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Posted on Sep 23, 2015 (815 days ago)
"Concerned about conflicts of interest among financial advisers who provide advice to retirement savers, the [DOL] has proposed imposing fiduciary status and a 'best interest' standard on such advisers. To ameliorate the resulting compliance costs, the DOL has also raised the possibility of a safe harbor for certain 'high-quality low-fee investments.' However, the notion of a 'high-quality' investment is in irreconcilable tension with the highly individualized assessment of risk and return that is required by modern portfolio theory, the well-accepted concept from financial economics that has been codified in the 'prudent investor rule' as the standard of care for fiduciary investment. This policy incoherence is worrisome because of the potential for the safe harbor to swallow the best interest standard." (Max M. Schanzenbach and Robert H. Sitkoff Via SSRN)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Sep 14, 2015 (824 days ago)
18 pages. "Fiduciary risk ... affects companies on many levels -- in your employees' preparation for retirement, in the recruitment and satisfaction of those employees, in the way you manage your plan, and in the help you seek from your advisors.... This brochure will review relevant fiduciary data and suggest actions you can take to help minimize fiduciary risk. This guide includes the following topics: [1] 404(c) protection and considerations for complying; [2] Key requirements needed for 404(c) compliance; [3] Six steps toward compliance." (Deutsche Bank AG)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Sep 9, 2015 (829 days ago)
"The goal of this project was to verify nondiscrimination compliance was met by requesting and reviewing information to: [1] Determine the plan provisions properly allowed and adopted a 401(k) as part of a CODA. [2] Determine compliance with IRC Section 401(k)(11) for SIMPLE 401(k) plans. [3] Determine compliance with IRC Section 401(k)(12) for Safe Harbor plans. [4] Verify corrective measures were taken to satisfy ADP or ACP tests and any applicable 1099-Rs were issued. [5] Verify reporting and the accuracy of calculations used to determine the amount of excise tax asserted under IRC Section 4979, requesting corrections when errors were identified." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Jun 16, 2015 (914 days ago)
13 pages. "Small business owners, through SEP and SIMPLE-type IRA plans, provide roughly $472 billion in retirement savings for over 9 million U.S. households.... The DOL is proposing broad new regulations that would impose significant new compliance costs and legal liabilities on advisors to SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, costs that will be passed on to these small business plans and employees. Many small businesses cannot offer 401(k) or similar 'traditional' retirement plans because of administrative complexity, costs, or eligibility requirements, and instead offer simplified, basic retirement plans built around IRAs." (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Jun 11, 2015 (919 days ago)
"The court's opinion and strong dissent represent dramatically different interpretations of Dudenhoeffer and conflicting views about the information that plan fiduciaries must disclose to be in compliance with ERISA and securities law. As other courts weigh in, a split among the circuits seems possible, and -- as predicted by the dissenting judge -- the Supreme Court may well have the last word." [Harris v. Amgen, No. 10-56014 (9th Cir. May 26, 2015)] (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Jun 10, 2015 (920 days ago)
Financial services will continue to drive state economy, report saysBoston Globe (subscription)... Boston's hiring needs are growing, the report found, as financial firms seek workers with backgrounds in big data, compliance, and cybersecurity. Boston is headquarters to three of the top 10 retirement savings managers, including Fidelity Investments.and more »
Tags:   retirement vendors
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Posted on May 30, 2015 (931 days ago)
"[It] may be impossible for many recordkeepers to 'transfer' the hardship and loan documentation in electronic format to the plan sponsor. But every plan sponsor should probably request it from the recordkeeper and request that the electronic data be transmitted to the plan sponsor with each future hardship distribution and each participant loan. And, then, of course, there's the fiduciary obligation to review the information and make certain of compliance with the rules since the plan sponsor may not be able to rely on the recordkeeper to do that. And failing or refusing to do this, maybe the IRS's real objective will be met -- the plan will be amended to eliminate participant loans and hardship distributions in order to avoid leakage." (Benefits Bryan Cave)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Apr 28, 2015 (963 days ago)
