President Trump on Friday called on the Department of Labor to consider the pros and cons of allowing small businesses to jointly offer retirement plans (open MEPs).
If there are missing participants that plan sponsors have not made a genuine effort to find, “the entire plan could be disqualified under the tax code and the plan fiduciaries may be found to have breached their ERISA duties,” says Norma Sharara, a partner with Mercer.
Although it did answer the question of whether the decision was made in response to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals mandate to vacate the DOL’s fiduciary rule, it is clear that T shares and so-called “clean shares” were created to comply with the rule.
The EBSA’s Plan Investment Conflicts (PIC) project have reviewed conflicts of interest of fiduciary service providers and investment managers of plan asset vehicles that led to conflicted decision making processes, imprudent application of investment guidelines and the payment of excessive fees.
Fiduciaries of the Sacred Heart Hospital Profit-Sharing 401(k) Plan failed to administer the plan after the hospital operations ceased in 2013, according to the DOL.
GAO says in other cases where plans may face complexity, such as selecting a target-date fund or monitoring pension consultants, the DOL has provided general information, including items to consider and questions to ask. It suggests that the DOL do the same with ESG investing.
A multi-agency investigation found that from approximately May 2011 through August 2012, the business owner unlawfully embezzled and converted approximately $31,403 in deferred contributions from employees.
In an open letter asking for more detailed guidance, the ERISA Industry Committee spells out what it says are “examples of missteps” by the DOL, including “issuing letters asserting breaches of fiduciary duty when there is no applicable legal guidance.”
Commenters about the Department of Labor’s regulation say it could result in state restrictions, ratings that will make costs unequal and may provide no inclusion for all small businesses that could benefit from it.
Topics to be covered include: Understanding your plan and your responsibilities; carefully selecting and monitoring service providers; avoiding prohibited transactions; and more.
The Plan Sponsor Council of America has heard concerns from its members that they have been or may be subjected to enforcement actions even though the DOL and IRS have not issued comprehensive guidance on missing participants that provide a clear roadmap for compliance.
While not a new concept, materiality is essential to efficiently integrating ESG factors into the investment process; it all boils down to being able to determine which ESG factors are likely to be linked to stronger investment performance by identifying risks that are related to certain industries.
Industry stakeholders immediately offered their thoughts on the complex regulatory saga that has surrounded the now-defeated DOL fiduciary rule; depending on their position in the industry and their particular client service philosophy, some providers are hailing this step as a victory, while others are bemoaning it.
When a plan is abandoned, custodians are left holding the assets of the plan, but lack the authority to terminate the plan and to distribute the plan's benefits to participants.
Data from Morningstar demonstrates variable annuity net assets fell 1.6% to $1.95 trillion during the first quarter of 2018, versus fourth quarter 2017 net assets of $1.99 trillion; still, experts anticipate sales to recover as regulatory pressure and uncertainty ease.
The DOL found the company's president and CEO did not process any distribution requests submitted by 401(k) plan participants, among other ERISA violations.
Given some of the strong language used to warn retirement plan fiduciaries against placing other interests ahead of the financial benefit of their participants, the latest DOL bulletin on the topic of ESG investing has created some confusion.