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.
ING Group has agreed to pay $33 million to settle lawsuits which allege it took fees in exchange for promoting particular funds in retirement plans and did not disclose those fees.
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.
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.
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.
Developed world equity markets gained 1.12% in September 2006, while emerging markets rose 0.38%, according to Standard & Poor's World by Numbers report.
The latest Standard & Poor's Indices Versus Active Funds Scorecard (SPIVA) results revealed the S&P 500 outperformed 80.3% of actively managed large-cap funds during the third quarter of 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.
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.
Fidelity Investments has expanded its line-up of asset allocation funds available through financial advisors with the launch of Advisor classes of the Fidelity Asset Manager funds.
Recent studies indicate that more than half of participants spend at least some of their retirement savings well before that date.
While there has been a lot of talk the past year about the need to boost participation and deferrals, we don't seem to be making much progress.
The good news is that retirees appear to be quite content with their existing adviser relationships — all the more reason for advisers to establish those connections prior to retirement, according to a new report.
More than 13.6 million employees in small, micro-businesses lack an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan today, a Fidelity news release said — a result that may well be the result of reluctance on the part of the owners of those businesses to embrace the concept.
A study released recently by Fidelity Investments says that 69% of small businesses review their 401(k) plan at least once a year and about a quarter (26%) of small business owners will look for a new 401(k) plan provider within the year.
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.