PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending April 20th, 2018

Happy Friday, readers! As luck would have it, the third weekend newsletter of every month focuses on the topic of Client Service. The subject was certainly top of mind for many in the retirement plan advisory industry this week, after the SEC moved on Wednesday to propose a broad new set of conflict of interest regulations and disclosure requirements. The SEC proposals were put forward directly on the heels of a major setback for the DOL fiduciary rule expansion in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Below you will find various articles and research reports offering key context for understanding the regulatory whirlwind. We hope you will share some of what you read with a client or colleague!  

Editor's choice
It’s Not Déjà Vu, It’s a Brand New Best Interest Rulemaking Debate
The release of a thousand-page “best interest” rulemaking package by the SEC applying to all brokers and investment advisers is being hailed as a victory by some and a deep disappointment by others; either way, it’s the start of another long chapter in the epic industry battle over federal conflict of interest regulations.  Read more >
SEC Proposes Revised Conflict of Interest Standards for Brokers and Advisers
It will take time for the fully detailed picture to emerge, but the SEC voted late Wednesday to propose new conflict of interest standards for how broker/dealers and financial advisers label themselves and sell products under various fee structures to retail clients. Read more >
DOL Fiduciary Rule Ambiguity Mustn’t Derail Quality Client Service
With so much uncertainty now overhanging the future of the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, the onus is squarely on advisers, broker/dealers and recordkeepers to decide how they will respond; we hear from one small advisory firm in Northern Ohio that will carry on with business as usual. Read more >
Confusion Abounds After Fifth Circuit Decision Vacates DOL Fiduciary Rule
The latest decision out of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals throws a dramatic new element of confusion into the epic regulatory saga that has been the rollout of the Department of Labor fiduciary rule. Read more >
DOL Fiduciary Responsibilities Seminar to Be Held in NYC
The Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) announced its “Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities” seminar will be held in Queens in New York City on May 17. Read more >
FINRA Rep Monitoring Rule Change Could Trigger RIA Compensation Renegotiation
A new proposed rule published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) would replace FINRA Rules 3270 and 3280 and is, according to FINRA leadership, intended to reduce unnecessary burdens while strengthening investor protections relating to advisers’ outside business activities. 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.
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.

The Most Common Retirement Plan Testing Mistakes

By alerting plan sponsors to the issues they see most often, advisers can help their clients navigate IRS testing rules.

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