Current Events

Current outlook – April 2017

April 09, 2017

In this Current Outlook we review DOL’s 60-day delay of the applicability of its Fiduciary Rule, Congressional Review Act legislation voiding the Obama DOL’s “path forward” for state-mandated private sector retirement programs and the recent decision for plaintiffs in Bell v. Anthem. Read More


April 02, 2017

It is being reported that House Republicans are considering, as part of their tax reform effort, converting the current 401(k) system to “Roth-only,” primarily as a way to raise revenues to finance reductions in marginal tax rates and reform of the corporate tax. In this article we review: (1) the difference between the tax incentives provided by non-Roth and Roth 401(k) contributions; (2) the reasons why House Republicans are considering this change (why converting to Roth-only, or simply increasing the portion of 401(k) contributions that get Roth treatment, increases revenues); and (3) possible effects on retirement savings resulting from such a change. Read More

Retirement savings tax incentives – the current system

April 02, 2017

After the failure of the House to vote on repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, it appears that Congress will now turn to consideration of tax reform. In any case, both Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) have stated that they intend to move on tax reform before August of this year. As we have discussed in prior articles, reform of the Tax Code is likely to have a significant effect on retirement savings policy. Read More

DOL issues FAB on fiduciary rule enforcement

March 22, 2017

As we have discussed in previous articles, on February 3, 2017, President Trump signed a memorandum instructing the Department of Labor to reconsider its new Conflict of Interest regulation (aka “fiduciary rule), and related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs). On March 1, 2017, DOL released a proposal to delay the “applicability date” of the regulation by 60 days, from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017. Following on those actions, on March 10, 2017, DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB 2017-01) addressing concerns about how the new Conflict of Interest rule (and related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs)) will be enforced while DOL considering the applicability date delay. Read More

Litigation with respect to in-house funds

March 15, 2017

There have been a number of recent lawsuits brought against financial services companies alleging prohibited ERISA “self-dealing” with respect to the use of proprietary funds and services for plans they maintain for their own employees. In this article we review the issues presented by these cases for plan fiduciaries – both fiduciaries of financial services company in-house plans and “regular” plan fiduciaries. Read More

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