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 >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Education About Tax Treatment and Fees Could Boost 401(k) Participation

Findings from a Capital One survey about why employees do not participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plan offers opportunities for education, according to Stuart Robertson.

IRS to Focus on Retirement Plan Distributions and 403(b) Plan Rules in 2019

A Program Letter lists compliance strategies for the agency for next year.

Inertia Remains a Plan Sponsor Problem, Too

The language of “inertia” and “disengagement” are often used to describe the natural state of retirement plan participants, but new research from Wells Fargo suggests plan sponsors are also prone to settling with the status quo.

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Stable Value Funds
While money market funds may look more appealing in the short run, this is not expected to last.
Open MEPs Could Create Many Opportunities for Advisers
Should Congress or federal regulators eliminate the common nexus and bad apple rules that have held back open multiple employer plans, experts anticipate many more small businesses will jump in.

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

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

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