PLANADVISER Weekend Newsdash
Week ending September 11th, 2020

Greetings loyal PLANADVISER readers! With so many important and rapidly evolving national news stories playing out right now, it can be hard to keep track of more mundane matters like retirement plan litigation and regulations. Yet the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty remain paramount in the operation of tax-qualified retirement plans. With that in mind, collected below is a recap of some of the most important legal and regulatory developments of recent weeks. We hope you find the reporting helpful and consider sharing some of what you read with a client or colleague.

Editor's choice
DOL Proposal Likely to Dampen Proxy Voting, Shareholder Engagement
As with its guidance related to environmental, social and governance investing, the Department of Labor’s stance on proxy voting and other forms of retirement plan investor shareholder rights has become a political football. Read more >
SEC Fund Report Proposal Seen as Big Step Toward Modernization
One attorney who works on Securities and Exchange Commission compliance issues says the proposal will help retail investors digest key information while ensuring transparency remains a top priority. Read more >
Important Details About SECURE Act Birth and Adoption Distributions
Under the SECURE Act, more flexibility has been granted to participants who want to draw on retirement savings to help offset the cost of childbirth or adoption—though care must still be taken to avoid unnecessary taxes and fees. Read more >
IRS Issues Supplemental SECURE Act Guidance
Though many in the industry remain focused on addressing the challenges of the pandemic, major changes to the U.S. retirement planning landscape continue to unfold, thanks to the SECURE Act. Read more >
Decade of Debate Continues at DOL Fiduciary Rule Hearing
If the fiduciary rule saga has made one thing clear, it is that creating consensus about conflict of interest regulations is hard work. Even supporters of the new Department of Labor proposal say there is room for improvement. Read more >
IRS Requesting Comments on Form 5500
There are two proposed changes and the IRS also wants comments about the obligation of filing. 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.
HUB International Running Full Steam Ahead on RIA Acquisitions
The aggregator expects it will announce several more acquisitions of leading retirement plan advisory firms this year and have a busy 2021.
Has the DOL Found an ESG Middle Ground?
George Michael Gerstein, an ERISA attorney with Stradley Ronon, dissects the DOL’s final rule regarding ESG investing in retirement plans, calling it a compromise that might be here to stay.
A New World and New Opportunities for Alpha
Pandemic-driven volatility has once again highlighted the relative virtues of active and passive management.
OMB Has Received a Final Fiduciary Rule From DOL

The sense of déjà vu associated with the filing of a finalized fiduciary rule by the Department of Labor is palpable, but one ERISA expert says this version could actually stick—for good—despite the pending change in administration.

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