Current Events

Administration issues executive order, review of DOL’s Conflict of Interest rule

February 06, 2017

On February 3, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order instructing the Department of Labor to review its Conflict of Interest rule. If the Secretary of Labor determines that the current rule is inconsistent with those priorities, he “shall publish for notice and comment a proposed rule rescinding or revising the Rule, as appropriate and as consistent with law.” Read More


February 02, 2017

(Reprinted from Human Resource Executive) I posted here earlier this month about a provocative Wall Street Journal piece in which the creators and early adopters of the 401(k) retirement-savings vehicle lament the revolution they started. Their point: They had no intention of watching the concept turn into the sole — and highly inadequate — savings receptacle for employees. Now, on the heels of that, benefits expert Larry Sher is taking that discussion even further, to a whole lot more wrong with the defined-contribution approach and the people who support it. Read More

Current outlook – February 2017

January 31, 2017

In this current outlook we review: (1) DOL’s proposed change to ERISA proxy voting rules to provide for consideration of Economically Targeted Investments (ETI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors; (2) the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Tibble allowing plaintiffs to proceed with their failure-to-monitor claim; (3) the current status of Oregon’s mandatory private employer auto-IRA; and (4) IRS’s proposal to allow the use of forfeitures to fund QMACs and QNECs. Read More

DOL releases second round of FAQs on the Conflict of Interest rule

January 22, 2017

On January 13, 2017, the Department of Labor released two sets of FAQs in a second round of guidance on its Conflict of Interest rule. One set of FAQs is “Part II” of ongoing guidance on technical aspects of the rule as it affects providers and plan sponsors, and it will be the focus of this article. The other is a set of “Consumer” FAQs generally directed at plan participants and IRA owners. Read More

IRS proposes new mortality tables for DB plan valuations

January 16, 2017

On December 29, 2016, IRS published a proposed regulation adopting new mortality tables for defined benefit plan valuations. Read More

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