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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...

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...

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...

Prepare clients for an untimely end to Roth conversion do-overs

November 9, 2017

The new tax proposal from Congress had a November surprise. The proposal includes a repeal of the Roth IRA recharacterization, which is the ability to undo a Roth conversion. I normally don't like to advise planning based on proposed law, but...

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,...

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...

8 scary retirement facts

October 30, 2017

On the spookiest holiday of the year, investors need look no further than the global stirrings with North Korea or the uncertainty about healthcare costs in the U.S. to produce some shivers. But here are 8 frightening retirement facts to inspire...

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...

SEC and DOL should agree on tough fiduciary rules

October 26, 2017

Harmonization is a beautiful concept. In standards-setting it means bringing into agreement different systems that have evolved separately to reduce or eliminate redundancies or conflicts. Yet the mechanics can be complicated, constrained by...

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