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According to a new state-by-state analysis[1] published by the American Retirement Association, more than 5 million employers in the United States still don’t offer a workplace retirement savings benefit, a generation after the 401(k) plan design was first introduced.  When a 401(k) is available,... READ MORE
A recent federal court decision should remind us all of the importance of plan committee education. The case involved a suit by participants in the SunTrust 401(k) plan (see Is Fiduciary Responsibility Retroactive?) that challenged the initial selection of, and subsequent acquiescence with, an... READ MORE
  A key university 403(b) suit remains alive, as the fiduciary defendants lost their bid to have a rehearing of the case rejected.  The case – one of the first of the university 403(b) suits filed in 2016 – and brought by participants in the $3.8 billion University of Pennsylvania Matching Plan... READ MORE
Editor’s Note: This post by Todd Kading and Neal Weaver of LeafHouse Financial was submitted in response to our June 26, 2019, Case of the Week column by John Carl, “What’s a ‘Flexible’ ERISA 3(38)?” LeafHouse, which describes itself as “the FlexFiduciary™”, is a discretionary investment services... READ MORE
Participants have accused plan fiduciaries of “stuffing cash into a mattress” while at the same time forcing participants “to play the fool’s game” by offering only “high-cost actively managed funds.” Plaintiffs Gloria G. Ferguson and Cassandra McClinton “individually and as representative of a... READ MORE
Target-date funds continue to proliferate – and though a mere handful of firms dominate that space, the retirement assets of an entire generation seem headed in that direction. Are your recommendations focusing on “to” or “through” retirement – and with the markets at all-time highs, has that... READ MORE
New research shows that small business plan participants are benefiting from enhanced plan design features, but some findings suggest that more can be done.  Vanguard’s sixth annual “How America Saves: Small business edition,” reveals that employees enrolled in plans with an automatic enrollment... READ MORE
While there’s likely a rocky confirmation road ahead, President Trump has announced (via tweet) his choice as the next Secretary of Labor. “I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor,” Trump tweeted Thursday evening. “Gene has led a life... READ MORE
Advisors previously were far less sanguine than plan sponsors about 401(k) plan participants’ retirement readiness, but those views appear to be converging.  With advisors less pessimistic and sponsors less optimistic, both sets of stakeholders now see the need to improve retirement outcomes for... READ MORE
A key House committee has moved forward on a package of bills that, among other things, would expand the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil monetary penalty authority and extend the statute of limitations for imposing such penalties.   The House Financial Services Committee on July 16... READ MORE
A reader comments, “Too often we get caught up in the complexities of financial wellness, etc. without improving the basics, such as the number of people who have even signed up for online access to their retirement account.” So, what do NAPA-Net readers think – and do? Asked which measures of... READ MORE
If you think you’ve had a bad week, just remember – it could have been worse. Check out what happened to these guys (and gals)…  In Daytona Beach, Florida, Antonio Jamal Gearing, 29, was on trial, accused of robbing a Dollar General store at gunpoint… and absconding with $687… but then he made a... READ MORE
A federal judge has weighed in on a question relevant to new plan committee fiduciaries: When and how does their liability for the decisions of previous committee members begin? This case (Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., N.D. Ga., No. 1:11-cv-00784-ODE, 7/16/19) arises out of a suit brought by... READ MORE
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has reached settlements with 56 broker-dealer member firms and obtained $89 million in restitution for nearly 110,000 charitable and retirement accounts resulting from its mutual fund fee waiver initiative.  According to FINRA’s July 17 announcement, all... READ MORE
A steady stream of trades in one direction made for the heaviest quarter of net trading since the third quarter of 2016, according to the Alight Solutions 401(k) Index. The firm’s second-quarter observations show that net transfers for the quarter were 0.61% of balances, compared to 0.50% for the... READ MORE
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has challenged a specific “pay for” provision in the SECURE Act. But they’re missing the big(ger) picture. One of the main reasons the SECURE Act passed the House of Representatives by the large margin of 417-3 was that, as the WSJ acknowledges, it was “... READ MORE
When it comes to ERISA litigation, we often only get to hear one side of the story – the plaintiffs’. But one of the defendants in an excessive fee case is fighting back. The plaintiffs in this case are five employees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and participants in the MIT... READ MORE
The cost of investing in equity and hybrid mutual funds through 401(k) plans fell again in 2018, continuing a trend that has persisted for nearly 20 years.  In 2000, 401(k) plan participants incurred an average expense ratio of 0.77% for investing in equity mutual funds, but by 2018, that figure ... READ MORE
  The ERISA consultants at the Retirement Learning Center Resource regularly receive calls from financial advisors on a broad array of technical topics related to IRAs, qualified retirement plans and other types of retirement savings plans. We bring Case of the Week to you to highlight the most... READ MORE
Here’s a great way to grow your business and differentiate yourself from the competition. Join us September 15-17 for the 2019 NAPA Nonqualified Plan Advisor Conference and take your practice to the next level.  Just ask anyone who was at last year’s sold-out event – this is the focus that can... READ MORE
An excessive fee suit has been dismissed on relatively unique grounds. This suit (Stanley v. George Washington Univ., 2019 BL 259889, D.D.C., No. 1:18-cv-00878-JDB, 7/15/19) – another of the suits filed against university 403(b) plans – claims that the fiduciaries of George Washington University’s... READ MORE
While I am sure there was a period in my youth when I wanted to be a fireman, a cowboy, or maybe even a professional athlete, my earliest memories are of wanting to be an astronaut.  Never mind that my odds of becoming a professional athlete were, even then, considerably better than those of... READ MORE
American Retirement Association Chief Government Affairs Officer Will Hansen and past ASPPA President Stephen Dobrow offered testimony concerning benefit plan audits and how they may be improved at the June 25 meeting of the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council. The Council held the public... READ MORE
The IRS and the Department of Labor should establish a formal way of collaborating on oversight of prohibited IRA transaction exemptions, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended. The GAO undertook the study that led to its report, “Individual Retirement Accounts: Formalizing... READ MORE
A new multinational survey finds that retirement benefits are considered a top factor among individuals when deciding on a job offer, and a separate multinational survey contends a company’s workplace culture is just as important.   Survey results from Accenture covering 5,000 employees across 10... READ MORE

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