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
Education About Tax Treatment and Fees Could Boost 401(k) Participation

Findings from a Capital One survey about why employees do not participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plan offers opportunities for education, according to Stuart Robertson.

IRS to Focus on Retirement Plan Distributions and 403(b) Plan Rules in 2019

A Program Letter lists compliance strategies for the agency for next year.

Inertia Remains a Plan Sponsor Problem, Too

The language of “inertia” and “disengagement” are often used to describe the natural state of retirement plan participants, but new research from Wells Fargo suggests plan sponsors are also prone to settling with the status quo.

How Rising Interest Rates Affect Stable Value Funds
While money market funds may look more appealing in the short run, this is not expected to last.
Open MEPs Could Create Many Opportunities for Advisers
Should Congress or federal regulators eliminate the common nexus and bad apple rules that have held back open multiple employer plans, experts anticipate many more small businesses will jump in.

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

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

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