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Cost-cutting takes precedence in competitive defined-contribution environment

March 23, 2018

U.S. target-date fund managers are continuing to find ways to cut costs amid heightened fee scrutiny from plan executives and consultants, increased competition among managers, and a desire among managers to help improve participants' retirement...

Should you use those free tools the 401(k) wholesaler gave you?

March 22, 2018

In the competitive environment surrounding retirement plans nowadays, having any extra advantage is something advisers want and need. The way many retirement plan advisers stand out is by using tools to provide feedback to plan sponsors on a...

Aon Hewitt wins 401(k) lawsuit over robo-adviser kickbacks

March 21, 2018

Aon Hewitt has won a lawsuit alleging that it engaged in a kickback scheme with a 401(k) plan robo-adviser that inflated costs for retirement plan participants. The lawsuit, originally filed in January 2017 on behalf of participants in the Caterpillar...

Senior Wells Fargo exec: No FBI interviews here

March 19, 2018

A senior Wells Fargo & Co. executive Monday morning contradicted a report from last week in the Wall Street Journal that the FBI had recently interviewed employees in the bank's sprawling wealth management group, home to some 14,544 brokers...

SunTrust Banks, 401(k) participants settle fiduciary-breach lawsuit

March 15, 2018

Participants and fiduciaries of the SunTrust Banks Inc. 401(k) Plan, Atlanta, agreed to a preliminary settlement in which plaintiffs will receive $4.75 million and executives will make several changes to plan policies. The preliminary settlement,...

401(k) plans are trifecta of confusion

March 14, 2018

The three major stakeholders in 401(k) plans — plan sponsors, record-keepers and the plan participants themselves — are often miles apart in their views of the plans and the positions of other stakeholders. That is the finding of research...

Fiduciary rule shifts power to broker-dealer compliance departments

March 14, 2018

The DOL fiduciary rule was a wake-up call for many broker-dealers, some of which had paid little attention to defined contribution plans like 401(k)s in the past. Even broker-dealers that had focused on DC plans have made significant changes...

More 401(k) plans move away from revenue-sharing model

March 12, 2018

Many 401(k) plans are moving away from revenue sharing as executives cite the need for greater transparency, simplicity and democracy in how fees are assessed to participants. Defined contribution plan consultants say federal fee regulations...

Senate bill aims to boost 401(k) annuities, small-employer retirement plans

March 8, 2018

New bipartisan legislation in the Senate aims to increase the use of annuities in 401(k) plans, and boost retirement-plan adoption by small employers through a particular type of defined-contribution plan known as an open multiple employer plan....

Latest Wells Fargo flap underscores need for fiduciary standard

March 8, 2018

The most recent scandal brewing at Wells Fargo Advisors, this one regarding questions from the Justice Department about potentially inappropriate recommendations on rollovers for 401(k) plan participants, underscores yet again why the financial...

Vanguard extends TDF dominance with 'unbelievable' growth

March 6, 2018

Vanguard Group has extended its grip on the target-date-fund market over the past few years, as attention to low costs and passive management continues to offer substantial tailwinds for the fund giant. Vanguard controlled $623 billion in total...

How to design a 401(k) plan that's lawsuit-proof

March 6, 2018

Lawsuits targeting 401(k) plans have become commonplace over the past decade. It's no longer much of a surprise to hear that another plan sponsor has been sued over some aspect of its plan design, and speculation is that such legal action will...

Warren, Daines bill would help establish a database for orphaned 401(k) accounts

March 2, 2018

Two senators are trying to help workers locate retirement savings they may have forgotten when they switched jobs. On Thursday, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced the Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act,...

Pension risk transfers swelled nearly 70% in 2017

March 2, 2018

Employers offloaded pension liabilities at nearly record levels in 2017, a reflection of the fact that pension plans have become more costly to keep on the books, longevity has increased and 401(k) plans have grown more popular. Rising interest...

How low can 401(k) advisory fees go?

February 28, 2018

The race to the bottom is accelerating, and the bottom is nowhere in sight. Even before the regulatory spotlight shone brightly on defined-contribution plan fees as the result of Department of Labor rules promulgated in 2012, many plan sponsors,...

Popular 403(b) resource launching directory of fiduciary advisers

February 26, 2018

A popular resource for participants in 403(b) plans, which are retirement plans for educational institutions, nonprofits and churches, is trying to stop what it sees as abusive sales conduct toward retirement savers by launching a directory...

NYU lawsuit becomes first 403(b) fee case to go to trial

February 23, 2018

A lawsuit charging New York University with charging excessive fees in its retirement plan is heading to trial, after a federal judge on Thursday denied the university's motion for summary judgment in the case. However, the judge on Friday entirely...

Future retirees more vulnerable to income shocks

February 21, 2018

The two major shocks that hit the elderly today are a spike in medical expenses and a sharp drop in income upon becoming a widow. While some of today's retirees are financially fragile, most appear able to absorb shocks without incurring hardship,...

Hub International acquires RIA with $850 million in retirement plan assets

February 21, 2018

Hub International, a firm new to the ranks of 401(k)-focused RIA aggregators, has acquired a Texas-based advisory firm overseeing roughly $850 million in retirement-plan assets. IPS Advisors, based in Dallas, is also an independent life and...

Active TDF managers push to compete on fees

February 20, 2018

Asset managers with actively managed target-date funds are pushing to lower fees in an environment of heightened cost sensitivity. Litigation accusing employers of having high retirement-plan fees and the difficult-to-benchmark nature of TDF...

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