The Disparity That’s Driving 401(k) Fee Lawsuits

The country’s top universities have been hit with an onslaught of lawsuits the last 30 days over excessive fees related to the schools’ 401(k) plans. At the heart of the trend is an interesting disparity, writes Stephen Mihm for Bloomberg: On one hand, 401(k)s and their ilk would seem to shift the burden of making investment decisions onto employees, ...

Small 401(k) Plans Stand Tall

A recent study of large versus small 401(k) plans shows that small plans perform as well – or better – than their larger peers. Judy Diamond Associates, a sister firm of BenefitsPro, culled data from about 52 million participants with $4 trillion in assets. The study, about which more information is available here, compared plan size, industry, ...

Fiduciary Rule and 403(b): Summary of a Summary of a Summary

The rule that launched a thousand memos – the DOL fiduciary rule – is the subject of an excellent cheat sheet published by PlanSponsor. Read the whole thing here. Among some of the helpful highlights: – The rule redefines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to “investment advice” from advisers and retirement service providers. As a ...

Don’t Cut Your Own Hair, and Don’t Manage Your Own Plan: Judge Slams Banking Company for In-House Retirement Plan Management

A federal judge recently slapped down City National Corporation for ERISA violations that allegedly arose from overcharges from in-house plan management. When City National Corporation administered its employee retirement plan, it took fees from the plan and lumps from the court. From PlanSponsor: U.S. District Court Senior Judge Terry J. Hatter, Jr. ...

Employee Savers Say Don’t Worry, Be Happy

According to a recent poll by Gallup and Wells Fargo, most investors with a 401(k) plan are upbeat about their plan and their savings. Over 90 percent of investors, according to the study, are satisfied with the 401(k) plan for their retirement. Vladimir Putin couldn’t even stuff a ballot box that would generate this level of satisfaction. Gallup ...

For Every Democratic Action There is a Republic Reaction: New Senate Action Against the Fiduciary Rule

Well, that didn’t take long. Within days after the new DOL fiduciary rule, Republic leaders in the Senate launched a resolution attempting to block the rules. Three GOP senators announced that the new rules would raise the bar for providing advice so high that small account holders would be left behind. From 401k Specialist: [U.S. Senators] Isakson, ...

Let the Games Begin: New Fiduciary Rules Could Trigger A Death-Match Among Advisory Firms

The new fiduciary rule could trigger a slug-fest among consultants. A recent panel of broker dealers and registered investment advisors mused that the climatic changes of fiduciary responsibility could lead to the extinction of some of the less adaptable “generalist” advisors. According to Investment News: “We think there will be a lot of plans ...

My Brother’s Keeper: Annuities Face Stricter Customer Care Rules

Among the many, many, many aftershocks of the new fiduciary rules is the application of the new Best Interest Contract Exemption to fixed indexed annuities. The Department of Labor produces millions of pages of rulings and rules, but only just determined that fixed indexed annuities were complicated. According to the Retirement Income Journal: The DOL ...
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CEOs Rack Up Retirement Benefits: Study

The CEOs of the largest companies in America have accumulated retirement savings – through pension benefits, 401k accounts and more – that equal the savings of 50 million Americans, according to a new study. The study, carried out by the Center for Effective Government and the Institute for Policy Studies, analyzed the retirement packages of 100 ...
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A Conversation on Pensions and Inequality

Leo Kolivakis is a blogger, trader and independent senior pension and investment analyst. This post was originally published at Pension Pulse. A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with Gordon T. Long of the Financial Repression Authority on how financialization is causing inequality and limiting aggregate demand growth: In this 45 minute video ...
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