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Fiduciary Governance

Less than a week after the suit was filed — but (apparently) after six months of arm’s length negotiation with the assistance of a national mediator, the parties in an excessive fee suit have come to terms.According to the settlement agreement (Ramsey v. Philips North America LLC, S.D. Ill., No. 3:... READ MORE
The law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP, has targeted another 401(k) plan for breach of its fiduciary duties — and their claims include that the lack of a stable value fund cost plan participants $41 million.The most recent suit was filed on behalf of Todd Ramsey, Frederick Butler,... READ MORE
You cannot wear two hats at once. You cannot look out for the best interest of an employer and an employee at the same time. But there is a third hat that can bridge the gap — one woven out of the threads of best practices. You have the option to embrace best practices, Fred Reish, Partner at... READ MORE
One of the most vocal critics of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule is leaving the Securities and Exchange Commission — with a mammoth advice proposal out for public comment. SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar announced May 7 that he intends to step down from the SEC on July 7, after serving... READ MORE
Leading ERISA legal minds believe the Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposals to establish new standards of conduct for broker-dealers (BDs) and investment advisers (IAs) still need a lot of work.The SEC on April 18 voted 4-1 to release for public comment two new rules and one new piece of... READ MORE
My schedule – and aversion to crowds – means that I rarely see a new movie the first weekend it comes out (a rare exception – Avengers: Infinity War).While this means that there are times when I’m the only one in the office the following Monday who hasn’t seen the latest blockbuster (and thus can’t... READ MORE
Speculation continues to swirl on whether the Department of Labor will appeal the ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacating the fiduciary rule, but time is running short.At the April 15 opening session of the NAPA 401(k) Summit in Nashville, the Groom Law Group’s David Levine and The... READ MORE
While reiterating some long-standing positions on socially responsive investing, the Department of Labor (DOL) has some new cautions about an ESG emphasis in plan design and proxy voting.It has done so in the form of Field Assistance Bulletin 2018-01, issued April 23, which is designed to provide... READ MORE
Despite the 4-1 vote by the Securities and Exchange Commission to release for public comment its fiduciary proposals, the commissioners apparently (still) have issues with the current version.In unveiling the package, SEC Commissioner Jay Clayton stated as motivations for this initiative:investor... READ MORE
While the Securities and Exchange Commissioners were hardly unanimous in their assessment, they voted 4-1 to release for public comment a set of proposals to “enhance the quality and transparency of investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers while preserving access to a... READ MORE
“Lifetime income is becoming the most important issue for retirement security,” says Theodore Goldman, Senior Pension Fellow at the American Academy of Actuaries, adding that the academy considers lifetime income “one of the most critical components leading to retirement security.”Goldman shared... READ MORE
As workers become more highly mobile, frequently changings jobs and homes, the task of finding missing plan participants can be a time-consuming and difficult process for plan sponsors, particularly in light of the Department of Labor sharpening its focus on efforts taken by sponsors to find... READ MORE
At an April 11 session of the Enrolled Agents Meeting held by the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries in Washington, DC, a panel of PBGC officials discussed compliance issues regarding single-employer plans, with a focus on late filings and missing participants... READ MORE
Scottrade wants to make a federal case out of an administrative proceeding filed by Massachusetts alleging violations of internal policies adopted in anticipation of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule.Specifically, Scottrade has filed a legal motion to have the administrative proceeding filed by... READ MORE
The Securities and Exchange Commission has announced plans for an open meeting to consider the agency’s long-awaited — and much anticipated — fiduciary proposal.According to a notice on the SEC’s website, the meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, at 3:30 p.m. at the Commission’s... READ MORE
The IRS and Treasury Department are “making progress” on guidance regarding missing participants, according to a panelist at an April 11 session of the Enrolled Actuaries meeting held by the Conference of Consulting Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries in Washington, DC. Session... READ MORE
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s participant loan changes (which delay the account offset on loan defaults related to unemployment or plan termination) trigger something we would all rather not look at: the “uncomfortable” manner in which ERISA’s fiduciary rules apply to loans and their administration.... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule may be on hold indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean that fiduciary duties similarly are in limbo. A recent blog entry offers some tips for meeting them. In “A Simple Guide for Meeting 401(k) Fiduciary Responsibilities,” an entry in Employee Fiduciary’s... READ MORE
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently “vacated” the DOL’s fiduciary rule and exemptions. What does that mean for recommendations to participants that they take plan distributions and roll them over to IRAs?Well, according to the latest blog post from noted ERISA attorney Fred Reish, “It means a... READ MORE
Sign up now for the 2018 ASPPA Eastern Regional Conference to take advantage of the extended Early Bird registration rate, which is now available until April 3.The 2018 Eastern Regional Conference will be held at the Doubletree Center City Hotel in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 26 and Friday,... READ MORE