PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending February 17th, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing offers a broad look at the topic of Client Service, starting with a new PLANADVISER exclusive examining the recent fee change announced by Fidelity, impacting any new plan sponsor clients choosing Vanguard products. Below you will also find coverage of a new SEC initiative offering “amnesty” to advisers who self-report and correct violations of conflict of interest rules pertaining to the collection of 12b-1 fees. According to SEC leadership, if advisers return any ill-gotten gains to clients, the SEC won’t heap on any penalties. However, the Wagner Law Group warns there are inherent risks in self-disclosure. We hope you share some of what you learn with a client or colleague! 

Client Service
Fee and Industry Shifts Mean Retirement Plan Providers Can Play Hardball
A look back at how Fidelity will charge new plan sponsor clients on its platform who choose Vanguard products makes visible the hard-nosed competition that defines the retirement plan recordkeeping and brokerage industries. Read more >
SEC Reveals Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative
Under the new “SCSD Initiative,” the SEC’s enforcement agents will recommend “standardized, favorable settlement terms” for investment advisers that self-report that they failed to disclose conflicts of interest associated with the receipt of 12b-1 fees by the adviser or an affiliated broker/dealer; the regulator further warns that advisers who fail to take advantage of this program will be punished more severely in the future. Read more >
Self-Reporting to SEC of 12b-1 Conflicts of Interest Not Without Risk
Offering some preliminary commentary on the SEC’s newly announced adviser 12b-1 fee conflict of interest “amnesty” program, as it’s being referred to in the trade media, Wagner Law Group attorneys warn of the inherent risks in the self-reporting of violations. Read more >
Social Security, Medicare Guides Receive 2018 Updates
Updates to Manning & Napier’s Social Security and Medicare guides, among other publications, aim to help individuals and employers make the best decisions when it comes to maximizing and coordinating private and government benefits. Read more >
Interest Doesn’t Always Bring Adoption of Robo-Adviser Tech
Since 2015, investors’ interest in using digital advice platforms has increased modestly, far outpacing actual adoption, according to Cerulli; for clients of both traditional advisers and robo platforms, knowing disclosure information is easily available is often felt to be more important than reviewing it in depth. Read more >
Using Data to Determine the Best QDIA for Your Clients
A paper from Morningstar Investment Management lays out a framework for advisers and plan sponsors to determine the qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) that is the best fit for a plan’s demographics. Read more >
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TOP 100 Retirement Plan Advisers
Noteworthy retirement plan specialists, based on number of plans and total assets under advisement.
What Is a DOL Adviser Investigation Like?
The number of Department of Labor investigations of financial advisers has steadily increased over the years; here is a primer on the DOL’s sources of authority, and what to expect when examiners come knocking.
Managed Account QDIA Mechanics Challenge Plan Sponsor Clients
ERISA attorneys and plan design consultants say they are hearing more questions from sponsors about using managed accounts as a plan’s default investment, but the most common use case remains opt-in managed accounts.
Assessing Likely Impacts of IRS Hardship Withdrawal Rule Changes
New rules established by Congress and the IRS simplify the process for participants to request a hardship withdrawal of DC plan assets; some experts say this could increase “leakage,” while others anticipate more positive effects, such as lower debt among cash-strapped participants.
Court Returns Mixed Ruling in Schwab ERISA Self-Dealing Suit

The detailed ruling comes after Schwab defendants moved to dismiss in part the plaintiff’s second amended complaint. 

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

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

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