PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending February 8th, 2019

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing focuses on the always timely topic of regulatory compliance. Below you will find our latest coverage of the DOL, SEC, FINRA and state-based regulators. These entities have all been busy so far in 2019, and they are putting new examination priorities into place to reflect ongoing shifts in the investment advice and brokerage industries. Don’t forget to check the most-read section as well. Our readers are clearly paying a lot of attention to these topics, and rightly so. 

Compliance
Former SEC Enforcer Reviews Regulator’s 2019 Agenda
During a webcast hosted by ACA Compliance Group, Allison Charley, a former SEC examinations office leader, explained the regulator’s internal process for picking audit targets; other speakers noted the SEC’s increased focus on suitability issues and cybersecurity. Read more >
Form 5500 Reviews Lead to DOL Letters About Timely Remitting Contributions
“Invitation to correct” letters state, “the 15th business day is not a safe harbor and is included in the regulation only as an outside limit of the time that may be considered for segregation of assets.” Read more >
Former Lead FINRA Enforcer Dissects Regulator’s 2019 Priorities Letter
In a Q&A with PLANADVISER, Mirella deRose draws on her experience leading FINRA enforcement in describing what she sees as the most important elements of the regulator’s recently published member priorities list for 2019. Read more >
B/D Attorney: Don’t Be Distracted by FINRA Examination Priorities Letter
Alan Wolper, an attorney with significant experience helping advisers and brokers navigate FINRA and SEC examinations, says the recently published FINRA 2019 priorities list is interesting, but ultimately not all that informative when it comes to helping advisers avoid the most pressing compliance issues. Read more >
Bipartisan Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act Reintroduced in House
The bipartisan bill enjoys broad industry support; among other provisions, it would add flexibility for small businesses to join multiple employer plans. Read more >
SIMPLE Plan Modernization Act Introduced in Senate
It aims to make SIMPLE plans more accessible among small businesses and would raise the contribution and catch-up limits. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Walgreen Sued for Keeping Underperforming TDFs in 401(k)

Despite a market “teeming with better-performing alternatives,” the plaintiffs say, Walgreen selected the Northern Trust Funds, which already had a history of poor performance.

‘Stretch IRAs,’ Multigenerational Inheritance and the SECURE Act
Low and middle-income Americans struggling to save for retirement are depending on the U.S. Senate to pass the SECURE Act, advocates say. At present, one roadblock seems to the law’s treatment of “stretch IRAs.”
SECURE Act Ensnared in Senate After Flying Through House
Washington insiders say Senator Ted Cruz is probably the biggest roadblock to the SECURE Act being passed in the near-term under unanimous consent; among other issues, he wants the bill to allow people to use tax-advantaged 529 college savings accounts to pay for home school expenses.
IRS Private Letter Ruling Solves Crucial Annuity Transaction Friction Point

A new IRS private letter ruling essentially conforms the tax treatment of properly structured advisory fees from non-qualified annuity contracts to those paid out of qualified accounts, which typically are not treated as taxable distributions.

The DOL’s Fiduciary Race Ahead of 2021
There is precious little time remaining for the proposal and adoption of any new advisory industry conflict of interest rules that the DOL hopes to make effective during this presidential administration.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com

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