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The Problem With The BIC

The biggest hallmark for the new Fiduciary Rule is the best interest contract exemption and the need for brokers to get those signed with their retirement plan and IRA clients. Getting legalese written on paper isn’t going to...more

401(k) Sponsors Say Their Plan is OK, but They Really Have No Idea

When I was dating my wife, she asked me if I had a good credit score and I said I did. I never checked my credit score, but I paid all my bills in full and on time. Of course when I got a copy of my credit report, my credit...more

Update: EB-5 Regional Center Program Receives Short-Term Extension

On September 29, 2016, as part of recently enacted federal spending legislation, the EB-5 Regional Center Program received a short-term extension through December 9, 2016. The Program has been similarly extended, with no...more

Some Brokers Will Leave, But Not Like What They’re Saying

Experts saying how many brokers are going to leave the retirement plan business reminds me of the radio report that Henry Hill heard in the shower about the Lufthansa heist, in Goodfellas. Like the loot stolen in the heist,...more

California Employers with Qualified Plans Not Subject to New Secure Choice Program

On September 29, 2016, California Governor Brown approved significant amendments to the 2012 California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act ("Secure Choice"). Secure Choice is intended to provide Roth IRAs and...more

State Run IRA Programs Can Actually Be An Opportunity for Plan Providers

A few states including California are going into the retirement business. While ordinarily competition in the shape of a state government is cause for concern, I believe that it’s an actual opportunity for both third party...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

Merrill’s End of Commission IRAs is going to be a game changer

In a move that will shake the broker-dealer and retirement plan industries, Merrill Lynch’s decided to end its commission individual retirement account (IRA) business to comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new...more

Treasury Makes it Easier for Pension Plans to Pay Partial Annuities

The Department of Treasury has issued final regulations that simplify the rules that allow retiring participants to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Under the...more

Trek Beyond To The Future of 401(k) Plans

While I prefer Star Wars, I still have an affinity for Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future was a hopeful one while the science fiction genre prior to his tome had a bleak future. The original series and the...more

Now You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: New Pension Distribution Rules Allow More Flexibility

If you are one of the lucky few employees who participate in an employer’s defined benefit retirement plan, you previously had to choose between receiving your benefits in a lump sum or in annuity payments. However, in the...more

Prohibited Transactions for Retirement Plans

A recent case reminds us that people need to be careful when dealing with their retirement plans, particularly if those accounts are used as investment vehicles to fund business activities relating to the plan participant or...more

$300,000 401(k) Plan Sued* (Note Asterisk)

A Florida optometry practice with a 401(k) plan with only $300,000 in assets is the latest plan to be sued for 401(k) mismanagement, with a newly filed lawsuit accusing the practice of over-investing in alleged “patent troll”...more

New Rules for New York Employers Who Use Payroll Debit Cards and Direct Deposit

As the workplace becomes increasingly digitized, both employers and employees can benefit from the conveniences technology provides. Chief among those is the convenience of electronic access to funds, which allows people to...more

The MPRA: One Size Fits No One

This is another in our series addressing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. Regardless of the identity of the next tenant of the White House, a major item on the new...more

The Problem with “Top-Heavy” Administration

If you know about a thing or two about plan administration, you know about the top-heavy rules. The top-heavy rules generally ensure that the lower paid employees receive a minimum benefit if the plan is top-heavy. A plan is...more

The Senior Managers Regime – should GCs be worried?

In March this year the PRA and the FCA introduced the Senior Managers Regime (‘SMR’) for individuals associated with banks and PRA regulated investment firms (from 2018 the SMR will apply to all UK authorised firms). The...more

Watching SCOTUS – ERISA Church-Plan Exemption Revisited

Seyfarth Synopsis: Currently before the Supreme Court are two petitions regarding the thorny legal question of which organizations can qualify for ERISA’s Church-plan exemption. If the Supreme Court grants certiorari and...more

ISS Survey Results Regarding Pay-for-Performance and Say-on-Pay Frequency

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), the influential proxy advisory firm, recently released their 2016-2017 Global Policy Survey results. These results show some interesting findings related to executive...more

Keep Politics and Your Business Apart

We’re closing in on Election Day and no matter what side you’re on, you have to admit that it’s one of the most divisive elections in recent memory. So I’m shocked when I see professionals post their political diatribes on...more

Full Disclosure: FCA Proposes Additional Cost Transparency Obligations for UK Managers

Key Point - Proposed rules require UK firms to identify and disclose all transaction costs incurred for pension fund investors. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published a Consultation Paper (CP16/30)...more

Clients are Happy With Their Advisors, But That Can’t Stop You

“Fidelity’s 2015 Plan Sponsor Attitudes Survey,” disclosed the satisfaction level of plan sponsors with their advisors improved to 70 percent last year, reflecting a nice increase from 2010 when it was just 57 percent...more

Do You Know Who Your Employees Are? Joint Employer Liability Under the FLSA and Other Employment Laws

As private equity firms become more involved in the operations of their portfolio companies, they are increasingly at risk of being deemed joint employers of their portfolio companies’ employees, leaving private equity firms...more

EB-5 Program Extended by Continuing Resolution to December 9 Without Changes

The U.S. Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) has been extended through December 9, 2016, following the recent signing of a continuing resolution to fund the federal government and avoid a shutdown. The EB-5 Program provides a...more

Financial Services - Preparing Your Global Workforce for the New UK Whistleblowing Regime

New rules on whistleblowing have come into effect which impact certain Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) regulated financial services firms. The aim of these rules is to promote a...more

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