News

Savings Shortfalls a Target of New Plan Designs

Most employers (80%) consider the company-sponsored defined contribution retirement plan to be the primary vehicle for their employees' retirement income, but almost half (43%) are concerned that their employees are not saving enough for retirement, according to Wells Fargo's 2006 Best Practices in Retirement Plans Survey.

DOL Unwraps New Default Investment Guidelines

On September 26, US Department of Labor (DoL) officials released a proposed safe harbor rule covering retirement plan sponsors who have default investment options for employees entering plans via auto-enrollment or in situations in which individual account plan assets are invested on behalf of participants or beneficiaries who fail to give investment instructions.

Court Approves $11M Settlement in Co. Stock Suit

The US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has approved an $11 million settlement for a class of former employees of Broadwing Inc., which sued the company for fiduciary breaches under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) relating to offering company stock as a retirement plan investment.

Making Amends: Problems and Solutions for Participant Loan Missteps

According to the IRS, one of the common retirement plan administration mistakes relates to plan loan failures and deemed distributions. Advisers can assist their clients in implementing administrative measures to ensure that participant loans from the plan are compliant with the plan document and any separate written loan policy adopted by the plan, which will can also help in monitoring loan payments to be sure they are made in a timely fashion.

Equity Funds Inflow Takes a Leap in August

Some equity fund offerings were comparatively hot in August as investors added a net $4.8 billion to US-based stock mutual funds, up from $738 million the month before, according to Investment Company Institute (ICI) data.

Product Briefs for Week of October 13, 2006

401kDIRECT Network (401kDIRECT, 401kTechTeam, & Pension Retirement Online) has introduced a "TOTAL Solutions Package" that will be available to qualified plans via the Plan's 401k Professional, whether it is a Broker, RIA, TPA, CPA, Benefit Consultant, etc. The package includes PlanTool's Risk Management System, the Retirement Analyst Participant Advice and Fiduciary Reporting Program, ICC Super Statements, plus ETFs that are sub-advised by portfolio strategist Barclays Global Investors (BGI), State Street Global, and other ETF Managers.

Fund Briefs for Week of October 13, 2006

Putnam Small Cap Value Equity Managed Account has been selected by Merrill Lynch's Global Private Client Investment Management & Guidance for inclusion in the financial services firm's separately managed account (SMA) platform called Merrill Lynch Consults. The portfolio team includes portfolio leader James Polk and Edward T. Shadek, who is deputy head of investments for small-cap equities.

Premature Rollovers

Recent studies indicate that more than half of participants spend at least some of their retirement savings well before that date.

Prospecting 101

It is almost never a good idea to waste time pursuing clients who will not be a good fit for your business, even if they do appear to represent incremental revenue. Sooner or later, they are likely to be a distraction at best from providing your best service to your key customer base.