January 2017 Archive

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

January 23, 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 17, 2017

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

Looking back and looking forward: retirement policy at the beginning of 2017

January 03, 2017

In this article we review, briefly, some of the most significant 2016 retirement policy developments and then consider what will be on the 2017 agenda. Read More

DOL extends ERISA coverage exemption for mandatory private sector auto-IRAs

January 11, 2017

In December 2016, the Department of Labor finalized its proposal to extend the exemption from ERISA coverage for state mandatory private sector auto-IRA programs to certain state subdivisions, such as cities and counties. How could this affect plan sponsors? Read More

Let the Retirement Pendulum Swing Freely to a Better Place for All

January 10, 2017

The movement to a DC-oriented private retirement system has raised concerns by policymakers, employees and even some of the employers who have embraced this trend. The chief concern can be summed up as the total shifting of risks to employees – the risks that they won’t save enough, the risk that they will use the savings for non-retirement purposes, the risk of unfavorable investment results – culminating in inadequate retirement savings and the prospect of outliving such savings. Read More

December 2016 Pension Finance Update

January 03, 2017

For pension finance, the story of 2016 can read two different ways. If you fell asleep at the end of 2015 and just woke up today, it looks like a ho-hum year, in which both assets and liabilities grew by single digits, with asset growth slightly edging out liability increases. But if you followed daily market movements, 2016 was a harrowing ride, which saw funded status decline by 7% in the first half of the year before improving 8% in the second half. For the $2 trillion pension market in the US, this amounts to a loss of about ... Read More

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