Last Week on NAPA Net

Highlights of our posts for the week of Feb. 25 included:

Practice Management
• Tapping experts in their fields, AdvisorOne reviewed the issues most likely to affect advisors and their clients in 2013.
• Brodie Wood of Transamerica offered insights on how in the fields of health care and higher education, retirement savings plan practices and plan design are being examined as never before.
• There was very little change in the total costs of smaller 401(k) plans in 2012, according to statistics from the 401k Averages Book.
ERISA budgets are all the rage, allowing plan sponsors to use profits from their providers to pay for plan expenses, including their advisors. But attorney Adam Cantor of Wolff Samson cautions that plan sponsors need to be careful creating and overseeing the ERISA budget.

Plan Design and Compliance
• Vanguard and Schwab seem to think that keeping fund prices low by using passive strategies while making up much of the difference by charging for advice is the right way to go, but there’s not enough data to prove their assumption.
• If California’s proposed retirement savings program gets through the study stage and is actually implemented, California will have the first automatic payroll deduction IRA program in the nation.
• What’s on the minds of of regulators at the IRS and SEC this year?

• John Carl answered a common question involving a company’s change in ownership and whether a distributable event for plan participants occurs as a result.
• Nevin Adams discoursed on the “annuity puzzle” — the reluctance of American workers to embrace annuities as a distribution option for their retirement savings.

Service Providers
• Ron Bush of Brightwork Partners noted that in his firm’s recent advisor survey, 35% of plans which changed advisors also changed record keepers within 12 months.

• Bill Gross pondered the question of whether we’re experiencing another bout of irrational exuberance with the recent run-up of the market.
• In an effort to offset bailout payments, 11 European countries, including Germany and France, have enacted a new tax set to take effect next year on the sale of stocks, bonds and other investment products of European countries.

Trends and Research
• Nearly two-thirds of NAPA Net readers have more than 25 plans under management, and 59% have more than $100 million in AUM, our reader survey revealed. How do you compare to your peers?

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