The Frugal Fiduciary Blog

Will Trial Lawyers be the Sole Beneficiary of a Watered-Down Fiduciary Rule?

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Jul 29, 2015

The law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton has had a very good couple of weeks. After winning two high profile 401k fee lawsuits, courts have approved the payment of more than $31.9 million in legal fees. The defendants in these cases were Lockheed Martin Corp and Ameriprise Financial, fiduciaries of their respective 401k plans. The plaintiffs, represented by Schlichter, were 401k participants.  The 401k participants claimed their plan fiduciaries failed to protect them from excessive fees – a primary fiduciary responsibility. The courts agreed, awarding participants $90 million in damages.

These settlement fees got me thinking about the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule. Would the proposal, if implemented, give trial lawyers more fodder for excessive 401k fee lawsuits?  I think it would.

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Topics: 401k fees, 401(k), DOL

The DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: Why Can’t Regulators do Simple?

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Jun 17, 2015

Since the DOL released its fiduciary proposal, I’ve been trying to digest it so I can provide any concerns to the DOL during their comment period.  This has not been an easy task.  The DOL’s proposal is complex.  My review got me thinking about DOL regulations in general – why aren’t they less complicated? I think they can be, being more effective in the process. 

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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, ERISA, DOL

DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Advances to OMB; Not Everyone is Happy about It

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Mar 4, 2015

On February 23, 2015, President Obama announced that the long-awaited redrafting of the DOL’s “fiduciary rule” was being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. This rule, also called the “conflict of interest rule for investment advice,” would subject all financial advisors who provide investment advice to retirement plans to a fiduciary (conflict-free) standard of care.

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Topics: fiduciary, 401k blog, small business 401k, DOL

NAPA stakes a position against the DOL’s fiduciary rule

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Jan 26, 2015

This month, the DOL is expected to propose a “fiduciary rule” for financial advisors that provide investment advice to retirement plans. This rule, also called the “conflict of interest rule for investment advice,” would subject brokers to the same fiduciary obligations as investment advisers. The DOL proposed a fiduciary rule in 2010, but that proposal was withdrawn in 2011 under heavy pressure from some lawmakers and lobbyists representing the financial services industry.
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Topics: retirement plans, fiduciary, 401k blog, DOL, 401(k) advisors

New Year’s Resolution # 1 for Fiduciaries – “I WILL Evaluate My 401k Plan Fees"

Posted by Eric Droblyen on Dec 30, 2014

I have always liked New Year's resolutions. They are a great excuse for ending bad behaviors or starting good ones. Here’s one for all small business 401k sponsors – “I will evaluate my plan fees for reasonableness.” Let me explain why…
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Topics: 401k plan sponsor, fiduciary, ERISA, 401k blog, 401k fees, 401(k), DOL

Former DOL Deputy Director declares scandal in IRA rollovers. It’s a scandal, just not the one he thinks it is.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Aug 20, 2014

IRA Rollovers
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Topics: TSP, small business retirement plans, retirement plans, 401k blog, DOL

New companies are trying to fill the gaps in 401k fee disclosure regulations. Here’s why they all fall short.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Aug 15, 2014

Plan re-enrollment
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Topics: small business retirement plans, 401k fee disclosure, 401(k) Investments, 401k blog, 401k Help Center, 401k fees, small business 401k, 401(k), Form 5500, DOL

Industry heavyweight SPARK weighs in on 408(b)(2) fee disclosure reform. We take issue with their key point.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Apr 24, 2014

SPARK Weighs in on 408(b)(2)
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Topics: 401k blog, 408(b)(2), Fee Disclosure, small business 401k, DOL

The DOL asked for input on enhancing its 2012 fee disclosures rules and talking real change. Here are our suggestions on getting it done.

Posted by Greg Carpenter on Mar 21, 2014

DOL, Employee Benefits Administration (EBSA)
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Topics: 401k blog, small business 401k, Borzi, 401(k), DOL

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