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Fiduciary Governance

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) was not arbitrary and capricious when it concluded that Kentucky Bancshares was obliged to comply with the Section 1107 of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) as well as ERISA’s standard termination requirements when it terminated its retirement plan and... READ MORE
Funding levels of pension plans sponsored by the S&P 1500 fell by 9 percentage points in 2014, from 88% to 79%. According to Mercer, the plans’ collective deficits more than doubled last year, reaching $504 billion at year-end.The plans had been doing well in 2014, Mercer said, having benefited... READ MORE
The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has outlined the conditions for determining the existence of a partial plan termination, ruling on the fifth appeal of what it called a “seemingly interminable class action suit.”The ruling came in a case filed just two months short of 19 years ago, in which... READ MORE
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) is arguing that the Land of Lincoln has “police powers” that allow it to change a contract in extraordinary circumstances, including changes to the state’s public pensions contained in a 2013 pension overhaul.Madigan is appealing a lower court ruling that... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on Jan. 12 issued a draft of the 2015 premium filing form and instructions. It provides information for plans paying premiums for plan years beginning in 2015, including instructions for all the particular forms of data that must be reported.The... READ MORE
The Department of Labor has announced that on Jan. 15, 2015 it will hold a hearing on whether Credit Suisse affiliates can serve as qualified professional asset managers (QPAMs). The DOL is considering this matter in light of Credit Suisse’s Sept. 3, 2014 guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to... READ MORE
Just when plan administrators were beginning to feel comfortable with their procedures for participant benefit statements, changes are in the offing. The Department of Labor’s most recent guidance plan includes a listing for a proposed regulation due out in January 2015. This proposal is expected... READ MORE
Despite lacking any regulatory authority to do so, the Department of Labor has made an issue of fiduciary training over the last few years. The reason, according to Bryan Cave's Sheldon H. Smith: The DOL views fiduciary training as a critical element of good governance, and looks for evidence of a... READ MORE
It’s easy for inertia to take over when financial decisions have to be made, especially when it comes to investment choices in a 401(k) plan. In “Using Re-enrollment to Improve Participant Investing and Provide Fiduciary Protections,” a white paper prepared for JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fred Reish... READ MORE
Fiduciaries of an ESOP are not entitled to any special presumption of prudence with regard to purchases or sales of employer securities, except as the duty of prudence relates to diversification of plan investments, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 25. In its unanimous decision in Fifth Third... READ MORE
Funds held in inherited IRAs are not retirement funds and must be included in a bankruptcy estate, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 12. The Court’s 9-0 ruling in Clark v. Rameker, No. 13-299 (U.S. 6/12/14), aff’d 714 F.3d 559 (7th Cir. 2013)) was definitive in drawing a distinction between... READ MORE
The so-called DoL “conflict of interest rule for investment advice” — formerly known as the fiduciary redefinition rule — has been delayed until January 2015. The delay was revealed in a posting of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which notes that... READ MORE
Some 30 percent percent of small businesses say it is at least somewhat likely they will eliminate their existing retirement plans if the DOL adopts its proposed, expanded definition of a fiduciary, according to a study by Greenwald & Associates released May 14. In addition, almost half the... READ MORE
Speaking at a Washington legislative update meeting on May 5, Assistant Labor Secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration Phyllis Borzi said that while there is no set date for issuing the rule that will redefine fiduciary, she will not wait forever. Most insiders predict that the... READ MORE
Reacting to a forensic investigation initiated by state employees, North Carolina’s $87 billion state pension system may be moving from a sole trustee to a board soon. As reported in P&I, a panel convened by State Treasurer Janet Cowell (D) is recommending the change amid allegations set forth... READ MORE
The Internal Revenue Service can do more to identify improper deductions for contributions the self-employed make to their simplified employee pension (SEP) plan retirement accounts. And it could bring in $71 million over five years if it does, says the Treasury Inspector General for Tax... READ MORE
In an exclusive interview with Christopher Carosa of FiduciaryNews, ASPPA Executive Director/CEO Brian Graff reaffirms his strong support, and that of ASPPA and its sister organizations, for real and tangible action to ensure a secure retirement for working Americans. Graff tells Carosa that a... READ MORE
The DoL’s expanded fiduciary definition rule could reduce retirement savings by 20 to 40 percent, according to a study commissioned by Davis & Harman LLP on behalf of a coalition of financial services organizations, including banks, insurance companies, brokerage firms and mutual funds that... READ MORE
While some mid-market and small record keepers have been heralding the equitable allocation of revenue sharing, very few if any micro market providers offer it. But since June 2013, as a new white paper by Fred Reish tells us, Paychex has offered the service to the smallest of plans. It’s becoming... READ MORE
The Department of Labor released its long-promised proposal to require that a guide or summary accompany a covered service provider’s 408(b)2) disclosures on March 11. The final 408(b)(2) regulations, which became effective July 1, 2012, left this question open, with the DOL promising to revisit... READ MORE

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