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Fiduciary Governance

President Trump’s Executive Order has three specific directives – and some specific timetables for action on those directives.The Executive Order begins by stating, “It shall be the policy of the Federal Government to expand access to workplace retirement plans for American workers.” The much-... READ MORE
It is not unusual to delegate or even outsource functions investment committees commonly perform. But taking that step doesn’t mean washing the hands of all involvement with governance. A recent blog post makes suggestions regarding what can be done to continue to monitor and exercise active... READ MORE
Scottrade’s attempt to make a federal case of an administrative proceeding filed by Massachusetts alleging violations of internal policies adopted in anticipation of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule has been rebuffed by a federal judge. Here the plaintiff (the Enforcement Section of the... READ MORE
Being a fiduciary is serious business. And complex. But a recent blog entry boils it down to seven common sense rules for a fiduciary to keep in mind.In “7 Rules Every Professional Fiduciary Must Follow,” Christopher Carosa of Fiduciary News suggests that complying with the legalities of serving as... READ MORE
We now know the terms of an excessive fee lawsuit settlement reported a month ago.In early July, Deutsche Bank Americas Holding Corp. settled claims of a class action brought by Ramon Moreno and Donald O’Halloran, former participants in the Deutsche Bank Matched Savings Plan. The parties informed... READ MORE
The judge in a recent excessive fee case decision had a lot to say – about the plan committee members – and the expert witnesses called to testify. I’m talking about the recent decision in Sacerdote v. N.Y. Univ., S.D.N.Y., No. 1:16-cv-06284-KBF, judgment 7/31/18, a suit brought by participants in... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association has weighed in on the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest proposal.Overall, the ARA’s Aug. 3 comment letter commends the commission’s efforts to tailor the proposed rules to “preserve investor choice with regard to business models and compensation practices in a... READ MORE
Securities and Exchange Commissioner Hester Peirce on July 24 argued that the proposed Regulation Best Interest would set clear standards, even though the word “fiduciary” is not directly incorporated in the proposal.Addressing critics who remain unsatisfied, Peirce, who was sworn in in January... READ MORE
An unspecified number of participants in plans recordkept by Vanguard were told their loans had been processed. But they hadn’t. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) the loans hadn’t been requested. The text message informed recipients that their loans had been... READ MORE
As we celebrate the Declaration that marks the birth of this nation, it seems a good time to reflect on some lessons from that experience that hold true even today.Inertia is a powerful force. By the time the Second Continental Congress convened, the “shot heard round the world” had already been... READ MORE
Times have been good lately for investors, with proof not only in strong market returns but also solid investor returns, according to Morningstar’s 2018 “Mind the Gap” study.Among the key takeaways from this year’s report are that the gap improved for U.S. equity, balanced and municipal bond funds... READ MORE
In what looks to be a first in excessive fee litigation, a court has ordered plaintiffs to produce some Facebook posts.In this excessive fee suit, the plaintiffs charge — as others have in similar actions — that the fiduciaries of the $5.1 billion Anthem 401(k) Plan (formerly the WellPoint 401(k)... READ MORE
How does the best interest standard of care in the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest compare to the standard of care in the DOL’s Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE)? Well, having previously outlined the similarities between those two, in his most recent blog post noted ERISA attorney Fred Reish... READ MORE
Thinking outside the box is often a valued attribute; in the retirement plan universe, it can find expression in arrangements and plan features that offer flexibility, liquidity and portability. But a recently released paper suggests that it is important to be mindful of fiduciary duties while... READ MORE
Guess how many CE credits you can get at the ASPPA Annual Conference.This year you can earn up to 25 ASPPA CE credits — with three ethics credits available — for the 2017–2018 CE cycle. Sessions offer up to two credit hours each.At “ASPPA Annual” — one of the retirement industry’s longest-running... READ MORE
The SEC’s proposed Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) is remarkable in its similarities to the DOL’s vacated Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) – or so Fred Reish thinks. With a beginning note of caution that Reg BI applies to securities recommendations, while the BICE would have (but for the... READ MORE
President Trump has nominated Senate Banking Committee aide Elad Roisman to serve as a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).Roisman, who currently serves as Chief Counsel to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee under Chairman Mike Crapo (R-ID), would... READ MORE
The victorious plaintiffs in litigation vacating the Labor Department's fiduciary rule would like the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit to put the rule — and the financial services industry at large — out of its collective "misery."In a letter to the Clerk of Court for the U.S. Court of... READ MORE
Robert Kaplan, the American Retirement Association’s Director of Technical Education, provided a look at recent regulatory and legislative developments in a May 22 ASPPA webcast.Kaplan began the Second Quarter 2018 Washington Update webcast with a discussion of fiduciary rules. He noted that the U.... READ MORE
The Plan Sponsor Council of America’s 2018 Annual Conference May 1-2 featured the insights of experts on issues critical to retirement plan sponsors and industry professionals.Retirement readiness, best practices in serving plans and running a plan and practice, industry and regulatory developments... READ MORE