To give you the best possible experience, this site uses cookies. If you continue browsing, you accept our use of cookies. You can view our privacy policy to find out more about the cookies we use.

Accept
X

Our Perspective

Annuity Purchase Update: July 2019 Interest Rates

July 2019 Duration: 7 Years 15 Years   7 Years 15 Years Range Rate: 2.28% – 2.65% 2.59% – 2.95% Average Rate: 2.46% 2.77% The first quarter of 2019 shows a noticeable drop in annuity purchase interest rates. The second quarter has continued the trend as rates fell again in July. Our experiences during 2019…Read More

MEP update: IRS proposes exception to IRS “one bad apple” rule

On July 3, 2019, IRS proposed a regulation under which it would not apply its “one bad apple” rule – that a qualification failure of one employer in a multiple employer plan disqualifies the entire plan – if certain conditions are met. In this article we begin with a review of the current status of…Read More

The Supreme Court’s ERISA docket – Thole v. U.S. Bank – may participants in an overfunded DB plan sue sponsor-fiduciaries for a fiduciary breach?

On June 28, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in Thole v. U.S. Bank, agreeing to review whether a plan participant can bring an ERISA claim against a defined benefit plan sponsor-fiduciary where the plan is overfunded. The case is important because a Supreme Court decision in favor of plaintiffs could lead to expanded DB fiduciary…Read More

June 2019 Pension Finance Update

Pension finances improved in June, as stock market gains overcame lower interest rates. Both model plans we track[1] gained ground last month: Plan A improved close to 2%, ending the first half of 2019 basically flat, while Plan B added close to 1% and is now up less than 1% through the first six months…Read More

Litigation update: the Supreme Court’s ERISA docket

In this article we review two ERISA retirement plan cases that the Supreme Court has accepted for review, Sulyma v. Intel and Jander v. IBM, and one that it is considering reviewing, Putnam Investments, LLC v. Brotherston, focusing on what is at stake for plan sponsors in these cases. Sulyma v. Intel– ERISA’s three-year statute of…Read More

SEC Investment Adviser and Relationship Summary guidance

In our last article we discussed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new broker-dealer standard of conduct rule and how it may change how broker-affiliated plan service providers (e.g., call center operators) interact with plan participants. The new broker rule makes significant changes to the SEC mandated standard of conduct under which brokers must operate and…Read More

SEC’s new broker rule – issues for plan fiduciaries

In our recent article on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s new broker-dealer standard of conduct rule we focused on how it may change how broker-affiliated plan service providers (e.g., call center operators) interact with plan participants. In this article, we consider how the SEC’s new, detailed, and significantly higher standard of conduct rules for brokers…Read More

Annuity Purchase Update: June 2019 Interest Rates

June 2019 Duration: 7 Years 15 Years   7 Years 15 Years Range Rate: 2.27% – 2.79% 2.64% – 2.95% Average Rate: 2.61% 2.85% The first quarter of 2019 shows a noticeable drop in annuity purchase interest rates. The second quarter has continued the trend as rates fell again in June. Our experiences during 2019…Read More

SEC finalizes broker-dealer/advisor Standard of Conduct rule

On June 5, 2019, the SEC, by a 3-1 vote, (1) finalized its “Regulation Best Interest” (RBI), providing new conduct standards for broker-dealers (hereafter simply “brokers”) making recommendations to retail customers, (2) published an “Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers” that “reaffirms – and in some cases clarifies – certain aspects of [an investment adviser’s]…Read More

May 2019 Pension Finance Update

Pension finances got clobbered in May, due to falling stock markets and lower interest rates, giving back gains enjoyed earlier in the year. Both model plans we track[1]lost ground last month: Plan A lost 6% and is now down almost 2% for the year, while Plan B lost close to 2% and is now basically…Read More