Happy Friday, PLANADVISER readers. It may be a new calendar year, but the professionals running retirement plans are still concerned with the same serious fiduciary risks that have long-troubled the 401(k) industry. They’re also facing renewed rounds of market volatility and a global economic picture that has many worried about what comes next. Whatever happens in 2016, stick with www.PLANADVISER.com for the latest news and breaking information.
One attorney specializing in ERISA litigation suggests the pace of lawsuits has increased fairly substantially in the last year, with signs of even more momentum in 2016. Even more concerning, he says, “there’s no plan design panacea that will prevent all possible challenges. It’s unpredictable who will get sued.”
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The Congressional Budget Office has performed a new analysis of pre-retirement income replacement rates limited to workers’ “last five years of substantial earnings, adjusted for growth in prices.” Not as grim as other analyses, the report still shows many will have to save much more for a comfortable retirement.
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A short series of papers published by Vanguard shows knowledge of investing principles and fund features directly impacts the likelihood of investing success, even in product categories designed to put most decisionmaking in the hands of professionals.
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The latest decision out of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws a dramatic new element of confusion into the epic regulatory saga that has been the rollout of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule.
Some ERISA attorneys argue the Fifth Circuit decision last week to vacate entirely the DOL’s fiduciary rule expansion makes a Supreme Court decision on the matter inevitable; others are less sure that a decisive SCOTUS decision could be forthcoming, instead expecting the SEC to take the lead; still others admit they have little idea how the regulatory picture will shake out, recommending patience and ongoing compliance.
In an exclusive interview with PLANADVISER, PGIM Head of Institutional Defined Contribution Josh Cohen offers some guidance to advisers speaking with plan sponsors about litigation, fiduciary risk and progressive plan design.