IMHO: Other People’s Money

I was on a panel at our recent Plan Designs conference, and the topic of qualified default investment alternatives (QDIAs) came up.

Exelon Fee Case Receives Class Action Status

Just days after the dismissal of a similar case in a different jurisdiction, a federal judge has agreed that an excessive fee suit against Exelon Corp. can move forward as a class action.

DB Consultant Conflicts Are Often Unreported

A recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) indicates conflicts-of-interest often exist for consultants to terminated or likely to be terminated defined benefit pension plans, but seldom are reported to government authorities or sponsors.

Committee to Suggest Financial Reporting Improvements to SEC

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Christopher Cox on Thursday announced the establishment of an advisory committee to examine the U.S. financial reporting system with the goals of reducing unnecessary complexity and making information more useful and understandable for investors.

EEOC Accuses Merrill of Discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed a claim against Merrill Lynch&Co. accusing the firm of discrimination against an Iranian Muslim employee.

IMHO: “Might″ Makes Right?

Last week the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a 67-page report titled “Conflicts of Interest Involving High Risk or Terminated Plans Pose Enforcement Challenges.″

SEC Makes Terrorism-Link Info Available to Investors

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has added to its Web site a tool that permits investors to obtain information directly from company disclosure documents about their business interests in countries the U.S. Secretary of State has designated “State Sponsors of Terrorism.″

John Hancock Settles on Failure to Disclose Revenue Sharing

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday issued a settled order against certain investment advisers and broker-dealers owned by Manulife Financial Corporation and John Hancock Financial Services, Inc., relating to charges of failure to disclose revenue sharing agreements.

IMHO: Fighting Words

“[T]he complaint is a rambling 38 page collection long on legal argument, public policy rhetoric and repetition, but vague in its allegations of facts which might be relevant to the claims alleged.″

Deere and Fidelity Fee Lawsuit Thrown Out

Plan sponsors and providers won a battle in the ongoing legal war over retirement plan fees last week when a federal judge in Wisconsin threw out suit brought against Deere&Co. and two Fidelity Investments units.

Pension Fund Files Complaint Against Adviser

The Delray Beach, Florida, police and fire pension board voted Wednesday to sue its former financial consultant if no settlement can be reached regarding trading fees the broker gained from the fund.

Bad Move?

Sooner or later, we all make what appears to be, in hindsight anyway, a bad career move.

EBSA to Hold Public Hearing About Advice Provision

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will hold a public hearing on July 31 to assess the feasibility of using computer models to provide advice to participants with individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and similar plans.

IMHO: Caveat Emptor

A couple of weeks ago, my better half told me that she thought it was time that we traded in two of our aging vehicles – one a car that is too small for our family, the other a van that now seems too big for all but cross-country trips – for something in the middle.

Second PBHG Fair Fund Distribution Announced

Yesterday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the distribution of $73 million to a second group of investors harmed by fraudulent market timing in the PBHG Funds between June 1998 and December 2001.

IMHO: Moving Targets

In nearly 30 years working with employer-sponsored retirement plans, I am hard-pressed to call to mind a product innovation that has been adopted with as much vigor as the current generation of target-date funds.

ERISA Legal Standing Remains for Cashed-Out Participants

Although employees retired and took a full defined contribution plan distribution, they did not necessarily give up their rights to file a fiduciary breach suit, according to a first of its kind ruling by a federal appellate court.

Plan Sponsors Want More Commission Disclosure

More than two-thirds of plan sponsors say they want the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to draw clearer lines for disclosure requirements for commissions paid to brokers for research and trade execution.

Citigroup Settles Inadequate Supervision Charges with NASD

For failing to properly supervise brokers delivering misleading information to plan participants during retirement seminars, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. will settle with the NASD for more than $15 million and brokers involved will pay between $30,000 and $125,000.