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Senator Tuberville introduces Financial Freedom Act

On May 5, 2022, Senator Tuberville (R-AL) introduced the “Financial Freedom Act of 2022.” The bill would push back on recent positions the Department of Labor has taken with respect to, e.g., “climate related financial risk,” private equity, and cryptocurrency investments, particularly in participant directed defined contribution plans.

April 2022 Pension Finance Update

Stock markets tumbled in April, but sharply higher interest rates offset most or all of the impact for pension sponsors. Our two model plans1 saw mixed experience on the month, with Plan A treading water, remaining up almost 5% for the year, while the more conservative Plan B lost 1% last month and is now even through the first four months of 2022:

Post-Hughes v. Northwestern – plaintiffs win in three motion-to-dismiss decisions

On January 24, 2022, in a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court vacated the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Hughes v. Northwestern – an ERISA prudence case implicating a number of issues that have been raised in 401(k) fee litigation. The Court rejected the Seventh Circuit’s reliance on the availability of lower cost alternatives as a defense to claims that the cost of certain funds and of plan recordkeeping was unreasonably high, remanding the case for consideration under the rule in Tibble v. Edison, that a fiduciary has an obligation to remove imprudent investments.

Retirement income and inflation – April 2022 update

Until 2021, the main drivers of retirement finance/retirement income were interest rates and asset performance. The other variable affecting nominal performance, mortality, has been (and is expected to continue to be) relatively stable.

SECURE 2.0 Approved by House in 414-5 vote

On March 29, 2022, the House of Representatives, by a nearly unanimous (414-5) vote, approved the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (SECURE 2.0). The bill represents a synthesis of the Ways and Means Committee’s Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021 and the Education and Labor Committee’s RISE Act.