay Down Debt?” (, June 27, 2019)

Compliance – Back to Basics:
Ever notice how helpful it can be when an insider tells you how the sausage is made?
Self-Correction and Compliance Tips from Former IRS Attorney,” (PLANADVISER, June 26, 2019) Yeah, probably a good idea to read this.

Fiduciary – A Hill of Beans:
That’s what is all comes down to. And it still doesn’t matter.
Ron Rhoades: SEC Reg BI Is ‘Greatest Securities Fraud in History’,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 21, 2019) Unlike like others, Rhoades speaks from the experience of one who has “been there, done that, got the scars to prove it.” He’s been fighting on the front lines for fiduciary since before many people in the industry have entered the business.
SEC’s New ‘Best-Interest’ Rule Far From Best For Investors,” (Financial Advisor, June 24, 2019) The title lures you in and most of the article supports the thesis, but there’s just enough in it to make you cringe, too. Ironically, the editor could have cut the cringe-worthy parts and left the basic story intact.
Fog Still Hangs Over Defunct DOL Fiduciary Rule’s Influence,” (PLANADVISER, June 25, 2019) While the headline is intriguing, all the article is really about is how Congressional Democrats want to beat a dead horse.
You Can Act Like a Fiduciary Regardless of What the Law Says,” (Wealth Management, June 27, 2019) Finally, someone else is getting it.

Fees – Crickets:
Happy now?

Investments – What’ll It Be, Pal:
Imagine yourself one of those old-time bartenders. Sometimes that’s what it feels like when you talk about a 401k investment menu.
Index Funds Nearly Universal in Large 401k Plans,” (PLANADVISER, June 21, 2019) Large plans also have a lot of CITs, too. Not sure that this means anything more than who’s the best at marketing.
Ed Slott: The Pros and Cons of Annuities in Retirement Plans,” (ThinkAdvisor, June 21, 2019) Slott in a nutshell: See that ten-foot pole there? Still would touch ‘em.
The Critical Case for Stable Value in 401ks,” (401K Specialist, June 24, 2019) Some interesting facts from EBRI.

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.
Rollovers Important to Retirement Income Adequacy,” (PLANADVISER, June 20, 2019)
Employers can offer simple tools to help employees retire,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, June 24, 2019)
8th Circuit Sides with Defense in Stock Drop Appeal,” (PLANADVISER, June 24, 2019)
Why employers should help workers save for emergencies,” (Employee Benefit News, June 24, 2019)
The Case That Almost Demolished the Retirement Plan Regulatory System,” (PLANADVISER, June 26, 2019)
Retirement Plan Clients Can Learn From Financial Audits,” (PLANADVISER, June 26, 2019)
Gucci to Pay $1.2M to Settle Excessive Fee Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, June 26, 2019)

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.
Your retirement: How much will it cost?” (Fox Business, June 20, 2019)
Millennials need to stop saving for retirement says Broke Millennial,” (USA Today, June 20, 2019)
On Average, Retirees Are More Financially Secure Than Ever. Unfortunately, Most Of Us Are Not Average,” (, June 20, 2019)
Social Security Q&A: Is a Benefit ‘Do-Over’ Still an Option for Me?” (Yahoo Finance, June 20, 2019)
All Age Groups Display Economic Irrationality,” (PLANADVISER, June 21, 2019)
The inflation bet you’re making for retirement — even if you don’t know it,” (MarketWatch, June 24, 2019)
Are family caregivers at risk financially for retirement?” (BenefitsPRO, June 24, 2019)
This is exactly how much it will cost to retire well in every state in America,” (MarketWatch, June 24, 2019)
How To Avoid These Common IRA Withdrawal And Contribution Errors,” (, June 24, 2019)
Average retirement-age Americans have this much in their 401k, report says,” (Fox Business, June 24, 2019)
I retired at 34 with $3 million—here are the downsides no one tells you,” (CNBC, June 24, 2019)
Americans Not Up to Speed on Rollovers,” (PLANADVISER, June 24, 2019)
Nearly 70% Of Americans Make 401k Rollovers Without An Advisor’s Help,” (Financial Advisor, June 25, 2019)
Switching jobs? Don’t make these mistakes with your retirement plan,” (CNBC, June 25, 2019)
Nursing home costs in the U.S. are rising even faster than health care,” (CBS News, June 25, 2019)
Are You Retiring ‘To’ Or ‘From’?” (, June 25, 2019)
What Is the Roth IRA 5-Year Rule?” (US News, June 26, 2019)
How much Americans have saved for retirement,” (CNBC, June 26, 2019)
Social security benefits: Myths about claiming, full retirement age,” (USA Today, June 26, 2019)
Americans Lose Trillions Claiming Social Security At The Wrong Time,” (Financial Advisor, June 28, 2019)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Fi360: All Things Fiduciary |
Data “Points”: (Not) Standing Still |
Ary Rosenbaum: 401k Plan Sponsors Need To Focus On These Issues |
Nerd’s Eye View: Advisor’s Guide To The SEC’s Reg BI And Form CRS |
Squared Away Blog: Widows: Manage Your Grief, Finances |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: MFS is latest proprietary fund settlement |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: The worthless J.D. Power surveys |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: You don’t know everything |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
The Motley Fool: 3 Tips for Maxing Out Your 401k |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Another Fiduciary Suit Falls Short of ‘Special Circumstances’ Standard |
National Association of Plan Advisors: SEC Temporarily Back at Full Force with Confirmation of Lee |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Government Watchdog Asked to Examine DOL Fiduciary Rule Fallout |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Gucci Plaintiffs Bag Settlement in Excessive Fee Suit |
National Association of Plan Advisors: ‘Special’ Treatment |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Mid-Size Employers Must Register for Illinois Secure Choice by July 1 |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Americans Finding Financial Footing, but Still Feel Stressed |
The Motley Fool: 3 Expensive Retirement Costs You May Not Be Preparing For |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Case of the Week: What’s a ‘Flexible’ ERISA 3(38)? |
National Association of Plan Advisors: 2020 Foresight? |
National Association of Plan Advisors: House Votes to Block SEC’s Reg BI Package |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Retirement Assets Top $29 Trillion, While Plan Fees Continue Downward Trend |
National Association of Plan Advisors: How Target Date Defaults Affect Equity Allocation Exposure |
Kiplinger: 7 Midyear Moves Retirees Can Make to Trim 2019 Tax Tabs
National Association of Plan Advisors: Combined Health and Financial Wellness Programs Lead to Better Results |
National Association of Plan Advisors: READER POLL: Virtual Committee Calls Catching On, But… |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Women Lag Men in 401k Savings, Struggle with Financial Confidence |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

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.