PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending January 25th, 2019

Happy Friday, readers! In this weekend’s newsletter we put a spotlight on the latest print edition of PLANADVISER Magazine. The issue features timely coverage of compliance matters, investment trends and client service strategies. In addition, top ERISA attorneys offer analysis of important regulations and court cases. We hope you will share some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Editor's choice
Cover Story: Smart Design
Striking the right balance between client service and profitability is more of an art form than a science, but it is an important exercise for every retirement plan advisory practice to utilize. Blue Prairie Group LLC took a deep look into this issue last year, tracking how many hours the team spent working on each client’s plan, who did what, as well as rating the difficulty of working with each client. Read more >
The SEC on Rollovers
The SEC says that an RIA is a fiduciary with duties of loyalty and care. That applies to all advice, including recommendations to take money out of a plan and roll it into an IRA with the adviser. To satisfy the duty of loyalty, the RIA must disclose conflicts of interest, including conflicts resulting from rollover recommendations. To satisfy the duty of care, the RIA should have policies and procedures for rollover recommendations that support the collection and evaluation of relevant information about the plan and proposed IRA and the assessment of whether the rollover aligns with the client’s profile. Read more >
Compliance News
The IRS has announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. Read more >
Retirement Income Options
From his seat on the Institutional Retirement Income Council (IRIC), John Pickett sees what he calls “the next frontier of the DC [defined contribution] business”: systematic distribution for participants from the retirement plan. And, as with automatic plan design, advisers are in a key position to urge plan sponsors to embrace it. Read more >
R-6 Share Classes Hit $1.5T
The zero/zero class has grown 15% since last year. Read more >
Addressing Participant Concerns
If a sponsor does not respond, it could risk a civil and/or DOL lawsuit. Read more >
Weathering Audits
The DOL has extended the scope of its examinations. What should plan advisers know about these audits, and how can they help a client that needs to undergo one? Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
$300 Million Plan Faces ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit

The plan being challenged in the latest fiduciary breach lawsuit held less than $300 million as of the start of last year, making it one of the smallest to become the target of an ERISA complaint.

DOL Aims to Quickly Simplify Conflict of Interest Framework

The main theme of the new fiduciary rule proposal is alignment with other regulators—the SEC and FINRA in particular—but the agency is by no means surrendering its jurisdiction over tax-qualified retirement plans.

Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
Wawa ERISA Settlement Valued at Nearly $22M

The basic contention of the lawsuit was that the company acted in a manner contrary to ERISA’s fiduciary requirements when it forced terminated employees to liquidate company stock holdings at an unfair price.

How Advisers Serving MEPs and PEPs Can Be Conflicted

The most obvious potential conflict of interest for advisers setting up or serving pooled employer plans is if their practice is affiliated with the investments being selected—but there are other potential pitfalls to acknowledge.

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