FiduciaryNews Trending Topics for ERISA Plan Sponsors: Week Ending 1/25/13

January 28
00:04 2013

1020805_25983300_Trending_Topics_2013.01.28_stock_xchng_royalty_free_300Welcome to Trending Topics. Each Monday, we’ll give you a quick synopsis of the major news events and trends impacting ERISA plan sponsors, 401k fiduciaries and those in the business of supporting these fine folks. If you smile when you read these entertaining snippets, well, that’s the idea. If you think we’re missing something important, then please let us know. But, note this well, we avoid press releases masquerading as news stories (even though they might be reported by journalists) as well as mass media pabulum that merely mouths investment myths and mistakes.

FiduciaryNews Lead Story:
Revamped SEC Website Offers Goodies to Investors” (, January 23, 2013). When it comes to investor education, the SEC shouldn’t quit its day job.

Compliance – Bigger, but Better?:
Thanks to Dodd-Frank, not only do we memorialize “too big to fail” when it comes to financial companies, but we get to test the theory of whether “bigger is better” when it comes to government.
Does the retirement world need more federal help?” (BenefitsPro, January 22, 2013) The U.S. Consumer Financial Services Bureau. Hear it. Fear it. Watch you’re wallet.

Fiduciary – Hello? Anybody home?:
You might notice this week’s Trending Topics is bottom heavy. It’s like the blogger’s picked up the slack for the lack of articles in the mainstream media.
Fiscal cliff & retirement plans: Capital gain & dividend taxes,” (October Three, January 23, 2013) OK, this might be a bit of a stretch to place in the Fiduciary category, but it turns out tax policy does have an impact on fiduciary decisions. And here’s the critical thing to remember, a plan sponsor is often a multiple fiduciary, serving different constituencies with different needs. If the fiduciary needs of the retirement plan option (which is option) conflict with the other fiduciary needs (most which aren’t an option), then you know which one will be cut from the agenda.

Fees – More Quiet, but still no Storm:
We didn’t see anything worth repeating this week on fees. Is it because it’s all been said? Or is it because it just doesn’t matter?

Investments – But, wait! There’s more!:
Actually, not more, but less. Target Date Funds are about to blow up in the face of investors. But we enough to make that a future article in
‘Target’ Funds Still Missing the Mark on Returns,” (Wall Street Journal, January 21, 2013) How many times will we continue to see these headlines before someone says, “Stop! We have a problem here.”?

Major Plan Sponsor Moves and News:
What are other plan sponsors and fiduciaries doing with their plans? And how are participants responding? The latest in legal proceedings involving plan sponsors and fiduciaries.
Switching jobs? Ditch your 401k,” (MarketWatch, January 21, 2013)
‘Increase My Savings Rate,’ Employees Demand,” (AdvisorOne, January 21, 2013)
Demographic Nightmare: Boomer Retirement Disaster Looms,” (AdvisorOne, January 21, 2013)
Wealthier Plan Participants Turn to Outside Advisers,” (, January 23, 2013)
Participants Continued Moving Assets in December,” (, January 23, 2013)
Court Makes Repeat Decision in Amara v CIGNA Corp,” (, January 23, 2013)
Four simple steps to the complete retirement,” (MarketWatch, January 24, 2013)
SEC’s new = FAIL,” (BenefitsPro, January 24, 2013)

Wisdom from Some of Our Favorite Blogs:
The Trust Advisor Blog: Are Sales Loads for Suckers? |
fi360 Blog: Fiduciary Links: SRO Opponents – Watch for the Trojan Horse in 2013 |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Target Date Funds Don’t Guarantee Retirement Success |
The Trust Advisor Blog: Number of Personal Financial Advisors Down, While The Number Of RIAs Increase |
Business of Benefits: The Continuing Efficacy of Commission Disclosures Under PTE 84-24 After 408(b)(2) |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: They Are Called Prohibited for a Reason |
Benefits Bryan Cave Blog: Fiduciary Fitness Requires Training, or At Least the DOL Thinks So |
RetirementRevised: Pros and cons of new Roth(k) expansion rules |
Scholarly Financial Planner: Changes in the Financial Services Industry and the Rise of the Fiduciary |
Pension Risk Matters: Pension De-Risking: Compliance and ERISA Litigation Considerations |
The Chicago Financial Planner: Friday Finance Links January 25, 2013 – What Happens In Vegas Edition |
Boston ERISA Law Blog: Going the Way of the Horse and Buggy: Comments on the Future, or Lack Thereof, of Pensions |

Hot Tips from Popular Web Resources: ERISA Ruling: David v. Alphin | United Steel, et al. v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.  |
National Association for Policy Analysis: Chicago Plays Politics with Retirement Pensions |
Society for Human Resource Management: Preretirement 401k Breaches on the Rise |

Miss anything? Feel free to add a comment below.

About Author

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

Christopher Carosa, CTFA

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