A way forward for the Plan Adviser industry – investment selection and removal

Performance transparency is the plan adviser’s path to a better future. As a group, we need to openly choose to move off of the path we have been on and move onto this new path. The one we have been on was set for us by the historical roots of the financial services industry. That failed path based its “professional” value upon relationships and is leading us off the cliff. Continue reading

Checksmart Excessive Fee Suit Requires Closer Look at Fund Performance

Excessive Fee Lawsuit FiledA recently filed lawsuit attempts to hold plan fiduciaries to what has been an unprecedented standard until now. Previous lawsuits accused plan fiduciaries (with a slight amount of industry knowledge) of what could be considered “a no brainer”: don’t pay too much. If there is an identical or nearly identical investment option offered at a lower cost, choose the lowest cost option. If it is not feasible to switch to the lowest cost option, retain the fund but rebate revenue sharing. Simple, provided you know what you’re looking for. This new lawsuit requires fiduciaries to put more thought into the plan’s fund lineup, particularly with respect to fund expenses relative to fund performance. Continue reading

An Open Letter to the Plan Adviser Industry

Open Letter to Plan Adviser IndustryIt is time for the Plan Adviser profession to move past our relationship mentality, jettison our past and grow into the profession that will serve our clients and us better. Relationships, or more correctly stated, our dependence upon them, are holding us back and threaten the unrealized value of our profession. Continue reading

Lawsuit threats no longer remote possibility for small and mid-sized retirement plans

Lawsuit threats a potential reality for small and mid-size retirement plansThere are three sources of threats to any qualified plan: the DOL, the IRS, and lawsuits. Until recently, lawsuits had only been filed against plans with assets in the billions and had only been filed by Schlichter, a St. Louis-based firm.  The threat of lawsuits seemed remote to small and mid-sized plans; a reality for larger plans only until just recently. On May 18, 2016, a lawsuit was filed in Minnesota by a law firm named Madia, LLC on behalf of Participants of the LaMettry’s Collision, Inc. 401k plan.  The LaMettry’s plan has $9.2 million in assets.  No longer can smaller plans pull the covers over their heads.

The threat of a lawsuit is now real to plans of all sizes.

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Excessive Fee Lawsuits Keep on Coming

We’re now one month into 2016, and on pace to see more excessive fee lawsuits this year than in any previous year.  Schlichter, Bogard & Denton out of St. Louis has filed yet another law suit against a retirement plan sponsor for imprudently selecting and retaining poorly performing mutual funds, allowing participants to be charged excessive record keeping fees, and prohibited transactions between the plan and a party in interest. Continue reading

NOW is the Time to Prepare for the New Money Market Rules

Are you preparing for the new money market rules? If not, you should be.

The new money market fund rules take effect October 2016. Now is the time for you as plan sponsors and fiduciaries to start reviewing your plan’s current money market fund holdings and make decisions on what to do going forward. If you haven’t already made plans to do so, sit down with your plan adviser so they can explain (1) the new rules and (2) how the new rules will affect retirement plans. Continue reading

Excessive Fee Settlements Continue

November has already been a busy month in the world of retirement plan excessive fee litigation settlements. On November 5th came the announcement that the Spano v. Boeing excessive fee settlement would result in a $57 million payout by Boeing. This case was one of the original excessive fee lawsuits filed in 2006, and the settlement was announced the day before the case was set to go to trial.[1] Continue reading

Why the Results of Tibble V Edison Should Not Concern the “Well-Educated Plan Fiduciary”

There has been a lot of national press over the recent Supreme Court Case Tibble V Edison, which involves the question as to whether a plan fiduciary has an ongoing duty to monitor a plan’s investments.

The basic facts of the case are as follows: Continue reading

Pension Consultants included in PLANADVISER’s Top 100

(Springfield, MO, February 6, 2015) – Pension Consultants, Inc., a leader in offering in-depth, un-conflicted advice on every aspect of retirement plan management, was recently recognized as one of the country’s Top 100 Advisers of 2015 by PLANADVISER. PLANADVISER, a nationally recognized and leading resource for advisers and consultants in the retirement planning industry, compiles the Top 100 listing annually.

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Why Women Need a Financial Adviser

I recently met with a group of about 40 women, and one of them shared how she went into a financial adviser’s office with her husband and was completely ignored. The conversation was exclusively between the two men, with the implied assumption that she was neither interested in nor capable of understanding what was being discussed. As she shared this story, other heads in the group nodded in understanding.
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