PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending March 11th, 2016
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, PLANADVISER readers. Judging by this week’s stable of top-clicked articles and the increasing amount of chatter among our trusted network of expert sources, anticipation over the pending release of the Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule has reached a fever pitch. Our comprehensive coverage of this critically important issue can help retirement plan advisers sort out how the fiduciary redefinition will impact their firms—and what it will take to get into compliance. 
Editor's choice
Advice as a Fiduciary
“I do not provide advisory services to Employee Retirement Income Security Act participants. However, some of my clients ask me about plan distributions and individual retirement account rollovers and investments. Does the Department of Labor’s proposed redefinition of fiduciary investment advice affect me?” Trusted ERISA attorneys Fred Reish and Joan Neri consider the potentially confusing scenario.   Read more >
Effects of the Fiduciary Rule on Independent RIAs
You are a registered investment adviser who provides advisory services to retirement plans and participants and to individual retirement accounts. You are not affiliated with a broker/dealer and do not have proprietary products. How does the proposal affect your sales practices? Read more >
The New Fiduciary Rule and Annuities
The Obama Administration views how people draw down their retirement savings to be just as important as encouraging them to save in the first place. Consistent with this view, it is particularly concerned with the risk that retirees will outlive their assets and wishes to mitigate this risk by motivating plan sponsors and participants to annuitize retirement benefits. Read more >
Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption Raises Eyebrows
ERISA attorney David Kaleda considers how the DOL intends to affect adviser behavior in the retirement marketplace through a new exemption called the “best interest contract exemption,” or “BIC,” proposed along with the new regulation. Read more >
Robo Advice, Education and the Fiduciary Rule
One of the biggest challenges firms will face in implementing the DOL’s proposal is compliance with the “best interest contract” exemption. However, as proposed, that exemption specifically excludes robo-advice, defined as “investment advice that is generated solely by an interactive website in which computer software-based models or apps provide investment advice to retirement investors based on personal information each investor supplies through the website.” 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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