Week of March 24, 2017
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR
Happy Friday, readers! This weekend’s mailing highlights the latest feature articles and columns from PLANADVISER print. Complementing our daily online news coverage, our bimonthly print edition takes a deeper dive into the topics and trends that matter most for retirement specialist advisers. It also features thought-provoking research and information about the latest products and services hitting the market. If you don't get the magazine already, subscribe at www.planadviser.com/subscriptions/. 
MOST POPULAR STORIES
Compliance
Bank of America Prevails In ERISA Challenge After Bench Trial
After hearing the evidence presented at trial and reviewing both parties’ proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, a federal district court has ruled in favor of Bank of America on all counts. 
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Compliance
SafeWay ERISA Lawsuits Advance in Federal Court
Two lawsuits filed against the company alleging a failure to prudently manage retirement plan investment and administrative fees have survived preliminary motions to dismiss. 
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Compliance
Decision Finds Wilmington Trust Liable for ESOP Damages
The firm has been deemed liable for violations stemming from a “rushed” ESOP valuation—although some claims of wrongdoing leveled against the firm at trial were denied.
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Compliance
DOL Announces New Fiduciary Responsibilities Seminar
The seminar will discuss understanding plan and fiduciary responsibilities; selecting and monitoring service providers; making timely contributions; and more. 
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Deals and People
Retirement Industry People Moves
Pentegra Hires Regional Director; PSCA Establishes HSA Committee; Hub Califronia Hires Benefits Leader; and more
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EDITOR’S CHOICE
Recent 403(b) Litigation
Recent months have seen a wave of new litigation, against several large 403(b) plans maintained by prominent private universities. The lawsuits, which claim breaches of fiduciary duties under ERISA, are in some respects similar to 401(k) fee litigation cases. However, other aspects of these suits are relatively novel, as they appear to not only challenge the fundamental nature of 403(b) plans.
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DOL's Final Rule on Disability Benefits
Although rarely a high-profile item, there is no question that long-term disability cases are the most frequently litigated Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims. While excessive fee litigation against 401(k) plans and stock-drop cases garner headlines, a study of ERISA cases filed between 2006 and 2010 concluded that those involving long-term disability benefits accounted for 64.5% of benefits litigation.
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Aggregating a Client's Assets
I work for a broker/dealer (B/D) firm that is affiliated with a registered investment adviser. The firm provides brokerage services to both non-retirement and retirement investor accounts such as IRAs and ERISA accounts. The fee is asset-based, and breakpoints are used to determine the fee (with an incrementally reduced fee charged as asset value exceeds certain prescribed amounts). Can all accounts be aggregated so the investor will get the benefit of a reduced fee?
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Leveraging Provider Resources
Retirement plan advisers who strive to develop proprietary tools may very well be overlooking a wealth of resources available from their many providers. Wells Fargo National Sales Manager for Defined Contribution Ron Cohen, based in Boston, has an important warning for advisers seeking to do just that.
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Passing the Torch
While retirement plan advisers are gifted at planning for participants’ futures, they do a notoriously poor job of planning for their own—a situation that Jeremy Holly, senior vice president at LPL Financial in San Diego, finds supremely ironic. Many wait until they are close to retirement age before thinking about a succession plan for their practice, he says.
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Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com
Advertising: Paul Zampitella paul.zampitella@strategic-i.com
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