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The little-known alternative to multiple employer plans gaining popularity with advisory firms

June 13, 2017

Multiple employer plans have become a hot topic in retirement-plan circles of late. MEPs allow small employers to pool their buying power and achieve the lower costs otherwise reserved for larger-plan counterparts. Some eye them as a way to...

$470M retirement-focused RIA joins LPL

June 13, 2017

A hybrid registered investment advisory shop overseeing roughly $470 million in qualified retirement plan assets has affiliated with LPL Financial as its broker-dealer. The firm, Black Box Pension Advocates, which is located in Solon, OH, was...

Merrill Lynch to settle 401(k) lawsuit for $25 million

June 12, 2017

Merrill Lynch has agreed to a $25 million settlement in a 401(k) lawsuit alleging the firm breached its fiduciary duties when it failed to ensure a small-retirement-plan client received mutual-fund sales discounts to which it was entitled. The...

Stepping out of the defined contribution 'echo chamber'

June 8, 2017

With the competition among defined contribution plan advisers tough and expected to get even tougher as the Department of Labor fiduciary rule forces inexperienced advisers to exit the market, plan advisers need to step out of the DC "echo chamber"...

The disclosure 401(k) advisers may be missing under the DOL fiduciary rule come June 9

June 8, 2017

When the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule kicks in June 9, previously non-fiduciary advisers to 401(k) plans will need to furnish important new disclosures to their clients acknowledging their newly minted fiduciary status. The kicker: The...

Where retirement advisers should focus their preparations for the DOL fiduciary rule

June 8, 2017

It's now official: On June 9, the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule will take effect. The heart and soul of the rule, and the part on which all retirement advisers should focus their preparations, is the requirement to have and follow "impartial...

Labor Secretary Acosta: Concerns with DOL fiduciary rule 'not heard' during original rulemaking

June 7, 2017

Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta hinted Wednesday that the Obama administration didn't adequately consider "concerns" raised during the rulemaking process surrounding the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. Mr. Acosta made the remark during...

401(k) record keepers making big bets on managed accounts

June 1, 2017

Fidelity Investments and Empower Retirement are making big bets on 401(k) managed accounts, and competing defined-contribution-plan record keepers are poised to follow suit. What isn't yet clear is if these bets will pay off for retirement plans...

Wells Fargo, in 'atypical' outcome, wins 401(k) lawsuit

May 30, 2017

Wells Fargo & Co. has prevailed in a lawsuit alleging the firm breached its fiduciary duty to the company 401(k) plan by offering proprietary target-date funds. Minnesota district court judge David S. Doty granted Wells Fargo's motion to dismiss,...

Simple disclosure of conflicts touted by opponents of DOL fiduciary rule not effective

May 24, 2017

Now that the industry knows the DOL fiduciary rule will go into effect on June 9, it's important to step back and understand what's at stake and who stands to benefit from — or be hurt by — potential revisions to the rule, which may happen...

Vermont poised to become latest state to set up retirement plan for small businesses

May 22, 2017

Vermont will likely become the latest state to create a retirement plan for its small businesses, in a play to boost retirement savings by increasing the number of private-sector employees covered by a workplace plan. The Vermont legislature...

Advisers struggle to get 401(k) plan, participant data from record keepers

May 21, 2017

There is a fight brewing between defined contribution record keepers and advisers over access to plan and participant data which could determine the fate of retirement security for Americans. Without access to plan and participant data, advisers,...

Retirement plan advisers turning to RIA aggregators to build practices

May 21, 2017

Some retirement plan advisers are turning to so-called "RIA aggregators" that focus on the defined contribution market to help them build their practices, the primary allure being the scale and support afforded by a large, like-minded adviser...

How 401(k) advisers can create effective financial wellness programs

May 21, 2017

For all the buzz employer financial wellness programs are receiving, they may be short-lived. When our team at Duke University's Common Cents Lab evaluates financial wellness programs, we focus on one key area: Is the program using proven methods...

What plan sponsors look for in a 401(k) adviser

May 21, 2017

They aren't dissatisfied, but plan sponsors want more from their advisers. A recent survey of plan sponsors by the National Association of Plan Advisors and The Plan Sponsor University found 53% are satisfied with their adviser and 55% are satisfied...

How 401(k) advisers can bullet-proof themselves against litigation risk under DOL fiduciary rule

May 20, 2017

Many advisers who service 401(k) plans will, for the first time, be considered fiduciaries with respect to their investment advice when the Labor Department's conflict-of-interest rule comes into force next month. Along with that heightened...

Use of multiple record keepers could hurt defendants in 403(b) lawsuits

May 19, 2017

Judges in lawsuits targeting the Duke University and Emory University retirement plans have given life to a novel claim against the universities' use of multiple record keepers, setting the stage for a potential legal blow to a common practice...

President Trump signs resolution killing state auto-IRA rule

May 18, 2017

President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday evening signed a joint resolution killing an Obama-era regulation that encouraged states to set up retirement plans known as auto-IRAs. The Senate passed the resolution, H.J. Res. 66, on May 3. The House...

401(k) managed account competition heats up as Fidelity expands reach

May 17, 2017

Fidelity Investments, the largest provider of defined contribution plans, is moving to expand the reach of its fiduciary managed-account service for retirement plan participants by making it available to record-keeping platforms outside of its...

Courts' interpretations of 401(k) fiduciary laws are changing

May 16, 2017

It appears that laws of fiduciary prudence under ERISA are evolving. A recent district court decision, in Lorenz v. Safeway, demonstrates this point. "What is good for the goose is good for the gander" is not a common legal maxim, but the District...

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