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What can Tabasco sauce teach advisers about 401(k) loans?

October 11, 2017

As plan advisers, our guidance might help increase a plan's overall participation and average deferral rate, but there is little we can do to help people when they're confronted with a large, unanticipated expense. For some, this means dipping...

401(k) referrals rare from wealth managers despite DOL fiduciary rule

October 11, 2017

Conventional wisdom is that the Department of Labor's conflict-of-interest rule would result in a flood of referrals from wealth management advisers and other less-specialized retirement plan advisers to retirement-plan specialists. Beware of...

Thank Richard Thaler for that bigger nest egg

October 10, 2017

If you have a 401(k) plan at work, there's a good chance that you're saving more for retirement because of Richard Thaler. The Nobel Prize for economics tries to recognize important research with far-ranging consequences — but Thaler, awarded...

Medicare rules are needlessly complex

October 9, 2017

People who collect Social Security benefits early are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they turn 65. But as increasing numbers of Americans delay claiming Social Security benefits until older ages when they are worth more, many of them...

A primer on stable value funds for retirement plan advisers

October 9, 2017

Retirement plan advisers should not set and forget stable value funds. These funds can be an excellent supporting character in a diversified global portfolio for the right defined-contribution-plan clients. But good advisers take nothing for...

Pew survey finds support for state auto-IRA programs

October 6, 2017

A survey of workers' attitudes toward state-sponsored automatic IRA programs released Thursday by The Pew Charitable Trusts found widespread support. Pew officials surveyed more than 900 workers without access to retirement plans at small and...

DOL fiduciary rule ups ante for monitoring of 401(k) record keepers

October 4, 2017

The Department of Labor fiduciary rule is changing how retirement plan advisers help their clients monitor record-keeping firms such as Fidelity Investments and Empower Retirement. The regulation, which raises investment-advice standards in...

Navigating the planning gap

October 3, 2017

The following is an excerpt from a new research study, “The planning gap”, which was co-developed by InvestmentNews Research and Nationwide. The research is based on survey responses from 1,741 individual investors, as well as a companion...

Both spouses don't always need to delay Social Security until 70

October 3, 2017

It seems that 70 may be the new 66 when it comes to claiming Social Security benefits. Several financial advisers have asked me about the wisdom of having both spouses delay claiming benefits until age 70. Although that would certainly maximize...

The importance of managing clients' 'life risks'

October 3, 2017

The following is an excerpt from a new research study, “The planning gap”, which was co-developed by InvestmentNews Research and Nationwide. The research is based on survey responses from 1,741 individual investors, as well as a companion...

Stay up on Medicare enrollment with annual reviews

October 2, 2017

The last quarter of the year is a busy time for financial advisers. It's a time to review investment portfolios with clients to identify possible tax-loss harvesting opportunities and to encourage working-age clients to maximize their annual...

DOL fiduciary rule: Challenges for RIAs under the BICE

September 29, 2017

On Aug. 31, the Department of Labor proposed to extend the applicability date for the full best-interest contract exemption to July 1, 2019. In all likelihood, that proposal will be finalized before the end of the year. With that in mind, what...

Tax reform anomaly could diminish some companies' need for 401(k) plan

September 28, 2017

The Republican tax-reform framework released Wednesday has led to concern within some retirement industry circles that plan creation and maintenance — and plan advisers' businesses — would be negatively impacted by its policy details. The...

Private equity firms see hidden value in 401(k) record keeping

September 28, 2017

Sometimes when enough people say the same thing, it becomes the conventional wisdom. That doesn't necessarily make it true. Most 401(k) industry experts claim there isn't money to be made in the record-keeping business. But some heady private...

General Electric 401(k) participants sue over poor-performing GE Asset Management funds

September 28, 2017

Three participants in General Electric Co.'s 401(k) plan filed a lawsuit against the company, alleging it violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 by breaching its fiduciary duties. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court...

Seniors scramble to beat reverse mortgage deadline

September 26, 2017

I received a frantic phone call from a reverse mortgage lender in California last week. He said he was worried about the large number of senior homeowners who were scrambling to qualify for a reverse mortgage before new, more restrictive lender...

Judge dismisses lawsuit by Wells Fargo 401(k) participants

September 26, 2017

A U.S. District Court judge in Minneapolis dismissed a lawsuit by participants in Wells Fargo's 401(k) plan, saying the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate that plan executives breached their fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income...

401(k) lawsuit attacks excessive advisory fees paid to UBS

September 26, 2017

A company sponsoring a $157 million 401(k) plan has been sued for allowing unreasonably high fees to be charged for plan services, including advisory services provided by UBS. The lawsuit in question alleges the 401(k) plan sponsor, Novitex...

Dividing retirement assets when divorcing abroad

September 25, 2017

The millions of Americans who live and work outside of the United States face unique and challenging planning issues due in large part to their native land's unique tax policies on citizenship-based tax residency and the many special tax and...

Jerry Schlichter's fee lawsuits have left an indelible mark on the 401(k) industry

September 23, 2017

At first glance, Sept. 11, 2006, may not stand out as a remarkable date in American history. But to retirement wonks, it is: That's the day a personal injury lawyer from St. Louis filed a flurry of lawsuits against major corporations, alleging...

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