The most obvious potential conflict of interest for advisers setting up or serving pooled employer plans is if their practice is affiliated with the investments being selected—but there are other potential pitfalls to acknowledge.
It is not all doom and gloom for plan sponsors and participants who want these investments. Here’s what advisers should know about the new rules proposed by the Department of Labor (DOL).
Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia says employer-sponsored plans ‘are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives.’
Responses to the request for information (RFI) will help the Department of Labor (DOL) evaluate the need for a proposal on new prohibited transaction exemptions related to pooled employer plans.
Compared with other regulatory efforts undertaken in recent years by the Department of Labor, this one enjoys near universal support among retirement plan industry stakeholders.
The agency is relaxing timing rules for certain actions and notices if timing is affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rutledge will remain with the Department of Labor through the end of May, at which time he will have been in the post of assistant secretary for the Employee Benefits Security Administration for 2 1/2 years.
Recordkeepers and other service providers have submitted generally positive comment letters to the Department of Labor regarding its proposed e-delivery default rule, but they also have some specific suggestions for improving the proposal.
The associated instructions have also been updated to reflect, among other changes, an increase to $2,194 per day in the maximum civil penalty amount assessable under ERISA Section 502(c)(2).
Retirement plan service providers generally support making electronic delivery of documents the default, but print communication industry organizations and some consumer groups say the paper default should remain.
Eugene Scalia is known for having worked in the trenches of a number of labor issues for many years, and experts suggest he could have a big influence on the DOL’s agenda.
The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration determined he defrauded $2 million from the Rehabilitation Center for Children & Adults Inc. Pension Trust
“Invitation to correct” letters state, “the 15th business day is not a safe harbor and is included in the regulation only as an outside limit of the time that may be considered for segregation of assets.”
The Department of Labor's Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) also alleged in a lawsuit that fiduciaries to two retirement plans failed to administer the plans, leaving participants unable to gain information about their funds or gain access to their plan accounts.
The Department of Labor has published employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, recognizing that plan fiduciaries and employers may encounter unavoidable issues with ERISA compliance.
Those industry stakeholders disappointed by the limited scope of the proposed regulations can take heart in the fact that DOL staff calls for detailed commentary on ways the proposal could be expanded, including into the area of “open MEPs” and “corporate MEPs.”
Under DOL scrutiny, the Illinois-based employer has agreed to restore nearly $420,000 to its defined benefit pension plan.