PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending December 13th, 2019

For the casual observer, the shifting tangle of laws and regulations governing the behaviors of retirement plan fiduciaries can seem almost comically complex. For industry practitioners, wrestling with regulatory compliance is a daily battle, and one with potentially dire personal and professional consequences. Below you will find a roundup of significant regulatory events from 2019. We hope you’ll share some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Editor's choice
Proxy Voting Update on DOL Agenda
The DOL is aiming to “modernize fiduciary practices related to the voting rights associated with ERISA plan investments and harmonize those regulations with the requirements of other regulators.” Read more >
Supreme Court Hears Polarized Arguments in Intel ERISA Case
While not divided across political lines, the parties in Sulyma v. Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee view the question of what establishes “actual knowledge” of an alleged fiduciary breach under ERISA very differently. Read more >
Senator Introduces Bill to Encourage Faster Student Debt Payoff
HELPER Act would allow Americans to annually take up to $5,250 from a 401(k), 403(b), 457 plan or IRA—tax and penalty free—to pay for college or pay back student loans. Read more >
Massachusetts Steps Closer to Stricter, Uniform Fiduciary Standard
Supporters of the Massachusetts proposal say the state-based regulations will be far more effective in tamping down on brokerage industry conflicts of interest compared with the national Regulation Best Interest. Read more >
1st Circuit Reverses Union Pension Liability Decision
As the appellate decision explains, ownership percentages are less important than organizations’ operating structures when determining withdrawal liability from a multiemployer union pension. Read more >
What Advisers Should Know About GDPR
While the GDPR does not directly address U.S. benefit plans, it should be of particular interest to defined contribution plan sponsors and their service providers because they hold personal information for each plan participant. 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.
ERISA Excessive Fee, Self-Dealing Suit Targets MEP

Pentegra Retirement Services and other plan fiduciaries are accused of failing to make sure fees are reasonable and acting in Pentegra’s, not plan participants', interest.

PANC 2020: Is It Time to Re-evaluate TDFs?

There are a variety of TDF solutions to meet participants needs, so when should a custom solution be considered, and how do advisers evaluate TDFs in an unprecedented year for the markets?

A New World and New Opportunities for Alpha
Pandemic-driven volatility has once again highlighted the relative virtues of active and passive management.
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.

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