"Early assessments of the Department of Labor's fiduciary proposal find the new rules will be complicated to implement and costly for the industry, according to wealth management executives.... [A]nalysts at investment banking firm Keefe, Bruyette & Woods ... estimated that the DOL's proposal could be a 2% drag on Morgan's earnings, which the authors described as modest. For Raymond James, the analysts estimated 'roughly $2,400-$4,800 in increased compliance and litigation cost per advisor which equates to roughly $15 million to $30 million of incremental expenses.' " (On Wall Street)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Apr 27, 2015 (964 days ago)
"While Fidelity said the new IRS newsletter article 'may be indicative of the position the IRS is likely to take when reviewing plan procedures,' it said the agency's position 'does not appear to be supported by IRS regulations and is contrary to recent indications from IRS representatives suggesting that such documentation is not required.' " (Thompson's HR Compliance Expert)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Apr 24, 2015 (967 days ago)
"The breadth of the general definition makes it vital to come within the terms of a carve-out if one is available. However, the carve-outs are not available to a person who admits to being an ERISA fiduciary.... [E]ven for advisers and financial institutions that undertake the many compliance duties and disclosures necessary to come within the 'best interest contract' exemption, in the end, the exemption only exempts the person from the prohibited transaction rules, including potential excise taxes for IRAs under the Internal Revenue Code.... [T]he exemption does not exempt a person... from the general fiduciary duties under ERISA ... or from potential civil liability to make up any loss to the plan resulting from a breach of those duties." (Dentons)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Apr 23, 2015 (968 days ago)
Waddell & Reed Names Shawn Mihal as Chief Regulatory OfficerMarketWatchMost recently he was Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer with Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc., where he was responsible for all regulatory compliance functions, including sales practice/pre-litigation complaints, branch examinations ...and more »
Tags:   retirement vendors
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Posted on Apr 16, 2015 (975 days ago)
"[B]rokers would have a legal duty to put clients' interests first, a shift that could reshape how they steer clients and collect fees, and potentially create winners and losers among mutual funds and other products.... Brokers won concessions, including a framework that would let them continue selling bonds out of their own inventory.... Compliance costs for the industry would be $2.4 billion to $5.7 billion over 10 years, according to the Labor Department." (Bloomberg)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Apr 13, 2015 (978 days ago)
The target page summarizes two safe-harbor correction methods that were added to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, and includes a link to a handy restatement of the currently effective revenue procedure for EPCRS (Rev. Proc. 2013-12), incorporating the modifications recently made by Rev. Proc. 2015-27 and Rev. Proc. 2015-28. (ERISApedia.com)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Feb 12, 2015 (1038 days ago)
"One of the reasons many organizations have adopted defined contribution (DC) plans in recent years is the widespread belief that because the investment risk is shifted to the plan's participants, the employers are largely off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth. Plan sponsors are still subject to many other risks, including vendor-management risk, financial risk, administration and compliance risk, plan design risk and reputational risk. Moreover, several of these five risks are interrelated, and a failure in one area can lead to trouble in others." (Sibson Consulting)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Jan 8, 2015 (1073 days ago)
"RadioShack said it received written notification from the DOL on November 14, 2014, that the agency would be conducting an official investigation beginning December 9, to determine if RadioShack's 401(k) plan was operating in compliance with Title I of [ERISA]. The letter from the DOL indicated that its review would cover plan years 2011 through the present. The DOL conducted on-site interviews and review of documents on December 15 and 16. Though the filing does not say what the DOL is investigating, it mentions that at least three participant lawsuits have been filed alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under ERISA." (PLANSPONSOR)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Dec 8, 2014 (1104 days ago)
"Every year, plan sponsors must make sure their plans meet certain compliance requirements ... This publication identifies the materials you need to review and will help you prepare for year-end." (Prudential)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Dec 5, 2014 (1107 days ago)
