News & Analysis as of

Advisors Advantage - December 2016

A "Crystal Ball" On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule. We can see the future if we look closely enough. The Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going...more

What Employers Need To Know About Mandatory Payroll Deduction Savings Programs

Administering and providing retirement benefits can present difficulties to employers. If you offer such benefits, you must choose and monitor service providers, offer prudent investment options, and administer benefits,...more

Trump and the Debate Over the Fiduciary Rules Affecting Retirement Savings

CAMPAIGN PROMISES AND THE FIDUCIARY FIGHT - President Elect Trump’s campaign website states that he intends to issue a moratorium on new regulations that are “not compelled by Congress or public safety.” His stated goal...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - November 2016

Things That Won't Help A Retirement Plan Sponsor Limit Their Liability. Yup, not going to help. When I was a teenager, we were told that eating oat bran would lower cholesterol and it didn't. We're told that...more

401(k) Plan Fee Litigation Update

The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401(k) plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401(k) plan fees and expenses....more

Are HR employees ‘investment advisors’ under the DOL’s fiduciary rule?

In April 2016, the Department of Labor promulgated final regulations that fundamentally changed the ERISA fiduciary rules governing advisors to retirement income investors. Though the rule is final, the new provisions...more

My opinion on Payroll Provider TPAs

If there is one opinion that I have that is argued about many times it is my two cents in the use of the largest payroll providers being in the Third Party Administration (TPA) business. Usually, the people who criticize my...more

Furnish those documents to Plan Participants or Pay Through The Nose

Plan sponsors should understand that under ERISA, plan participants are entitled to certain disclosures and documents. We should all know that a participant is entitled to the summary plan description, summary annual report,...more

All points lead to more index funds in 401(k) plans

Thanks to the new Fiduciary Rule, I believe that you’re going to see more index funds in 401(k) plans. However, that’s no surprise because that‘s the way we’ve been heading now for the past 15+ years....more

Do You Need to Send an Annual Notice to Plan Participants? If So, You May Need to Do So by December 1, 2016*

Plan sponsors of defined contribution qualified plans may need to issue one or more annual notices to participants before the end of each plan year. Failure to issue a required annual notice can have significant consequences....more

ERISA Fiduciary Issues for Plan Sponsors: What Do 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need to Know About Revenue Sharing?

Retirement plan revenue sharing has a bad reputation. Numerous lawsuits have been filed during the past year against employers that sponsor 401(k) plans alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income...more

Sometimes it’s about control

As a retirement plan provider, you meet a potential client and you just do so well in the meeting that you think there should be no way that you’re going to lose this prospect. Yet you get the call that a competing provider...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

Cutting Through the Fog: The Applicability of DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new Conflicts of Interest rule1 expands the scope of the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA2 and the Code3 to cover more classes of financial advisors. This rule replaces a long-standing...more

Will ERISA litigators live long enough to become the villains?

Everyone knows I love movies and the memorable lines that come from them. I’ma a big fan of The Dark Knight and the line uttered by Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself...more

Liabilities and Risk from Failing to Address the Cybersecurity of Your Retirement Plan Data

In the current 114th session of Congress, there have been 204 bills, resolutions and amendments introduced addressing cybersecurity in their text, if you had any doubt about whether you should be concerned about cybersecurity...more

Top US Universities Hit with Retirement Plan Lawsuits: Lessons for Plan Sponsors

The recent wave of 403(b) lawsuits against more than a dozen prominent US universities could herald similar suits for other 403(b) plan sponsors. Plan sponsors can minimize their risk by reviewing their plan governance...more

The theory of “Peak 401(k) Fee Litigation”

I always loved the movie Donnie Brasco, it’s a great story about the non-glamarous side of organized crime. As part of a crew captained by Sonny Black, Lefty Ruggiero played by Al Pacino is hammering away to get the change...more

Reports on Increase in Retirement Plan Audits Further Illustrate the Need for Plan Sponsors to Focus on Administrative Compliance

In Depth - Recent reports show that the number of retirement plan audits by government agencies is increasing. A survey released by Willis Towers Watson indicates that one in every three plan sponsors has experienced a...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - September 2016

What Makes A 401(k) Plan A Target For Litigation. Don't be a mark. I've always been a big fan of 1970's cinema and one forgotten classic is The Sting, starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford, and Robert Shaw. The title to...more

401(k) Litigation: The Next Frontier

With the proliferation of litigation against 401(k) plans, it should be noted that it focuses on only one thing: cost. Litigation surrounding share classes, proprietary funds, and overall plan expenses is all about plan...more

DOL Significantly Increases Certain ERISA Civil Penalties Effective August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has significantly increased a number of civil monetary penalty amounts (CMPs) that may be assessed by the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration for violations of Title I of the...more

When you should step aside and let someone else speak

One of my least favorite days during the year is my birthday because I’ve been accustomed to it being a so-so to a bad day. I took my Criminal Law final on that day during my first year at law school and I was abandoned by my...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2016

Why 401(k) Plan Providers Should Push Automatic Enrollment. It just makes sense. We have a retirement crisis in this country thanks to a Social Security program that has too many retirees to pay to, and the death...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Reporting Requirements May Have Significant Impact on Retirement Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a proposal to implement sweeping changes to the forms and regulations that govern...more

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