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Excessive-fee litigation in retirement plan market moving downstream

November 22, 2017

A series of civil actions filed against the sponsors of 403(b) plans last summer named as defendants several large universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Yale, New York University, Duke, Vanderbilt, University of...

Retirement plan advisers need to start planning for their own succession

November 22, 2017

It may seem odd that financial professionals who help clients plan for retirement rarely do a good job planning for retirement themselves. Beyond the cliché that a shoemaker's children often go barefoot, it highlights the fact that most successful...

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,...

Medicare premiums and Social Security COLAs: Here's why retirees will pay up in 2018

November 21, 2017

Here's a riddle: How can Medicare premiums remain the same in 2017 and 2018 yet result in a 23% increase for millions of retirees? That's the quandary that many financial advisers will face next year when they try to explain to some retired...

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,...

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...

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...

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...

2018 Medicare changes will erase Social Security COLAs for many

November 17, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday that the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which covers outpatient services and doctor's bills, will remain at $134 per month in 2018. While it may seem counterintuitive,...

American Retirement Association adds Plan Sponsor Council of America

November 15, 2017

The Plan Sponsor Council of America, an organization of employee-benefit-plan sponsors, is joining the 20,000-member American Retirement Association, an umbrella group of retirement-related groups. The PSCA will become a membership division...

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...

Boost retirement income with home equity

November 13, 2017

Using home equity to enhance retirement income planning is an emerging topic in financial planning. When I address consumer groups and conferences for financial professionals all around the country, I note that the traditional three-legged stool...

Largest U.S. pension fund may slash exposure to stocks

November 13, 2017

The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the largest U.S. pension fund, is considering more than doubling its bond allocation to reduce risk and volatility as the stock bull market approaches nine years. Calpers is looking at a menu...

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...

TIAA subpoenaed over sales practices

November 10, 2017

The New York attorney general has subpoenaed insurance and pension giant TIAA, seeking information on its sales practices in the wake of a recent story in the New York Times. The TIAA practices drawing scrutiny also are the subject of a whistleblower...

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...

Retirement plan advisers, providers hit 'pause' on DOL fiduciary rule compliance

November 7, 2017

The likelihood of a delay to elements of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule has caused some retirement plan advisers and providers to re-evaluate some of the steps they'd taken or had planned to take to comply with the regulation, a panel...

Someone tried to hack my Social Security account

November 6, 2017

Several InvestmentNews readers have asked me to weigh in on whether the recent Equifax data breach, which affected an estimated 143 million Americans, could compromise online Social Security accounts. Equifax, one of the three major credit bureaus,...

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