2018 Pension Focus Conference: Speaker Preview

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The 2018 Pension Focus Conference, sponsored by Pension Consultants, Inc., is a don’t miss event featuring expert speakers on the topic of retirement plan performance. Designed specifically to educate retirement plan sponsors and fiduciaries working with corporate sponsored retirement plans on how to deliver a top-performing plan, Pension Focus has been equipping attendees for more than 20 years.

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IRS Releases Retirement Plan Limitations for 2018 Plan Year

2017 Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) LimitsOn October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service announced the 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)1 to the retirement plan limits.

Below is a chart outlining the COLA limits that become effective January 1, 2018, along with the two prior tax years’ limits:

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DOL Fiduciary Rule is Here – Are You Prepared?

FiduciaryDutyIn an earlier blog, “DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed: Future Still Remains Unclear,” we communicated that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule (also known as the Fiduciary Rule) would become applicable June 9th, 2017. As a result, after today, investment advice providers to retirement savers will become fiduciaries, and the “impartial conduct standards” will become requirements of the related prohibited transaction exemptions. Continue reading

Pension Consultants Hosts Annual Pension Focus Conference

home page pic with keynote speaker

Over this past week, Pension Focus hosted another successful year of the Pension Focus Conference (“PFC”).

Hosted at the beautiful Chateau on the Lake in Branson, Missouri, the PFC focuses on providing in-depth, retirement plan management education for both plan fiduciaries and plan administrators.

This year PFC was fortunate to have several speakers from various avenues of retirement plan management ranging from ERISA attorneys, to a consumer behaviorist, to a Department of Labor representative. Among those speakers was our nationally-recognized keynote speaker, Mr. Bradford Campbell, ERISA attorney at Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP. Continue reading

DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed: Future Still Remains Unclear

On April 4th, th2017_COLA_limitse Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would be delaying the applicability date of its Conflict of Interest Rule (also known as the Fiduciary Rule) by 60 days. This moves the applicability date of the rule back from April 10th to June 9th.

Next, the DOL will be considering whether to leave the rule unchanged, to revise the rule, or to rescind the rule all together. It’s unclear whether this determination can be made within 60 days or whether the DOL will pursue an additional delay in the applicability date. Continue reading

Morin, et al v. Essentia Health:  A New Twist on Fee-based Cases against Plan Sponsors

Excessive Fee LawsuitA case recently filed in Minnesota took a unique approach to accusing a plan sponsor of charging participants excessive fees. Essentia Health and its subsidiary maintained two plans. One retirement plan established in 1965. The second was a 403(b) plan established in 2009. The original plan consisted of approximately 16,848 participants and $982 million in assets and was recordkept by BMO Harris. The 403(b) plan consisted of $103 million in assets and was recordkept by Lincoln Financial.[1] Continue reading

Quick Compensation Primer – The Basics

July 2018 Update:

When you’re a fiduciary of a retirement plan, understanding the basics of plan administration is one of the most critical and essential functions of your duties to oversee the plan. Below you will find information on how your plan design defines three basic compensation types that you should be aware of.

Having confidence that your plan meets compliance standards gives you the opportunity to spend your time focusing on plan performance in high impact areas, such as providing an outperforming investment lineup, lowering plan fees, and improving your workforces’ retirement readiness. Continue reading

Yet Another Excessive Fee Lawsuit is Settled

Excessive Fee LawsuitIn 2013 MassMutual was sued by a class of over 14,000 participants of its own 401(k) plan for charging the Plan excessive fees for record keeping services, among other things. The case was filed by the St. Louis based law firm Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, and was recently settled for $30.9 million[1]. Continue reading

What Impact Will the DOL Fiduciary Rule Have on Your Plan’s Financial Adviser?

DOL Fiduciary Rule Impact on Plan's Financial AdvisersAs the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new, expanded fiduciary rule continues to become clearer (see our recent blog post), it’s important to step back and keep in mind what it means to be a fiduciary to a retirement plan.  The fiduciary standard of conduct is known as the highest standard of conduct under the law.  A fiduciary to a retirement plan, under ERISA, must (1) act solely in the interest of plan participants, and (2) act as a prudent person would act in the same situation. Continue reading

Recent Multiple Employer Plan Rule Changes Could Benefit Small Businesses

A multiple employer plan (MEP) is a single plan that is adopted by several employers who are not under the same corporate ownership umbrella.  Historically, in order to establish a multiple employer plan, all of the employers joining the plan must share a “common nexus.”  This means that they must be in some way related to each other, for example, by doing business in the same industry.  Two unrelated businesses are not allowed to sponsor a multiple employer plan together. Continue reading