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These 401(k) lawsuits show the value of investment policy statements

November 22, 2017

An investment policy statement is essentially the business plan for a portfolio. For 401(k) fiduciaries, the IPS serves as a critical governing document, one that should be carefully crafted, periodically reviewed and updated, and diligently...

CIT interest rising among 401(k) sponsors

November 22, 2017

For over a decade now, pundits have been predicting a mass movement of 401(k) plans away from mutual funds and toward collective investment trusts. Migration numbers have not borne that out — yet. But now, some forecasts suggest the time of...

Do specialized retirement plan advisers even need a broker-dealer?

November 22, 2017

Financial advisers who specialize in the retirement plan market may find themselves considering a break from their broker-dealer. The past several years have seen 401(k) specialists, similar to wealth managers in the retail market, migrate toward...

DOL fiduciary rule limiting DCIO support to plan advisers in unexpected ways

November 21, 2017

The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is pushing more 401(k) plan advisers to a fee-based model, but that shift is leading to an unexpected consequence: dark data. Asset managers, also known as defined contribution investment-only providers,...

Wells Fargo sued, again, for using in-house funds in 401(k) plan

November 21, 2017

Just as Wells Fargo & Co. escaped from the jaws of one 401(k) lawsuit over in-house funds, it's now ensnared in another. In a rare move, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the company in May alleging breach of fiduciary duty for self-dealing,...

403(b) advisers disappointed with TIAA, but say other providers are 'way worse'

November 20, 2017

Financial advisers were surprised to learn of TIAA's alleged shady dealings with retirement savers, but say its practices pale in comparison to some of its peers. Recent reports in The New York Times detailed conflicts of interest in TIAA's...

Wells Fargo sees big TDF outflows from mutual funds

November 20, 2017

Target-date funds are on track for a near-record year, but Wells Fargo & Co. doesn't seem to be participating in the boom. TDFs have catapulted to popularity over the past decade as 401(k) plan sponsors' preferred default investment, and flows...

Tax reform: Retirement industry dodges bullet as Senate and House bills advance

November 17, 2017

The retirement industry can breathe a collective sigh of relief today as the House and Senate tax bills advance in their respective chambers. Despite all the doomsday talk relative to setting strict limits on pre-tax 401(k) contributions and...

Wells Fargo requires advisers to use level fees for new 401(k) business

November 14, 2017

Wells Fargo Advisors is requiring that financial advisers servicing 401(k) plans do so in a level-fee arrangement for new business, as have other large brokerage firms, in response to the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule. "We have moved...

Head of Merrill Lynch's adviser-sold 401(k) sales to depart

November 10, 2017

Joe Mrozek, head of small- and middle-market 401(k) sales at Merrill Lynch, is leaving the firm, a spokeswoman has confirmed. Mr. Mrozek, whose official title is head of small-mid market business development and adviser programs, has taken a...

Smart data can improve behavior, outcomes for retirement savers

November 9, 2017

We have all heard of big data, which the defined contribution industry has not leveraged sufficiently and has gotten a black eye for it. At a recent industry conference, I heard Tina Wilson, senior vice president at MassMutual, mention a new...

Merrill Lynch swells ranks of fiduciary 401(k) advisers by over 3,000

November 8, 2017

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management is charging into the fiduciary fray with lightning speed. Since March, when the wirehouse brokerage announced plans to transition its defined-contribution-plan business to a fiduciary model in response to the...

Tax reform: How the House bill changes rules for retirement savings

November 3, 2017

The headline news for retirement plan advisers Thursday upon the unveiling of the House tax bill was that a reduction in the pre-tax 401(k) savings limit is off the table, for now. But there are plenty of other details in the tax-reform legislation,...

House tax chief says he plans to preserve 401(k) pretax limits

November 1, 2017

House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady says he doesn't plan to reduce the pretax contributions American workers can make to 401(k) retirement plans — "unless there's broad agreement" among investment advisers that a different system would...

Trump administration seeks to give boost to 401(k) annuities

October 31, 2017

The Trump administration wants to give a shot in the arm to annuities in 401(k) plans by encouraging rules to make it more palatable for plan sponsors to offer such products. The Treasury Department issued a report calling for the Labor Department...

Ted Benna, father of the 401(k), thinks tax reform that favors Roths is 'pretty stupid'

October 30, 2017

Ted Benna, widely known as the father of the 401(k) plan, believes an idea being debated in Washington to lessen the pre-tax contributions workers can make to a retirement plan is "pretty stupid." Mr. Benna was a pioneer of the 401(k) plan,...

Clients facing late-career job loss can tap 401(k)s early

October 27, 2017

The unemployment rate continues to tick down, close to what many economists consider the level of full employment. That's a testament to both the relative strength of the economy and business' willingness to hire. For sure, the recovery from...

Trump, House tax chief send mixed signals on 401(k) tax break

October 25, 2017

President Donald J. Trump repeated his desire to keep tax breaks for workers' 401(k) contributions Wednesday — just hours after the chief tax writer in the House said his panel was exploring ways to change retirement savings in legislation...

Do advisory boards create perceived conflicts for DC plan advisers?

October 24, 2017

Many defined contribution plan advisers join the advisory boards of record keepers and asset-manager providers they use. But do these board memberships create perceived conflicts in the eyes of the Department of Labor and 401(k) or 403(b) plan...

Use of auto enrollment leaps, survey finds

October 24, 2017

Auto enrollment surged in popularity among defined contribution plan sponsors, with 68% using this plan design in 2017, according to a survey by Alight Solutions published Tuesday. "This was a surprise," Robert Austin, the Charlotte, N.C.-based...

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