PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending May 12th, 2017
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, readers! Merrill Lynch again grabbed headlines this week for the way it is tweaking its approach to the DOL fiduciary rule, becoming one of the first nationally recognized firms to explain how the uncertain future of the rulemaking will be treated in terms of its sales and services processes. There is little doubt that other firms are making similar adjustments as they struggle to comprehend what the Trump administration and Republican leadership in Congress might do (or not do) in terms of fully stopping the controversial Obama-era rulemaking. Find our full coverage and helpful context articles below. 
Editor's choice
Merrill Lynch Signals More Flexibility in Fiduciary Rule Response
The firm has consistently been an early mover in announcing fiduciary rule implementation plans—and that trend continued this week with the news that ML advisers will retain some access to commission-based IRAs. Read more >
DOL Announces Fiduciary Responsibilities Seminar in Illinois
The seminar will be held in Springfield, Illinois, on June 21. Read more >
Varying Fees
Can an adviser charge different fees for different investments in a retirement plan? ERISA attorneys Fred Reish and Joan Neri ask, how do current ERISA standards treat this question, and how might that change in the near future?  Read more >
Fiduciary Rule Litigation Still Matters
The DOL’s authority to regulate the financial services industry is separate from the authority conferred on the Securities and Exchange Commission, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and state insurance, and other, regulators. Notwithstanding the potential conflicts and overlaps, the courts appear to believe that the DOL and other regulators can co-exist and effectively regulate together. Read more >
Assessing Independence
Many advisers would rather venture on their own than affiliate with a B/D, and the current regulatory environment is only adding to the pressure.  Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Tax Bill Passed By Senate Backs Off 457(b), 403(b) Plan Changes

It appears some last-minute amendments have largely removed controversial provisions from the Senate’s version of tax reform legislation that would have had a big impact on governmental 457 and nonprofit 403(b) plan sponsors.

Pass-Through Tax Reform Impact on Small Businesses May Be Mitigated via Roth

The American Retirement Association says that tax reform could be a disincentive for small businesses to offer retirement plans; however, as one reader shares, there are counter considerations having to do with Roth 401(k) options that could mitigate some of the concern.

Education on Lifetime Income Needed in Not-for-Profit Sector
In-plan lifetime income options can secure certain benefits participants may not find in retail solutions, suggests a new study by TIAA.
Congressional Democrats Continue Push on Butch Lewis Act

The legislation would take steps to provide additional anti-cutback protections for Teamsters, miners, and other unionized American workers who have paid significant sums into multiemployer pension funds.

Settlement Ends Fujitsu Lawsuit Filed Over Plan Fees, Custom TDFs

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs called the Fujitsu plan one of the most expensive in the country and specifically called out the design and implementation of the plan’s custom target-date funds.

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

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

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