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
IRS Life Expectancy Tables Updated for Retirees

The actuarial update is important for plan sponsor clients to note, but the effect to regular business is likely limited, as the individuals most affected are likely no longer employed by the plan sponsor.

Meet Dave Barry, Professional Humorist and Pulitzer Prize Winner

Among his accomplishments, Barry won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary, although he misplaced it for several years, which is why his wife now keeps it in a secure location that he does not know about.

The Most ‘Outrageous’ ERISA Complaints Yet Filed?

One fiduciary insurance expert who has long been tracking ERISA litigation says a spate of new complaints filed in recent weeks are the ‘most outrageous’ the industry has ever seen.

Keeping Up with the Securing a Strong Retirement Act

Because different provisions are included in the House and Senate versions of the ambitious retirement reform legislation, a reconciliation process is likely in store.

Booz Allen Hamilton, Others Face Passive TDF Performance Lawsuits

Unlike many other ERISA lawsuits, the complaints suggest the plan fiduciaries in question should have considered more expensive target-date funds that might have performed better.

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