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Retirement-savings bill draws broad support, optimism for passage this year

March 30, 2018

Supporters of legislation designed to increase retirement savings are hopeful the measure will be approved by Congress later this year, despite being left out of a recent spending bill. The Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 was...

Use tax management with retirement accounts

March 28, 2018

As we approach tax deadline day on April 17, your clients may have a number of questions for you. Some are easy. "Can I deduct the cost of 12 boxes of Girl Scout cookies I bought?" (No.) "Will you back my claim for 14 dependents?" (No). But...

Retirement plan advisers ignore content marketing at their peril

March 28, 2018

When I ask retirement plan advisers about their biggest concerns, the most common answer — even in turbulent markets or amid dramatic regulatory changes — is finding new clients. All successful plan advisers have found good ways to prospect,...

Gannett 401(k) participant sues over stock holdings in former parent company

March 26, 2018

A participant in the Gannett Co. Inc. 401(k) Savings Plan sued the company and plan executives, alleging they violated their fiduciary duties for holding too much stock in Gannett's former parent company in the 401(k) plan. "Defendants caused...

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...

Deciphering Social Security survivor benefit rules

March 23, 2018

A financial adviser from South Carolina reached out to me recently for help sifting through the numerous Social Security regulations affecting potential benefits for his recently widowed client. "This is probably the most complex situation I...

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...

Social Security benefits losing buying power

March 20, 2018

Automatic cost-of-living adjustments are supposed to help Social Security benefits keep pace with inflation, but years of low inflation and rising Medicare costs are threatening the adequacy of a key component of seniors' income. Over the past...

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...

Growing pains for 401(k) advisers

March 17, 2018

Darwinian forces are resulting in the survival of the fittest. With 401(k) provider fees declining and profit margins shrinking, especially for defined-contribution investment-only providers, the budgets to support retirement plan advisers are...

Questions to ask to stay compliant as rules change

March 17, 2018

The regulatory landscape for investment advice fractured in 2017. States enacted new rules. The Securities and Exchange Commission began to focus on a definition of "fiduciary." And the National Association of Insurance Commissioners began considering...

401(k) robo-revolution is underway

March 17, 2018

Tech upstarts are making inroads into 401(k) plans and that's bad news for some retirement plan advisers. Such fledgling companies as Betterment for Business, ForUsAll, Human Interest and Vestwell, as well as more established players such as...

Passive target-date funds? No such thing

March 17, 2018

If your clients ask for a passively managed target-date fund, you might have to explain to them that there's no such thing — although you should certainly steer them to a low-cost target-date fund. Passive investing has taken investors' fancy...

Your role in people's happiness

March 17, 2018

Every day we hear about financial wellness and financial wellness programs. And the attention is justified. As advisers, you are probably involved in some aspect of increasing people's sense of financial wellness, either individually or programmatically....

Retirement savings bill introduced in House

March 16, 2018

The House counterpart to a Senate package of retirement savings initiatives was introduced late Wednesday by Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., and Mike Kelly, R-Pa. Among other provisions, the proposed Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2018 would...

Graying of America will put pressure on Social Security reform

March 16, 2018

Investment News readers and audiences who attend my Social Security seminars around the country frequently ask me when I think Congress will tackle Social Security reform. I joke that my crystal ball looks more like a blurry snow globe when...

4 warnings about using back-door Roth IRAs

March 15, 2018

More of your high-income clients can now move funds to Roth IRAs by using the so-called "back-door Roth" strategy. Unlike traditional IRA contributions, Roth IRA contributions have income limits, but this strategy allows funds to be moved to...

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...

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