"[1] Review and update the plan document.... [2] Confirm all required plan disclosures have been made.... [3] Review (and remove if possible) legacy participants.... [4] Encourage maximum year-end contributions.... [5] Required distributions reminder." (Fiduciary News)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Dec 3, 2014 (1109 days ago)
The poster is a date-sorted list of more than 30 recurring compliance and notice requirements for tax-qualified defined contribution plans. Also available: Qualified Plan Regulatory Limits for 2015. (Vanguard)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Nov 19, 2014 (1123 days ago)
"It's the plan sponsor who typically retains responsibility for overall plan operations as the 'Plan Administrator.' So practically every 401(k) plan sponsor needs to deal with each of the following -- sometimes without help from the plan's current providers. [1] Fee Disclosures ... [2] Investment Advice ... [3] Payroll Deductions ... [4] Plan Audits ... [5] Participant Releases." (The Retirement Plan Blog)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Oct 6, 2014 (1167 days ago)
"A good starting place for a compliance tune up is to see if you can answer some basic questions about your plan ... After you get past these, some basic questions about plan administration come into play:... Think of your 401(k) plan as a well maintained car. It needs a check up on a regular basis to keep running smoothly." (Fox Rothschild LLP)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Oct 2, 2014 (1171 days ago)
"In 2007, the [IRS] initiated the Learn, Educate, Self-Correct and Enforce (LESE) program. LESE projects involve the focused examination by the IRS of a random selection of approximately 50 Form 5500 returns with similar characteristics. The IRS reviews the plans in the random sample for compliance issues and releases the results and findings ... To date, 17 projects have been completed and information on the findings is available on the web. The findings from the LESE examinations are expected to improve the ability of the IRS to identify plans likely to be noncompliant so they can focus their audit activity on those plans." (Retirement Management Services)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Oct 1, 2014 (1172 days ago)
"Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 requires that 'insiders' must electronically file a Form 4 Statement of Changes of Beneficial Ownership of Securities with the SEC on or before the 2nd business day after nearly any transaction involving company stock. Examples of transactions that an insider must report include: [1] Grants of stock options; [2] Cashless exercise of stock options (and any sale of shares); ... [3] Open market purchases or sales of company stock; ... [and] [4] 'Discretionary Transactions' under a 401(k) plan, ESOP, Non-qualified excess benefit plan, or stock purchase plan (ESPP)." (Winston & Strawn LLP)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Sep 18, 2014 (1185 days ago)
"[T]he IRS has provided a list of questions that you, as a Plan Sponsor, must be able to answer to ensure compliance with IRS regulations. These questions are designed to help you document and evaluate your plan's policies, procedures and internal controls.... Plan service providers ... Employee eligibility ... Contributions ... Plan distributions ... Plan testing and administration." (Kushner & Company)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Aug 27, 2014 (1207 days ago)
"Recently, members of Congress reintroduced the idea of opening the government-employees-only Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to all Americans not currently covered by an employer-sponsored plan.... With [Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)] membership this massive, government agencies would have a greatly increased, more powerful role in the retirement savings industry, and selection of investment fund options might take on a political element (at least the perception of such).... Potential compliance issues would be introduced as the TSP is exempt from ERISA and [IRS] regulations that govern the private sector." (Milliman Retirement Town Hall)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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Posted on Aug 21, 2014 (1213 days ago)
"Many plan sponsors rely on and often have been 'educated' by non-fiduciaries like securities brokers or record-keepers who don't know what it's like to be a fiduciary. Because they aren't fiduciaries, their advice about what a fiduciary must do is often flawed and incomplete....There are many ways that, as an investment fiduciary. you can support plan sponsors without accidentally creating compliance issues of your own.... You're a full-time fiduciary and understand the problems, issues, mindset, and, in some ways, how to make the process easier for them." (Deborah A. Castellani, CFA, via NAPFA Advisor)
Tags:   retirement plan types
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