Amid a glut of retirement plan industry litigation and regulatory change, advisers are asking the twin questions of whether one owes a fiduciary duty to their client, and if so, what exactly those fiduciary duties entail.
The regulator is reassessing its requirements for RIAs to monitor the outside business activities of their reps; one experts argues it is likely that, if the final rule reflects the proposed rule, many plan advisers who serve plans through an independent RIA (as opposed to the broker/dealer’s “corporate” RIA) will seek to renegotiate their compensation arrangements relating to their independent RIA revenue.
Retirement plan fiduciaries must understand the expenses their participants pay to make trades and access investments, but their duty to monitor and ensure reasonableness is not limited to the issue of pricing alone.
Leadership at both the DOL and SEC have signaled a willingness to work together to find complementary approaches to managing advisers’ conflicts of interest—but it will be a heavy lift to accomplish a uniform standard.
A lawsuit filed by UBS against a number of former brokers—accused
of too aggressively soliciting old clients immediately after going independent—shows
plan participants aren’t the only source of potential litigation.
As Baby Boomers push closer to retirement, they are facing a
drastically different investing world than the one they grew up in—gaining access
to radically different approaches to products and services.