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Retroactive Social Security benefits: Everything you need to know

August 20, 2018

A financial adviser contacted me recently to ask whether a widowed client, who had been eligible to collect Social Security survivor benefits at the earliest at age 60, could file for retroactive benefits now that she was 63. Any type of Social...

8 ways to boost Social Security benefits

August 16, 2018

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law 83 years ago, on Aug. 14, 1935, creating the first nationwide safety net for American retirees. During a recent summer road trip, I visited Roosevelt's bucolic Hyde Park...

Illinois governor proposes making Secure Choice retirement program optional for employers

August 16, 2018

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto Tuesday making it optional for employers to participate in the state's Secure Choice program. There now are three possible actions. Legislators could approve the change, allow the technical...

Are 401(k) adviser aggregators the new 'wirehouses' for elite retirement plan advisers?

August 16, 2018

The death of traditional wirehouses that's predicted periodically by industry experts is greatly exaggerated. Wirehouse advisers — those housed in the wealth management divisions of Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Wells Fargo — stay...

Advisers home in on HENRYs overlooked by banks, retirement-plan providers

August 15, 2018

Banks and retirement-plan providers are missing the mark when it comes to capturing an attractive client segment of younger high earners who haven't yet reached wealthy status — and it's creating an opportunity for financial advisers. The...

Deutsche Bank settles 401(k) self-dealing lawsuit for $21.9 million

August 15, 2018

Deutsche Bank has reached a $21.9 million settlement in a lawsuit alleging the investment bank enriched itself at the expense of its employees by loading its company 401(k) plan with proprietary funds. Deutsche's settlement, which still needs...

Pensions are the new tax dodge, especially for rich business owners

August 15, 2018

There's one area where the traditional pension plan is getting new life: as a tax dodge for wealthy business owners. Pensions, also known as defined-benefit plans, can be used by doctors, law partners and wealth managers to stash hundreds of...

Why you should still take the fiduciary high ground on 401(k) rollovers

August 14, 2018

Only in Washington, some might say, can you find a regulation that for all intents and purposes is dead and buried yet still lives on. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its mandate to vacate the Department of Labor fiduciary rule in...

Claiming Social Security early has lasting impact on survivors

August 14, 2018

I received an urgent email from a financial adviser this week asking whether his terminally ill client should file immediately for Social Security so he wouldn't miss out on claiming his benefits before he died. While that may seem like a logical...

Plan sponsors shift focus away from costs

August 13, 2018

With about one-third of plan sponsors citing it as their major concern, effectively preparing employees for retirement financially has slightly edged out an emphasis on reducing plan costs as their top issue. That was the key finding of Fidelity...

DOL fiduciary rule death leaves 401(k) advisers in legal 'grey area' with rollovers

August 9, 2018

It's no secret that the broad financial industry despised the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. The regulation, which lived a short while before dying in court, upended the status quo with respect to retirement savers, cracking down on brokers'...

Are Roth conversions after 70½ advisable? 5 factors to consider

August 9, 2018

The biggest benefit of a Roth conversion of an individual retirement account is the tax-free compounding over time. Those who are over age 70½ obviously have less time to make the upfront tax cost of a Roth conversion worth the benefit, given...

Social Security finances worsen as reliance on the program increases

August 9, 2018

You've heard of good news/bad news stories. This one is a bad news/worse news version. Two new reports from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business document an increase in American retirees' reliance on Social Security income...

Enough with the surveys saying millennials need to save more for retirement

August 7, 2018

A new survey finds many millennials are spending more each month on restaurants, clothes and coffee than they are saving for retirement. It must be a Tuesday. If you haven't heard, my generation loves coffee, avocado toast and killing beloved...

Wages can boost Social Security taxes, Medicare premiums

August 7, 2018

My recent column on how income from a job can temporarily reduce or even eliminate Social Security benefits claimed before full retirement age prompted some interesting questions from readers. Those questions allow me to clarify how earnings...

Citigroup reaches $6.9 million settlement in 401(k) lawsuit

August 6, 2018

Citigroup Inc. has reached a $6.9 million settlement with plaintiffs in a more than decade old lawsuit alleging the financial services firm stuffed its retirement plan with expensive in-house investments, thereby enriching the company at the...

Appeals court upholds dismissal of Wells Fargo 401(k) lawsuit

August 6, 2018

A federal appeals court in St. Louis upheld a U.S. District Court judge's dismissal of an ERISA breach claim against Wells Fargo & Co. by a participant in the company's 401(k) plan, who alleged fiduciaries could have offered a better-performing...

401(k) robo Guideline tries to woo advisers with new service

August 6, 2018

Guideline Inc., one of several upstart companies trying to woo small 401(k) plans by pitching their relatively low costs and technology, has launched a product that targets retirement plan advisers. Guideline, founded roughly a year and a half...

American Funds offering TDFs in collective investment trusts

August 3, 2018

Capital Group, the asset manager behind the American Funds investment brand, is planning to offer its target-date mutual funds in a collective-investment-trust-fund vehicle later this year, in a move to seize on the growing popularity of CITs...

Fidelity's zero-cost funds raise issues for 401(k) advisers

August 2, 2018

Fidelity Investments is making 401(k) advisers' lives a little more complicated. The Boston-based behemoth dropped some eye-popping news Wednesday: as of Friday, it will begin offering two index mutual funds with a price tag of 0.00%. Yes, funds...

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