PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending May 13th, 2016
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, PLANADVISER readers! There has been no shortage of predictions published regarding the likely impact of the DOL’s final fiduciary rule—with positive and negative opinions coming down from all sides of the issue. Many still expect small-balance savers to be harmed by a stricter fiduciary standard, while others see a healthy dose of industry disruption leading to better service for all. Below you’ll find the opinions of top ERISA attorneys and industry execs on various sources of regulatory disruption. 
Editor's choice
Final Fiduciary Rule Still Favors Level-Fee Work
Experienced ERISA attorneys and business development executives at Ascensus tell PLANADVISER the DOL’s final fiduciary rule still inherently favors flat-fee service arrangements for qualified plan clients and “an open architecture future for accessing retirement plan investments.” Read more >
Expanding Coverage
The campaign to expand access to retirement savings in the workplace at the federal government level “continues to get little more than lip service” from political leaders, argues Marcia Wagner, an ERISA attorney working on a variety of employee benefits and executive compensation issues. And so, more than half of the states are taking some action to fill the coverage gap. Read more >
Fiduciary Breaches by Others
Fred Reish and Joan Neri are two nationally recognized ERISA attorneys with Dirnker, Biddle & Reath. Writing in the latest PLANADVISER print edition, the pair warn that “even if you think you are not a fiduciary under the new DOL rulemaking, there still is new risk and liability.” Read more >
Clarifying the Scope and Value of Fiduciary Services
Before becoming founder and CEO of Unified Trust Co. in Lexington, Kentucky, Gregory Kasten was an M.D. in anesthesiology. When looking for retirement advice, Kasten “found a lot of smart people and advisers to talk to, and some of them had some powerful ideas, but most were ultimately trying to sell me a specific product or bring me back to a particular fund family.” Read more >
Fiduciary Rule Shows Washington Compromise Can Still Happen
Count Russell Investments directors Jean-David Larson and Sam Ushio among the financial services industry professionals who were grateful to see the Department of Labor (DOL) dial back some elements of its new fiduciary standard. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
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.
A New World and New Opportunities for Alpha
Pandemic-driven volatility has once again highlighted the relative virtues of active and passive management.
Home Depot ERISA Lawsuit Clears Dismissal Motions

While a court has ruled the plan’s advisers should be carved out of the litigation, the counts against Home Depot fiduciaries will proceed.

AutoZone ERISA Suit Clears Motion to Dismiss

The district court declined to rule on the reasonableness of comparing actively managed funds to passively managed index funds on a motion to dismiss, clearing the way for discovery and potentially a full trial.

Excessive Fee Lawsuit Filed Against Duke Energy

The drumbeat of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) excessive fee lawsuits rolls on.

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