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Empower unveils free 401(k) diagnostic tool

January 25, 2018

Empower Retirement, one of the largest providers of defined contribution plans, is trying to court retirement plan advisers with a new plan diagnostic tool that's free for advisers, whether or not they use Empower as a record keeper. The launch...

How new leadership at DOL could address retirement rules

January 25, 2018

By all accounts, the administration of Donald J. Trump is slashing regulations across government. However, there are some exceptions to the rule, and a less ambitious deregulatory regime seems likely under new leadership at the Department of...

Fidelity pushes Vanguard to compete on brand in 401(k) plans

January 24, 2018

Fidelity Investments' move to impose an additional fee on Vanguard Group assets is going to test plan sponsors' loyalty to the index-fund giant, according to retirement plan advisers, as employers are forced to choose between sticking with a...

Retirement risks keep rising

January 23, 2018

Half of working-age households in the U.S. were on track in 2016 to be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement, according to the National Retirement Risk Index report out this month from the Center for Retirement Research at...

New tool helps advisers estimate health care costs

January 23, 2018

The cost of health care in retirement consistently ranks as a leading concern among clients, yet it is a topic on which few financial advisers can offer specific guidance. That is about to change. A new tool from HealthyCapital unveiled this...

How 401(k) deductions were saved in budget drama

January 22, 2018

Fears of drastic changes to retirement savings tax advantages during the recent tax reform deal failed to materialize, thanks to the efforts of an unusual coalition, old-fashioned lobbying and a presidential tweet. The allure of reducing the...

Social Security payments to continue during government shutdown

January 22, 2018

Social Security payments to retirees, survivors and eligible family members, as well as Supplemental Security Income payments to low-income elderly and disabled recipients, will continue with no change in payment dates during the government...

Financial advisers should avoid error by omission and consider reverse mortgages

January 22, 2018

Over the past few years, I have been very outspoken about the need for financial advisers to incorporate reverse mortgages into their practices, especially those acting under a fiduciary duty of care or doing retirement income planning. As a...

Are you walking into a TDF trap?

January 22, 2018

Few investment products currently garner more attention than target date funds. Launched 30 years ago, TDFs are the most common qualified default investment alternative used in 401(k)s today, and they claim a sizable portion of the average investor's...

How advisers can manage IRA rollover risk under the DOL fiduciary rule

January 19, 2018

Advisers need to examine their practices for IRA rollovers in the new fiduciary environment created by the Department of Labor's conflict-of-interest rule. As background, there are three ways an adviser can help a participant with a rollover....

Why 401(k) advisers should be aware of contractual language limitations

January 18, 2018

As counsel for investment managers and investment advisers, we endeavor to draft documents precisely, making clear the obligations of our clients and seeking to limit their exposures to the extent permissible by the Employee Retirement Income...

Lawsuits push 401(k) plan sponsors to cut fees

January 18, 2018

Employers are moving to reduce their 401(k) plan costs in greater numbers, largely in an attempt to avoid the fate of peers who've been sued for allegedly excessive fees in their defined-contribution plans, new research suggests. "[Fee pressure]...

Why raising fee awareness matters for 401(k) advisers

January 18, 2018

A keystone behavior is one that positively influences other behaviors and generates collateral benefits. For retirement plan advisers who want to positively impact the success of their plan clients and participants, this means focusing on raising...

New Year's resolutions for 401(k) advisers

January 17, 2018

Opportunities for retirement plan advisers have never been greater. But so are the challenges. The stakes are high, given the lack of retirement plan coverage for half of America's workforce and the fact that most workers are woefully unprepared...

Why aren't clients using QCDs? Help them!

January 17, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is in effect. You can help clients take advantage of tax savings with their IRAs —this is why they have you as an adviser. As far as tax savers go, this one is simple. Use qualified charitable distributions (QCDs)...

Beware: Medicare surcharges can change throughout year based on latest tax return

January 17, 2018

It's a new year and time for another dispatch from the retirement front, an occasional series of columns where I chronicle life with my retired husband and describe our personal retirement decisions. I hope it provides some insights to advisers...

In rare move, investment adviser named as defendant in NYU retirement plan case

January 16, 2018

In an unusual turn of events, the investment adviser to New York University's retirement plan has been named as a co-defendant in litigation attacking the plan's allegedly excessive fees. Plaintiffs contend the adviser, Cammack LaRhette Advisors,...

Tax reform: 7 essential strategies for financial advisers

January 13, 2018

There's both good news and bad for financial advisers in the new tax law: While advisers face the difficult task of analyzing the law's impact, they will also have a significant opportunity to prove their value by implementing money-saving strategies...

Amid seller's market for RIAs, firms must prep for potential sale

January 13, 2018

Last month, at the MarketCounsel Summit in Miami, during a panel discussion about advisory-firm valuations, Rich Gill of Wealth Partners Capital Group cited what might be 2018's most bankable theme in the financial advice space. "Our industry...

Qualified Plan Advisors acquires $4 billion retirement shop

January 9, 2018

Qualified Plan Advisors, an Overland Park, Kan.-based firm focused on defined-contribution plans, has acquired an advisory group overseeing roughly $4 billion in retirement assets, furthering the consolidation trend that's gripped the retirement...

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