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DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (“IB 2016-1”) relating to the voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plans. IB 2016-1 withdraws the...more

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1),...more

How Keeping Good Records Can Minimize A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Liability

Besides being a religious text, the Bible is essentially a history book detailing major religious events like the Exodus from Egypt. A history book is a record of events that can be passed down from generation to generation....more

As A 401(k) Sponsor, A Class Action Lawsuit Is The Least Of Your Legal Worries

Having been in my own practice for over 6 years, it’s a broken record hearing from 401(k) plan sponsors on how they have nothing to fear about being sued since their plans are small potatoes. The problem with that view is...more

In-House Perspective: Management and Boards Must Think Like Activist Investors

Management and boards aren’t usually considered activists, but when it comes to fighting for diversity in boards and leadership, many can actually learn from activist strategies....more

How An RIA Can Profit Off Of The New Fiduciary Rule

When it comes to an industry, change is often fraught with trepidation and fear. However, I always believe that change also brings opportunity. So while people are predicting gloom and doom when discussing the Department of...more

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans

As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some “magic beans” and his mother is so angry, she throws the beans on the ground and a magic beanstalk grows overnight. When it comes to...more

SEC Issues Guidance on Fund Changes Intended to Simplify Compliance with the Department of Labor’s “Conflict of Interest” Rule

On December 15, 2016, the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a Guidance Update titled, Mutual Fund Fee Structures. The Guidance focuses on disclosure issues and procedural requirements arising from (i) funds...more

SEC Staff Issues Guidance on Fund Fee Structure Disclosures

In a Guidance Update published on December 15, 2016, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Investment Management (Staff) articulated its views as to certain disclosure issues and...more

Corporate Communicator - 2017 Annual Meeting Season

Dear clients and friends, We present our traditional year-end issue of Snell & Wilmer’s Corporate Communicator to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights SEC reporting and...more

A Plan Sponsor Should Never Assume Their Providers Are Doing A Great Job

My wife and I have been in our house for over 11 years and it’s been one remodeling project after another. This is what happens when the previous owner did nothing for 20 years. We hired a general contractor to redo our...more

How A Plan Sponsor Can Increase 401(k) Participation Without Costing Much $$$

My former Synagogue wanted Hebrew school parents to attend Synagogue events, so they created a participation fee where parents would have to pay $180 that they could use to attend events. Before I was involved as a Trustee...more

Why A Plan Sponsor Should Get A Plan Review

Retirement plan sponsors tend to be reactive rather than pro-active. They would rather not spend money to undergo a plan review and assume everything is fine until they run into a big compliance issue or mistakes are...more

SEC Takes Issue with Employee Confidentiality Obligations and Waivers of Monetary Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC" or "Commission") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a risk alert on October 24, 2016, announcing that it will be reviewing registrants'...more

A “Crystal Ball” On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going to have a profound change in how financial advisors work with their retirement plan clients. It’s unchartered waters,...more

Things That Won’t Help A Retirement Plan Sponsor Limit Their Liability

When I was a teenager, we were told that eating oat bran would lower cholesterol and it didn’t. We’re told that cracking our knuckles will cause arthritis and it doesn’t. We’re told that going outside when it’s cold with wet...more

SEC Releases Guidance on Pay Ratio Rules

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission released new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) which provide guidance on the CEO pay-ratio rules. As a reminder, the CEO pay-ratio rules were enacted in...more

Glaring Problems A Plan Sponsor May Not Be Aware Of When They Think Everything is OK

I knew a family member who would never go to the doctor for preventative care. She always reasoned that if she went to a doctor, that meant she was sick. That meant that her goal was avoiding the doctor at all costs. It’s...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 11

Structured Products Legal and Regulatory Conference: November 2016 - In November 2016, Morrison & Foerster LLP sponsored Risk magazine’s annual structured products legal and regulatory conference in Washington, D.C. ...more

Seyfarth’s Analysis of the Short-Term Impact of the Election on Business and Employment-based Immigration

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Trump Administration will have the power to make significant changes to the business immigration landscape. Here is what we can expect. Immigration issues have become more important than ever for...more

The Changing Fiduciary Duty Landscape in a Trump Presidency

The fiduciary standards for institutions and individuals providing investment advice throughout the retail investment and municipal securities markets are currently undergoing significant change. Following on the heels of the...more

The To-Do List For 401(k) Plans Now: 2016-2017 Edition

Being a retirement plan sponsor is a tremendous responsibility and the problem is that most plan sponsors don’t understand that. Plan sponsors often act passive because they hire retirement plan providers to help them. The...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 1) Executive Compensation

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Lesson Learned from Wells Fargo - What Your Board of Directors Needs to Know"

According to recent news reports, Wells Fargo management created an aggressive sales culture that encouraged employees to create thousands of fake accounts. News reports also suggest that the Board took no action regarding...more

401(k) Plan Providers’ Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients

Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I’ll never get the financial advisor who was fired because the client’s new Chief Executive Officer wanted...more

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