News & Analysis as of

New Fiduciary Regulations Require Retirement Investment Advisers to Act in Clients’ Best Interests

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations that changed the definition of “fiduciary investment advice” as currently found in DOL Regulation 2510.3-21(c). These proposed rules also...more

DOL Proposes Sweeping Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Proposed new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) would significantly alter the regulation of investment advice to employee plans and IRAs. The guidance aims to reshape the marketplace for retirement-related...more

The DOL’s New Proposal on ERISA Fiduciary Status for Investment Advisers

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its widely anticipated re-proposed rules for defining fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for providers of investment advice...more

The Worthlessness Of The 401(k) Fiduciary Warranty

I am a firm believer in the idea that what you see is what you should get. If you’re promised the moon, anything short of that is wrong. Some of the biggest disappointments in my life is when I was sold a bill of goods that...more

Labor Department Proposes Fiduciary Conflict of Interest Rules — Again

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued the long-awaited re-proposal of its regulation expanding the definition of "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and...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

DOL Provides Flexibility in Timing of Annual Participant Fee Disclosures for Retirement Plans That Provide for Participant...

On March 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a direct final rule that revises the annual disclosure requirement in the participant-level fee disclosure regulations under ERISA Section 404(a). The guidance provides...more

DOL Clarifies Timing Requirement for Annual Investment-Related Disclosures

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a modification to the fee and investment-related disclosure requirements for ERISA individual account retirement plans that allow participants to direct the...more

DOL Gives Retirement Plan Sponsors of Participant Directed Retirement Plans Additional Time to Provide Employee Fee Disclosures

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations require 401(k) plan fiduciaries to provide plan participants with a detailed disclosure statement about the plan’s designated investment alternatives, prior to initial enrollment and...more

Have Plans get rid of those forfeitures

Forfeitures that occur when people terminate service from retirement plans is usually a problem when the plan sponsor and their providers forget about them. Whether forfeitures are used to pay expenses, reduce employer...more

When you get a call about your Plan, call an ERISA Attorney

It’s unfortunate, but the facts are that most people don’t respond to a complaint until there is a letter from an attorney. Service providers and companies hate correspondence from attorneys because that suggests litigation....more

DOL Sends Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule to OMB for Review

The White House backs a “fiduciary rule” for IRAs. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has sent its proposed “Conflict of Interest Rule-Investment Advice” to the president’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for...more

Fighting the Fiduciary Rule Before It’s Been Even Proposed

Not long after President Obama expressed the desire that the Department of Labor (DOL) implement a fiduciary rule for brokers who work on retirement plans; did one of Wall Street’s paid minions strike back....more

DOL Investigations: A Shift in Focus

The Issue: During a recent Department of Labor (“DOL”) investigation for a local California employer, we experienced an increased focus by the DOL on plan expenses. While this isn’t necessarily surprising given the increased...more

DOL’s New Audit Focus? Health Plan Claims and Appeals and Hard to Value Assets

In recent talks and appearances, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor have issued a warning about new areas of focus of DOL audits and enforcement actions. While there are a number of different enforcement...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2014

Dealing with adversity. It's about how you deal with it. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more

July and August 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...more

The Law Firm Review

Plan Sponsors' Misconceptions About Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure. There are many. To me, there is no greater television show than Seinfeld because it's timeless and there is something about each episode that...more

Fees are only part of a 401(k) Plan’s problem

10 years before I went on my own and started my own practice, I started The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. It was a side venture, kind of an attempt to see if I can start my own practice without actually having to leave my day job....more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

The proposed Fiduciary Rule and the selling of Fear

I’m a Howard Stern fan since I was about 11. I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I love that brand of humor. One of the main producers of funny materials are guys by the name of Sal & Richard. Aside from their phony calls, they...more

The DOL script Plan Sponsors don’t want to hear

I have a client who had been undergoing a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. Their mistake? Years ago, a former participant asked for a distribution from this trustee directed profit sharing plan (so no 401(k)) and my client...more

No Country for Lousy Retirement Plans

In the movie, No Country for Old Men, the hit man Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) confronts Carson Wells (who was also trying to recover the same money Chigurh was after) in his hotel room. Before killing...more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

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