PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending February 3rd, 2017
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, readers! By now you’ve probably read that President Trump has signed an executive order aiming to delay implementation of the DOL fiduciary rule; while not unexpected, the order is still in a sense surprising. Many millions of dollars have been spent by providers pursuing compliance with the stricter standards set by the unraveling rule—and few would argue that the basic goal of the regulations, removing very real conflicts of interest in the advisory space, is not a worthy one. We here at PLANADVISER are left feeling deeply reflective and, frankly, a little uncertain about what is in store for advisory compensation models and the basic understanding of what constitutes conflict-free advice.
Editor's choice
Orders Emerging to Halt Fiduciary Rule and Dodd-Frank
Even before the new president’s order became public its contents were made know in the trade media: The DOL has been directly ordered to find a way to halt the implementation of the fiduciary rule. Read more >
Investment Industry Must Double Down on Fairness and Transparency
In the advisory environment of the future, technical compliance with lax conflict of interest standards does not ensure client satisfaction. The demand for transparent and conflict-free advisory models has many more proponents than the now-defunct Obama Labor Department.  Read more >
Shifting, Difficult Advisory Environment Demands a Strategic Vision
During a recent and wide-ranging conversation with PLANADVISER, executives at Lockwood Advisors, a Pershing affiliate backed by BNY Mellon, sounded unapologetically optimistic about the future prospects for registered investment advisers and their supporting service providers. Success will require new ways of thinking about the client relationship. Read more >
Disruptors Poised For Success in Retirement Space
Nearly one-third of investors globally say they would switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for banking, insurance and financial advisory services. The research results underscore the importance of creating brand trust and establishing a sense of responsiveness and openness for customers.  Read more >
Brand Trust Dominates IRA Rollover Decision
Fees are often thought of as the prevailing factor in most retirement investment decisions, but new research suggests the destination of an IRA rollover is determined by more subtle considerations. Even as the DOL conflict of interest rulemaking fades, the twin roles of trust and transparency are increasingly important.  Read more >
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Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals, Taxes and Your Retirement Plan Clients
Coronavirus-related withdrawals made in 2020 were a financial lifeline for some, but they could also turn into a major tax headache for others.
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.
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More than one-third failed a basic Social Security quiz administered by MassMutual.

The Most Common Retirement Plan Testing Mistakes

By alerting plan sponsors to the issues they see most often, advisers can help their clients navigate IRS testing rules.

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