PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending March 10th, 2017
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, readers! This week Merrill Lynch again grabbed headlines for being an early mover on fiduciary rule reforms. The firm, which in 2016 was among the first to announce it would halt sales of mutual funds within its commission-based IRA platform, tells PLANADVISER it will continue to move in that direction—with some important tweaks to its strategy now that the Trump administration has delayed the new fiduciary paradigm. Get the full story, as well as our latest coverage of industry litigation and regulation, below. 
Editor's choice
Dodd-Frank Repeal Battle Parallels Fiduciary Fight
Federal agencies and initiatives carry significant momentum and must be redirected carefully, but forcefully, by any incoming president. Read more >
DOL Fiduciary Defenses Prevail In District Courts, But Does It Matter?
A series of recent district court decisions show strong deference for the DOL’s right to promulgate a more aggressive fiduciary standard—how relevant the decisions will remain under President Trump is still anyone’s guess. Read more >
DOL Fiduciary Workshops Support Client Compliance
Speakers from the DOL will discuss basic fiduciary do’s and don’ts associated with operating an employer-sponsored retirement plan. Read more >
Joint Congressional Resolution Targets Public DC Plans for Private Sector
GOP lawmakers in the House and Senate suggests it is a federal government overreach for DOL to encourage or require states to offer workplace retirement savings programs for private sector workers. Read more >
Connecticut Aims To Strengthen 403(b) Provider Reporting
Service providers to tax-qualified 403(b) plans already have certain federally mandated conflict of interest reporting requirements, but the Connecticut State Legislature may also step up and play a role. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Stimulus Bill Extends Some Provisions of the CARES Act

It also provides a way for retirement plan sponsors to avoid a partial plan termination.

Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals, Taxes and Your Retirement Plan Clients
Coronavirus-related withdrawals made in 2020 were a financial lifeline for some, but they could also turn into a major tax headache for others.
Once They Catch On, PEPs Could Grow Exponentially
The current hesitancy over how they will take shape will be overcome by appreciation among advisers and sponsors alike at the prospect of expanding retirement coverage, sources say.
Warn Your Clients: Don’t Abuse Coronavirus Hardship Withdrawals
Though retirement plans can allow individuals to self-certify that they qualify for a penalty-free coronavirus-related distribution, should the IRS discover otherwise during a future audit, a participant can be subject to substantial penalties.
Many Near-Retirees Don't Understand Social Security Benefits

More than one-third failed a basic Social Security quiz administered by MassMutual.

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