PLANADVISER 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
DOL Finalizes Rule Opening Door to ESG Investing in Retirement Plans

The DOL announced a final rule that retirement plan fiduciaries can consider climate change and other ESG factors when selecting investments.

Plan Advisers Value Trustworthiness, “Personal” Touch from DC Recordkeepers

Retirement plan advisers respond to DC recordkeepers that are present, active, and trusted partners, according to an annual Cogent Syndicated brand survey.

Advisers Get Long-Awaited Clarity on ESG in Retirement Plans

DOL's final rule clears regulatory hurdles for retirement plan fiduciaries to implement, or ignore, ESG investing.

AARP Finds Major Gap Between Retirement Goals and Preparedness

A new AARP study finds there is still a wide gap between the importance people put on retirement planning and their sense of preparedness.

Financial Firms Looking to HBCUs, “Pipeline” Programs to Bolster Diversity

Two new programs focus on advancing diversity in the financial management space by working with historically black colleges and students.

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