Current Events

DOL FAB provides guidance on DC annuity fiduciary obligations

August 17, 2015

On July 13, 2015, the Department of Labor released Field Assistance Bulletin 2015-02, providing guidance concerning "the nature and scope of fiduciary responsibilities to act prudently in making, monitoring and reviewing annuity selections under a defined contribution plan." In this article we review the FAB. Read More

The fiduciary duty to monitor – 401(k) plan investments

August 12, 2015

In this article we discuss the application of the basic principles of an ERISA fiduciary's duty to the selection of plan investments and investment managers. We are going to consider this issue exclusively in the context of a 401(k) plan intended to comply with ERISA section 404(c), in which participants choose investments from a fund menu. Read More

The fiduciary duty to monitor

August 11, 2015

The scope and substance of a fiduciary's duty to monitor those persons it appoints to carry out plan-related functions is becoming an issue in several contexts. The law on the duty to monitor is, currently, abstract – we know some basic principles, but how they apply to specific issues is, as yet, not very well articulated. In this article we review those basics, identify some key duty-to-monitor issues for sponsors and some monitoring strategies that sponsors may consider. Read More

The DOL fiduciary proposal: investment education vs. advice

August 10, 2015

The Department of Labor's proposed regulation re-defining who is an ERISA ‘fiduciary’ would, among other things, supersede current rules on investment education. Communications that are advice may trigger fiduciary status; communications that are education generally do not. In this article we provide background on the education vs. advice distinction and on the current rules. We then review the DOL proposal and conclude with a discussion of the issues it presents for sponsors. Read More

Washington Update – July 2015

July 30, 2015

In this Current Outlook we review legislation introduced that would ease the rules on electronic disclosure. We also briefly discuss the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell (the same-sex marriage case) on retirement plans and its decision not to review the Fourth Circuit's decision in Tatum v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Read More

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