PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending March 10th, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing focuses on the timely topic of ESG investing. Still something of a novelty in the ERISA retirement planning arena, the topic of environmental, social and governance (ESG) minded investing is gaining significant attention among plan sponsors and participants across the United States. As outlined below, there is an increasing awareness that ESG factors can be material to both short- and long-term investment performance, putting the onus on asset owners and fiduciaries to reconsider how their portfolios may be impacted by any number of broad challenges—from global warming and resource scarcity to corporate corruption and social movements. We hope you will share some of what you learn with a client or colleague.

ESG Investing
ESG Investing Goes Under the Microscope in CalPERS Debate
In a series of sharply written, dueling reports, experts from the American Council for Capital Formation and CalPERS debate the proper role of environmentally and socially conscious investments—and whether the massive public pension fund has grown too political in its actions. Read more >
A Passionate Defense of ESG Investing from Connecticut Treasurer
While the investing rules controlling the Connecticut public pension fund are different from those governing corporate retirement plans, the argumentation as to why gun manufacturer divestment may be the right thing to do offers some food for thought for anyone charged with the fiduciary management of retirement plan assets. Read more >
Institutional ESG Investing Can Bring Tough Reporting Questions
Highlights from a new Natixis survey suggest reporting challenges continue to rank as top hurdle for institutions implementing ESG programs; this includes the concern that public companies may be “greenwashing” reported data to enhance their public image. Read more >
P-Solve Report Questions Some Common TDF Manager Practices
“While appropriate for some participants, heavy reliance on equities is almost certainly not suitable for as many 401(k) participants as the allocation of the largest TDF managers suggests,” P-Solve argues. “TDFs are built mainly for favorable economic and market environments.” Read more >
LPL Researchers Perspectives on Managing Interest Rate Risks
Researchers expect yields to grind gradually higher during the year, but not in a straight line. As such, they continue to recommend portfolio positioning with a duration (a measure of interest rate sensitivity) lower than the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Aggregate Index, along with additional diversification across sectors, maturities, and credit ratings (for suitable investors), which may potentially help mitigate the impact of rising interest rates on investors’ portfolios. Read more >
Embrace of Passive Funds Is Not What It Appears To Be
In conversation with Jeff Kletti, head of investments at Wells Fargo Institutional Retirement and Trust, PLANADVISER gets an inside view of some emerging—and some familiar—defined contribution plan trends. Read more >
FINRA Rep Monitoring Rule Change Could Trigger RIA Compensation Renegotiation
The regulator is reassessing its requirements for RIAs to monitor the outside business activities of their reps; one experts argues it is likely that, if the final rule reflects the proposed rule, many plan advisers who serve plans through an independent RIA (as opposed to the broker/dealer’s “corporate” RIA) will seek to renegotiate their compensation arrangements relating to their independent RIA revenue. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Many Retirees Spending More Than They Expected

However, retirees spend 32% less than non-retirees.

First Deadline Looming for SEC Electronic Disclosure Compliance

When the SEC adopted the new Rule 30e-3 earlier this year, creating a new system for electronic delivery of fund information, it also established a transition disclosure period that starts in January, during which "funds that choose to implement the new delivery method for shareholder reports provide prominent disclosures in prospectuses and certain other shareholder documents that will notify investors of the upcoming change in transmission format.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb to Terminate $3.8 Billion Pension

It will offer lump sums to participants and transfer the remaining money to a group annuity contract from Athene Annuity and Life.

Employee Knowledge Levels Indicate Need for Financial Wellness Education

Employees expressed concerns about budgeting, health care and emergency funds, and low levels of knowledge about financial and retirement topics were reported.

Butch Lewis Act Said to Fail to Address Multiemployer Pension Deficits

The Pension Analytics Group says the act would only temporarily mask the deficits, as opposed to reducing them and that the only solution is to reduce benefits across the board.

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

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

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