Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

There’s a Cost For Those “Free” SEP and SIMPLE IRA Plans

There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is no such thing as free advice. The more years I spend in the retirement plan business; I know that there is no such thing as a free retirement plan. When I speak of “free”...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule to Revamp Regulation of Advice to Plans and IRAs

Reproposal would broaden the fiduciary definition, narrow exceptions, and substantially revise prohibited transaction exemptions applicable to current and newly covered fiduciaries....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Regulations on Fiduciary Advice

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) has reissued long-awaited proposed regulations describing the circumstances in which a person who provides investment advice in connection with a retirement plan or individual retirement...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #3

DOL Fiduciary Standard Proposal. The Department of Labor issued a notice of proposed rulemaking including a definition of the term “fiduciary,” a conflict of interest rule for retirement investments, new exemptions and...more

DOL Releases Controversial Proposal, Signifying Regulatory Intent to Expand Fiduciary Standard

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") released a controversial proposal that would require financial advisors to put their clients' interests ahead of their own when recommending retirement investments....more

IRS Issues Updates to Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

In recent weeks, the IRS has issued two updates to its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS allows plan sponsors to correct many documentary and operational errors that otherwise might jeopardize a...more

Using Plan Sponsor fear of liability into positive action

Many plan sponsors have a fear of liability and that’s a good thing is they put that fear into use by putting good practices in place for their retirement plan. It means nothing if plan sponsors process that fear into...more

IRS Provides New Flexibility to Correct Retirement Plan Errors

The IRS recently issued important updates to its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The updates are contained in Revenue Procedures 2015-27 and 2015-28. ...more

Complacency is a Plan Provider Killer

Complacency can kill a retirement plan provider and their business. Complacency is a two fold, being complacent in the retirement plan industry and being complacent with your clients. Any business whether it’s retirement plan...more

Two-Year Preapproved Defined Contribution Plan Window is Still Open

Retirement plan vendors sponsoring defined contribution plan documents approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have begun issuing packages containing the new IRS-approved version of those documents—reflecting the...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Care About Plan Design

If you had your eyes set on a car and one model gave you 25 miles to the gallon and the other model gave you 45 with no difference in features or price, what would you choose? If you can find a coupon for items you were...more

Non-Qualified Plan Sponsors: Beneficiary Designations May Require Attention

A recent court decision highlights the importance of up-to-date beneficiary designations for participants in non-qualified retirement plans. Without up-to-date designations, the payment of the benefits of a deceased...more

U.S. Department of Labor Grace-fully Extends Disclosure Deadline by Two Months for Participant-Directed Retirement Plans

The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced on March 18, 2015, a “direct” final rule (the “Final Rule”) extending the time in which annual disclosures must be provided by fiduciaries of participant-directed...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Effect Of Spin-Off

This is an interesting decision because it deals with what is the effect of a spin-off of corporate assets on existing contracts that apply to the parties’ “transferees, successors and assigns.” ...more

Easier, Less Costly Alternatives for Correcting Retirement Plan Mistakes

In two recent Revenue Procedures, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has modified the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the IRS correction program for retirement plans. Revenue Procedure. 2015-27 reduces...more

The Earth is not flat, but maybe the bill should be

I worked for a couple of law firms for a couple of years and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not a big fan of any business that is predicated less on the quality of service and more on how much you bill. Billing by the hour...more

DOL Opens Window for Annual Participant Fee Disclosures

?After several annual cycles of participant fee disclosures, sponsors of participant-directed retirement plans have discovered that sometimes pulling together the relevant information from vendors and issuing timely...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - March 2015 #4

Focus on Fiduciary Standards. In February the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a Report on the Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings. In its conclusion, the Report estimated the...more

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

Sometimes Networking Can Be Bad

When it comes to building a retirement plan practice, networking is an important component. Whether you are a financial advisor or a third party administrator or an auditor, placing an advertisement in the local newspaper or...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

U.S. District Court Rules that Float Income Earned by Fidelity Is Not a Plan Asset

Four class actions were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging whether float income earned on monies pending a transaction was a “plan asset.” In re Fidelity ERISA Float Income,...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments...more

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