Newsletter for December 4, 2017
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In This Issue
Meet the Law Firms Fighting 401k, Health Plan Class Actions
Abstract: Morgan Lewis & Bockius gets a lot of business when big companies are sued for the way they manage their retirement and health plans. For the second year in a row, it's the law firm getting the most ERISA class action business.
Source: Bna.com (registration may be required)
Should Your 401k Plan Provide Hurricane Relief?
Abstract: You don't have to have employees in the disaster areas to be able to provide relief for victims of the 2017 hurricanes through your 401k plan. IRS announcements and a new law enable participants to take withdrawals to help relatives who were seriously impacted by hurricanes Harvey, Maria and Irma if their plan permits hurricane distributions. Special rules also allow plans to permit loans for relief even if the plan terms don't currently provide for loans. However, the agencies in charge aren't making it easy for plan sponsors who want to help.
Fiduciary and Plan Governance Material
Fiduciary Considerations When Adding and Reviewing Managed Accounts
Abstract: Beyond the standard investment menu of mutual funds, and even beyond target-date funds, the introduction of managed accounts offers retirement plan participants a more personalized investment strategy and the opportunity to further refine their retirement portfolios. However, as plan sponsors review the benefits of adding managed accounts to their retirement plans, there are ever-present fiduciary considerations which must be addressed.
401k Managed Account Push Rife With Conflicts of Interest
Abstract: Recordkeepers are looking to managed accounts to be their next 401k cash cow, but the way some firms are promoting the products to investors is rife with conflicts. Several providers offer incentive compensation to their advisers and representatives for getting plan participants to enroll in their paid managed account services.
Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required)
»» Click here for more Fiduciary and Plan Governance Material
Insight: Studies, Research, and White Papers
DCIIA Fourth Biennial Plan Sponsor Survey
Abstract: This is a 12-page report on the results of a survey of plan sponsors' use-of and attitudes-toward automatic plan features including automatic enrollment, automatic escalation and re-enrollment in default investment funds known as Qualified Default Investment Alternatives. The survey represents the views of 194 DC plan sponsors. Sixty-two percent of respondents are larger plan sponsors, defined as plans with assets over $200 million, and the remaining 38% are smaller plan sponsors, defined as plans with $200 million in assets or less.
Phased Retirement Largely Ignored Despite Flood of Retirees
Abstract: With 10,000 baby boomers retiring daily, it would seem that flexible retirement would be a staple benefit within the workforce. It's not.
Data Show Ongoing Commitment to Retirement Saving
Abstract: Americans continued to save for retirement through DC plans during the first half of this year, according to a ICI study. The study tracks contributions, withdrawals, and other activity, based on DC plan recordkeeper data covering more than 30 million participant accounts in employer-based DC plans.
»» Click here for More Studies, Research, and White Papers
Items of Special Interest to Service Providers
What the New Form 5500 Means for 401k Advisors
Abstract: While the precise nature of any changes and the timing of implementation have yet to be finalized, proposals suggest that a 'modernized' Form 5500 will compel plan sponsors to deliver a trove of information -- some of it new -- in formats that facilitate data mining. The new Form 5500 has the potential to be a double-edged tool that both benefits plan sponsors and exposes plan vulnerabilities.
New RIA Aggregator Enters 401k Market
Abstract: Hub International is a neophyte among so-called RIA aggregators focused on the retirement plan market, but it's making a grand entrance that signals competitive heft and further hints at a growing consolidation trend among plan advisers.
Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required)
Proprietary Funds: The New Lightning Rod for 403b Plans?
Abstract: In the large 403b plan space, the criticism of variable annuities has all but evaporated, since, with some low-cost exceptions, variable annuities no longer exist. But recent litigation has been highly cynical of recordkeepers' proprietary fund offerings and the plan sponsors who select such offerings.
»» Click here for More 403b Material
Court and Legal
The Latest Targets of 401k Fee Lawsuits
Abstract: A new front has opened in the retirement plan litigation battle, this one involving the 27,178-member Supplemental Income 401k Plan, a union-sponsored multiemployer plan with almost $1 billion assets.
»» Click here for more Court and Other Legal Issues
Legislative and Washington DC
Tax Reform and Retirement: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know
Abstract: Tax reform, and its impact on retirement plans, has weighed heavily on the minds of many plan sponsors since the new administration took office. Article looks at what has happened thus far, how the proposed changes could affect retirement plans, and what plan sponsors can expect moving forward.
House Bill Would Bump Up Cashout Limit
Abstract: Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would boost the cashout limit for retirement plans, which its sponsors say will help make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement plans.
House Bill Seeks Expansion of Open MEPs, Aggressive Plan Designs
Abstract: A bill introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal, known as the "Automatic Retirement Plan Act of 2017," is garnering the support of retirement plan industry lobbying groups. Among other adjustments viewed as vital to the expansion of open multiple employer plans, the bill would remove the "one bad apple" rule and the commonality requirement.
»» Click here for more on Legislative Actions
Protecting Retirement Plans From Identity Theft
Abstract: Identity theft and related crimes are on the rise, and they can have a devastating impact on employer-sponsored 401k plans. Plans can have very large balances compared to other cyber targets such as bank accounts, and therefore, have become quite attractive to cyber criminals. Cybercrime related to retirement plans can occur because of threats such as phishing, ransomware, "social engineering," and wire transfer fraud, among others.
»» Click here for more on Cybersecurity Issues
DOL's Fiduciary Rule
Fiduciary Rule Extension: What This Means for Service Providers
Abstract: The DOL has extended the current Transition Period for the DOL Fiduciary Rule exemptions by 18 months. The Transition Period was scheduled to end on January 1, 2018, but now will end on July 1, 2019. Here's what the extension means.
»» Click here for more on the DOL's Fiduciary Rule
Hub International Acquires the Assets of Summit Financial Corporation
MassMutual Introduces RetireSMART Ready Mobile App
»» Click here for More Marketplace News
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