Current Events

Anthem sued over DC fee arrangements

February 09, 2016

Participants in the Anthem 401(k) Plan (the Plan) have sued plan fiduciaries, claiming that the plan (1) overpaid for investment and recordkeeping services and (2) imprudently included a money market fund, and not a stable value fund, in the plan’s fund menu. Plaintiffs claim, among other things, that inclusion of low-fee (e.g., 4 basis points) passive funds in the Plan’s fund menu violated ERISA because there was an even lower-fee alternative available. In this article we review plaintiffs’ complaint. Read More

Candidates tax proposals and 401(k) “tax appeal” Part 2 – Republican proposals

February 04, 2016

In our first article in this series we discussed current 401(k) tax benefits. In this article we discuss how the proposals of three Republican candidates – Mr. Donald Trump and Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) – would affect those benefits. Read More

Candidates tax proposals and 401(k) “tax appeal” Part 1

February 01, 2016

In the primary campaign, on both the Republican and Democratic side, there has been a lot of talk about changing our current income tax system – everything from “closing loopholes” to abolishing the IRS and switching to a “business flat tax” that some have compared to a value added tax. In this article we review the tax benefits provided by the current system. Read More

Factors affecting DC returns

January 27, 2016

We recently discussed the Boston College Center for Retirement Research Brief, Investment Returns: Defined Benefit vs. Defined Contribution Plans. The Brief reviewed over 20 years of Form 5500 data and determined that (after accounting for asset allocation and plan size) DB plans outperform DC plans by 0.7 percent. While BC’s comparison of DB and DC investment returns is provocative and raises some interesting issues, DB plans and DC plans are apples and oranges. Read More

2015 retirement policy in review

January 20, 2016

In this article we review significant 2015 retirement policy developments. We begin with defined contribution plan initiatives and DOL’s re-proposal of its re-definition of an ERISA ‘fiduciary.’ After discussing other DC developments, we then discuss defined benefit plan initiatives, where issues related to risk transfer and de-risking, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums and valuation assumptions – changes in interest rate and mortality assumptions – dominated policymaker and sponsor attention. We finish with a discussion of some broader retirement policy initiatives, including the emergence of state Auto-IRA programs. Read More

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