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Hosting an industry conference? Ask us about including it in this ticker? Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 11/15/19 Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 11/15/19
November 18
00:03 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:
The 5 Biggest Worries of 401k Plan Sponsors and What To Do About Them,” (, November 12, 2019) When you’re not an expert in an important job that you need done, what do you do?

Other Top Stories:
What To Expect When Changing Jobs,” (, November 11, 2019)
Will association fear hold back 401k MEPs? – Carosa,” (BenefitsPRO, November 13, 2019)
What Damage Negative Interest Rates Would Do To Your Money Market Investments,” (, November 14, 2019)

Compliance – Live Long(er) and Prosper?:
The logic may be compelling, but folks still don’t want to believe Social Security is a dead policy walking. There’s an easy way out, but sometimes what’s easy sounds too hard.
IRS To Revisit Life Expectancy, Distribution Tables Guiding RMD Calculations,” (Financial Advisor, November 11, 2019) You’re living longer. Congratulations!
Full 9th Circuit Okays Panel’s Pro-Arbitration Decision,” (PLANADVISER, November 11, 2019) This can impact ERISA. Does that make sense?
Social Security Isn’t Doomed For Younger Generations,” (Financial Advisor, November 12, 2019) Well, if you read this, you’ll discover you’ve already read it before.
5 ways to address the retirement crisis,” (BenefitsPRO, November 12, 2019) Only for those who can tolerate slide shows.

Fiduciary – All Quiet on the Western Front:
When everyone’s a Super, no one’s a Super.

Fees – All Quiet on the Eastern Front:
Because people are beginning to realize there’s no such thing as a free lunch and you always get what you pay for.

Investments – Green with Envy:
It’s not about the numbers, it’s about the feelings… at least until the next sustained bear market.
Sequence of returns can affect a retirement portfolio,” (Financial Planning, November 4, 2019) Complete with graphs with real historical numbers!
Top SEC Compliance Issues with Target-Date Funds,” (401K Specialist, November 7, 2019) Heads up. It turns out a few of these things aren’t making the proper disclosures.
SRI, ESG or Sustainable Investing? Confusion Over Names Limits Growth, Report Says,” (ThinkAdvisor, November 8, 2019) Title says it all. Yet, if you’ll look below, you’ll see it’s really working.
The Great TDF Debate: Prudence vs. Performance,” (PLANADVISER, November 11, 2019) Ron Surz spills his secrets.
SEC Finds Incomplete and Potentially Misleading Disclosures for Some TDFs,” (PLANADVISER, November 11, 2019) What is all this piling on TDFs about?
Wirehouses Warn: 60/40 Asset Allocation Is Dead,” (ThinkAdvisor, November 12, 2019) Was it ever alive?
401k Equity Allocations Edged Higher in October,” (PLANADVISER, November 13, 2019) A rising market will do that.
Green Is The New Black As ESG Buzz Fuels Inflows,” (Financial Advisor, November 13, 2019) Yep, that’s what good marketing is all about.

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.
Issues That Trigger a TDF Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, September /October, 2019)
2019 PLANADVISER Retirement Plan Adviser Survey,” (PLANADVISER, November 11, 2019)
4 Reasons 401k Plans Fall Short,” (401K Specialist, November 11, 2019)
MSSB Share Class Calculator Errors Led to SEC Settlement,” (PLANADVISER, November 12, 2019)
New Edelman Financial Engines 401k chief: The future is ‘personalization’,” (BenefitsPRO, November 12, 2019)
AutoZone’s Use of Prudential GoalMaker Criticized in New Lawsuit,” (PLANADVISER, November 14, 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.
Ways to Combat Leakage,” (PLANADVISER, November 8, 2019)
The Pros and Cons of Rolling Money Over to an IRA,” (PLANADVISER, November 8, 2019)
Why Those In Their 40s and 50s Need To Factor Longevity Risk Into Their Retirement Planning,” (Financial Planning, November 9, 2019)
Client preparedness for retirement and healthcare costs in Financial Wellness Report,” (Financial Planning, November 11, 2019)
The smart money mindset that will help secure your financial future,” (CNBC, November 11, 2019)
What will retirement look like in 50 years?” (MarketWatch, November 11, 2019)
Baby boomers will be workforce’s fastest-growing generation in 2020,” (CNBC, November 12, 2019)
Why Investors Should Consider a Spousal IRA,” (US News, November 12, 2019)
How Millennials Are Changing The Retirement Conversation,” (, November 12, 2019)
How to manage the financial risk of starting a business after 50,” (MarketWatch, November 13, 2019)
You May Need To Save Only Half As Much Money For Retirement,” (, November 13, 2019)
How to avoid these common 401k mistakes,” (CNBC, November 13, 2019)
Americans In Their 40s, 50s Seem Set On Working After Retirement,” (Financial Advisor, November 14, 2019)|
Ways retirement plans can address workforce challenges,” (Employee Benefit Adviser, November 14, 2019)
Welcome to ‘Unretirement’: Most Older Americans Say They’ll Keep Working,” (ThinkAdvisor, November 14, 2019)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
Ary Rosenbaum: The Best Way A Plan Sponsor Can Avoid 401k Headaches Is By Hiring The Right TPA |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: DOL releases new e-disclosure rule |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: That Estee Lauder 401k case is troubling |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: Make sure your custodian knows who the trustees are |
The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. Blog: It’s so apparent, they still won’t see it |
Squared Away Blog: From Disability to Low Retirement Income |
Nerd’s Eye View: IRS Proposes Updated RMD Life Expectancy Tables For 2021 |
Fred Reish: Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors #17 |
Squared Away Blog: More Retirees Today Have a Mortgage |
Ary Rosenbaum: Don’t Let Your 401k Plan Turn Into A Disaster Movie |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources:
National Association of Plan Advisors: SEC Enforcement Actions up in 2019 |
National Association of Plan Advisors: What Do You Make of the E-delivery Disclosures Proposal? |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Four Factors Holding Back the 401k System |
National Association of Plan Advisors: IRS Proposes Updating Life Expectancy, Distribution Tables for RMDs |
Morningstar: Retirees: Are You Spending Too Much? |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Why Are Reports About 401k Balances ‘Substantially Below’ Potential? |
The Motley Fool: 401k vs. IRA vs. Brokerage Account: How Should You Split Up Your Assets? |
Kiplinger: 5 Surprising Facts to Know About Retirement |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Expanded 401k Menu May Nudge Participants Toward Better Outcomes |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Case of the Week: Plan Amendments and Accrued Benefits |
National Association of Plan Advisors: EBRI: IRA Rollovers Often Deviate from 401k Asset Allocations |
National Association of Plan Advisors: ARPs an Opportunity for Chambers of Commerce |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Market Rebound Not Enough to Move 401k Participants | Lessons From Down Under: The Problem With Getting Half of the Retirement Equation Right |
Kiplinger: 5 Timeless Financial Lessons Our Children Need Now |
The Motley Fool: 2 Times When Saving for Retirement Is Actually Harmful |
National Association of Plan Advisors: GoalMaker Targeted in New Excessive Fee Suit |
National Association of Plan Advisors: READER POLL: Readers Weigh in on E-delivery Disclosures |
National Association of Plan Advisors: Some 401k Participants May Be Exposed to Unnecessary Risk |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA


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