Following a broadly structured decision by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to vacate the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, the National Association for Fixed Annuities decided its own appellate challenge has been made unnecessary.
With so much uncertainty now overhanging the future of the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, the onus is squarely on advisers, broker/dealers and recordkeepers to decide how they will respond; we hear from one small advisory firm in Northern Ohio that will carry on with business as usual.
Plaintiffs suggested plan fiduciaries permitted excessive fees to be paid, leading to improper provider kickbacks; a district court judge has summarily dismissed the allegations for failing to state an actionable claim.
The demand for 3(38) investment manager search support and monitoring has moved up market into the range of plans with billions of dollars in assets; smaller plans are seeking cost savings while larger plans are seeking deeper expertise and nimble capabilities.
The unsuccessful challenge was viewed as somewhat unique amid the glut of retirement industry litigation because it cited the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Law of 1970, known as RICO.
While the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the DOL fiduciary rule expansion, one attorney warns the rule is still technically in effect, at the very least until the court issues a “mandate” opening a limited period during which the Department of Labor can choose to contest the decision; he also questions whether the circuit courts are in fact split on the matter, as some are suggesting.
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.
The appellee, Market Synergy Group, argued unsuccessfully that its representatives would never be able to make the Best Interest Contract Exemption, a key mechanism underlying the new DOL fiduciary rule, workable.
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.
While the investing rules controlling the Connecticut public pension fund are different from those governing corporate retirement plans, the argumentation as to why gun manufacturer divestment may be the right thing to do offers some food for thought for anyone charged with the fiduciary management of retirement plan assets.
Annually, the top tier of retirement plan advisers from across the U.S., including the PLANADVISER Top 100 and the PLANSPONSOR Retirement Plan Advisers of the Year, gather in Orlando, Florida, for three days of discussion and debate; reserve your spot today for the 2018 event.
The number of Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuits winning class certification in 2017 far outstripped the number of suits within which class action status was denied; attorneys with Seyfarth Shaw offer detailed analysis of all the ongoing cases.
The enforcement arm of the Massachusetts Securities Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth alleges that Scotttrade violated the Massachusetts Uniform Securities Act and related regulations by leveraging sales contests that violated the expanded DOL fiduciary rule.
The sizable ERISA suit’s third amended compliant explicitly names as a defendant one of the advisory firms supporting NYU’s retirement plans.
Offering some preliminary commentary on the SEC’s newly announced adviser 12b-1 fee conflict of interest “amnesty” program, as it’s being referred to in the trade media, Wagner Law Group attorneys warn of the inherent risks in the self-reporting of violations.
Since 2015, investors' interest in using digital advice platforms has increased modestly, far outpacing actual adoption, according to Cerulli; for clients of both traditional advisers and robo platforms, knowing disclosure information is easily available is often felt to be more important than reviewing it in depth.
Under the new “SCSD Initiative,” the SEC’s enforcement agents will recommend “standardized, favorable settlement terms” for investment advisers that self-report that they failed to disclose conflicts of interest associated with the receipt of 12b-1 fees by the adviser or an affiliated broker/dealer; the regulator further warns that advisers who fail to take advantage of this program will be punished more severely in the future.
Josh Robbins, lead strategy officer for the direct-to-sponsor plan provider America’s Best 401K, offers a closer look at the virtues and potential weaknesses of the firm’s “disruptor” model and short sales cycle.