PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending May 13th, 2016
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 >
Advisers Beware and Be Cautious When Talking Taxes in 2018

During a webinar called to discuss the advisory industry impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, experts warned advisers to be ready to decline to offer tax advice during 2018—over and over again.

Three Quarters of Americans Have Not Planned for LTC Needs

Yet nearly six in 10 say saving for long-term care is a financial priority

Wells Fargo Advisors SEC Filing Hints at Federal Fiduciary Investigation

The firm says it does not have additional information to share at this juncture beyond what has been noted in a 2017 year-end SEC filing; in that newly emerged document, Wells Fargo Advisors says it has begun an internal investigation into “whether there have been inappropriate referrals or recommendations” made by its advisors, including with respect to rollovers for 401(k) plan participants.

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.

Advisers Moving to a Client-Centric Model

Advisers are using new planning models and smarter technology, including automation, so that they can offer personalized service, SEI finds.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer

Advertising: Paul Zampitella

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