This week’s news that President-Elect Donald Trump would name Andy Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants, as Secretary of the Department of Labor answered weeks of speculation in the retirement plan services industry. The fate of the fiduciary rule rests largely in the hands of the next DOL chief—and whoever is subsequently named leader of the Employee Benefits Security Administration. It is still unclear how the CEO of a company known for operating the Hardee's and Carl's Jr. burger brands will view the complex and controversial regulation, but we will likely soon find out.
There has been a marked proliferation of defined contribution plans in which individuals take on much more responsibility around saving for retirement. The spirit of the fiduciary rule is to ensure that plan participants and plan sponsors get the best possible advice in this challenging new environment.
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One early commentator tells PLANADVISER he expects the new DOL fiduciary rule will still be implemented, yet there is undoubtedly a new atmosphere of uncertainty with the presidential election result.
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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.
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.
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.