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Fiduciary Governance

The ERISA Advisory Council has recommended that the Department of Labor (DOL) issue new guidance on ERISA bonding. The recommendation comes in a report to Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta that includes the council’s evaluation of the DOL’s regulations and guidance on ERISA bonding requirements... READ MORE
In what will be his third stint as chairman, veteran senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) has decided to return as head of the powerful Senate Finance Committee. When the 116thCongress convenes in January, Grassley, 85, plans to step down from his current position as chairman of the Senate Judiciary... READ MORE
The IRS has issued a draft of the Form 5500-EZ to be used in reporting concerning 2018. The IRS notes that there are two changes in the form since last year: The title of Form 5500-EZ has been changed to match the purpose of the form to include both a one-participant retirement plan and a foreign... READ MORE
Those served by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) single-employer program have something to smile about — the PBGC has reported that the program now shows a positive balance. The news, contained in the PBGC’s Fiscal Year 2018 Annual Report, shows progress at a much faster rate than... READ MORE
The Senate Finance Committee on Nov. 15 in a 25-2 vote approved Gordon Hartogensis to be Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Their action sends Hartogensis’ nomination to the Senate floor for a vote by the full chamber. Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) said in... READ MORE
The 2018-2019 Treasury Priority Guidance Plan includes more than 60 regulatory projects relating to implementation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that the agency intends to address in the coming year. Overall, the plan contains 239 guidance projects that will be the focus of efforts through June 30... READ MORE
The parties in yet another proprietary fund suit have come to terms, rather than go to trial. The defendants here are Jackson National, sued by an employee/participant (Becky A. Matthews Pease) who had charged that 89% of the $608,784,892 in plan assets were “…invested in high cost and poorly... READ MORE
UPDATED NOV. 8, 2018 As expected, the Democrats took control of the House of Representatives in the congressional midterm elections, portending a major shift in focus for retirement policy issues. Currently the party affiliation in the House stands at 219 Democrats and 193 Republicans. In the... READ MORE
Halloween is the time of year when one’s thoughts turn to trick-or-treat, ghosts and goblins, and things that go bump in the night. But what are the things that keep – or should keep – plan fiduciaries up at night? Well, there are the things like… Getting Sued The headlines are (still) full of... READ MORE
A federal grand jury in Texas has indicted Jeffrey and Wendy Richie on claims that they stole $14.5 million from at least 1,000 plan participants in at least 20 retirement plans. The Richies – Jeffrey, the President and CEO of Vantage Benefits Administrators Inc., and Wendy, VP of Administration... READ MORE
The federal government’s updated unified regulatory agenda has shed light on the status of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s and Department of Labor’s efforts on investment advice and the now-vacated fiduciary rule. The SEC’s updated regulatory agenda confirms that the agency has set a... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association filed a comment letter Oct. 19 with the New Jersey Bureau of Securities concerning the fiduciary conduct standards the state government is considering. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced plans in September to issue a rule strengthening the standard for investment... READ MORE
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a comprehensive report on the regulatory agenda of the Department of Labor (DOL) for fall 2018. It includes proposed and final rules under consideration by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) that would affect retirement... READ MORE
ERISA was enacted to provide national protections for participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans – but proposed legislation would undermine those protections. A bill introduced in the Senate in July would create a new type of “open” multiple employer plan (MEP), an employee benefit plan... READ MORE
ASPPA is always providing information and insights that will be valuable to its members! Following is a summary of upcoming webcasts and events.Live WebcastsASPPA Webcast: Operating Under the IRS Pre-Approved Plan Document Program  Tuesday, October 30, 2018 2:00 - 3:40 p.m. ETSpeaker: Richard A.... READ MORE
Gordon Hartogensis, President Trump’s nominee to serve as Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), testified and answered questions at a confirmation hearing the Senate Finance Committee held on Sept. 27. Senators questioned Hartogensis regarding his views on the health of the... READ MORE
Unfazed that the Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule has been rendered moribund, the Garden State is forging ahead with its own.The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals may have essentially struck down the federal rule, but that has nothing to do with the ability of the states to craft and implement... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule may be moribund, but that doesn’t mean that investment fiduciary standards are — including best interest standards. A recent blog post by Fred Reish discusses how to best meet the various such standards that are in place. In “Best Interest and Best... READ MORE
Step inside the chamber, and we will gaze at the crystal ball. ASPPA’s Sept. 11 invitation offered a look at seven trends in the retirement industry that will have a significant impact — and, in fact, already are. In “Didn’t See THAT Coming: Seven Industry Trends Will Shape the Future,” American... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is issuing rules to implement its authority to facilitate mergers and transfers between multiemployer pension plans, the agency announced on Sept. 13. The final regulation updates the general requirements on plan mergers and transfers of plan assets... READ MORE