Recent Blog Posts
- Notice to Financial Advisers: State Regulators Are Enforcing the DOL Fiduciary Rule Financial institutions and advisers that manage retirement plan assets and are subject to the regulations of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, (“ERISA”) regarding fiduciary duties (the “Fiduciary Rule”) may also be subject to state law violations for failure to comply with the Fiduciary Rule. The Enforcement Section of the Massachusetts Division of the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth (the “Massachusetts Enforcement Section”) filed an administrative complaint (the... More
- Plan Sponsors: Potential Targets for IRS Compliance Examinations The IRS recently released the Tax Exempt and Government Entities FY 2018 Work Plan (the “2018 Work Plan”) which provides helpful information for sponsors of tax-qualified retirement plans about the focus of the IRS’ 2018 compliance efforts for employee benefit plan. While the 2018 Work Plan is a high-level summary, it does address IRS compliance strategies for 2018 and should assist plan sponsors in administering their retirement plans.
The Work Plan provides that for fiscal year 2018, the IRS compliance strategies... More
- No Delay to DOL Fiduciary Rule: June 9, 2017 Applicability Date Stands (for the Most Part) The Department of Labor (“DOL”) previously announced the applicability date for the DOL’s fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) will be June 9, 2017. On May 22, 2017, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta disclosed that, despite the Administration’s agenda of deregulation, the regulators are required to following existing law and must enforce the Fiduciary Rule. On the same date, the DOL announced, in Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-02 (“FAB 2017-2”), that during a transition... More
- Potential Impact of Trump Tax Reform Plan on Retirement Plans: What’s Old Could Be New Again While Congress’ attention has most recently been focused on the American Health Care Act, that bill will most likely not be the only proposed legislation that Congress will consider in 2017. It appears that a tax reform plan (the “2017 Tax Proposal”), which could also have a wide-reaching impact, is also on the agenda.
If the 2017 Proposal includes provisions relating to defined contribution retirement plans sponsored by private employers, such as 401(k) plans, the impact will be felt by employers... More
- DOL Delays Fiduciary Rule Advisers and financial institutions that provide fiduciary investment advice have an additional 60 days before having to comply with the final regulations defining who is a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (the “Fiduciary Rule”). On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”), which delays the applicability date of the Fiduciary Rule until June 9, 2017 and also extends for 60 days the applicability dates of... More
- Delayed: DOL’s Fiduciary Rule The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that would delay for 60 days (the “60-Day Delay”) the April 10, 2017 applicability date of the DOL’s new fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”). Given the potential change in the applicability date, financial services institutions will need to determine if they will continue their work toward implementation of the Fiduciary Rule or if they will delay their efforts.
The Proposed Rule provides for a 15-day comment period on... More
- New DOL FAQs Provide Additional Guidance (and Comfort) for Plan Sponsors Based on recent guidance from the Department of Labor (the “DOL”), many sponsors of employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA Plans”) should have additional comfort regarding the impact of the conflict of interest rule released by the DOL in April 2016 (the “Rule”) on their plans. Even though it is widely expected that the Trump administration will delay implementation of the Rule, in mid-January 2017, the DOL released its “Conflict... More
- Compensation Based on Assets Under Management May Raise Conflict of Interest Concerns Requiring a Prohibited Transaction Exemption Advisers and financial institutions that are compensated based on a fixed percentage of the value of assets under management may want to reconsider that compensation methodology as it could require compliance with a prohibited transaction exemption, such as the Best Interests Contract Exemption (the “BIC Exemption”), which is a component of the fiduciary rule issued by the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) in April 2016 (the “Final Rule”). While stating in the recently published “Conflict of Interest FAQs” (the “FAQs”)... More