Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance covers compliance with ethical codes of conduct as well as those promulgated by FINRA and the SEC. Much of the interaction a plan advisor has with plan sponsors and participants is governed by ERISA and agencies like the Department of Labor. But as registered reps or investment advisory reps, their conduct and activity are also regulated by FINRA and the SEC. In turn, broker dealers and registered investment advisors must also adhere to the rules relating to retirement plans, as well as their representatives’ interaction with the investing public. 

Regulatory Compliance

Regulatory Compliance

By Nevin Adams9/28/2014 • 1 Comments

We’re now about a month away from the announcement of the 2015 limits — but not so far away that we can’t speculate about whether we’re likely to see increases in some of the annually adjusted limits next year.

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By NAPA Net Staff9/19/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS has issued some much-anticipated clarity on Roth 401(k) distributions, and on cash balance plans as well.

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By John Iekel9/16/2014 • 0 Comments

It’s only September, but the end of the 2014 plan year is fast approaching. That means more than compiling data for information reporting and preparing for the 2015 plan year — it also means providing notices to plan participants before New Year’s Eve.

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By Nevin Adams9/12/2014 • 0 Comments

Pension plan sponsors got some much-anticipated guidance from the IRS on Sept. 11. The good news: The IRS has provided a number of options as part of the guidance on pension funding stabilization under the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HATFA). The bad news: Most plans will only have until the end of the year to choose. 

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By Nevin Adams8/28/2014 • 0 Comments

The Department of Labor has offered some "friendly" advice to the U.S. Supreme Court as it considers a review of a high-profile 401(k) fee case. In a "friend of the Court" amicus brief filing, the DOL said it thinks that the high court should weigh in on the statute of limitations issue presented in Tibble v. Edison -- but not on the issue of reviewing an alleged breach of duty in administering the plan in accordance with its terms. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein8/27/2014 • 0 Comments

Never been examined by the SEC? Get ready. The agency has revved up examinations of firms that have never been reviewed and that are at least three years old, InvestmentNews reports.
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By NAPA Net Staff8/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Got a 401(k) problem? The IRS has an updated “fix it” guide to help. The guide outlines how to find the mistake, as well as how to fix it and avoid it in the future. Here are some of the problems (and solutions) outlined in the updated guide:
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By Nevin Adams8/20/2014 • 0 Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor has published a request for information on the use of brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts and “similar features” in 401(k)-type plans.
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By Nevin Adams8/18/2014 • 0 Comments

How can the fiduciaries of terminated DC plans fulfill their obligations under ERISA to locate missing participants and properly distribute the participants’ account balances? That’s a question the DOL answered in a Field Assistance Bulletin last week.
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By Fred Barstein7/24/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC adopted new rules affecting the $2.6 trillion money market industry July 23, imposing a floating NAV like other mutual funds rather than a fixed $1 value. The purpose of the rules is to alert investors about the risk of investments that were thought to be guaranteed.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

Beware: July 31 is right around the corner. That’s the day by which most plans must file the dreaded and onerous Form 5500. The clock is ticking on filing the form that reports on 2013.  READ MORE

By John Iekel7/14/2014 • 0 Comments

The IRS announced on July 11 that it is withdrawing a proposal it made in 1981 for an amendment to regulations governing IRA rollovers. The proposed amendment to Treas. Reg. § 1.408-4(b)(4)(ii) would have applied the rollover limitation on an IRA-by-IRA basis. 
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By John Iekel7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

A recent settlement agreement announced by the DOL provides plan trustees and advisors with some serious food for thought. As the law firm Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP reports, the $5.25 million settlement ended a suit in which the DOL said the trustee of Sierra Aluminum Company’s ESOP did not do all that it should have to verify the accuracy and credibility of the financial statements and assumptions on which it based its support of the ESOP’s purchase of 3.4 million shares of company stock.  READ MORE

By John Ortman7/11/2014 • 0 Comments

As savvy plan fiduciaries and advisors know, the best way to survive a plan audit is to avoid it in the first place. Once an audit is triggered, however, only the most carefully governed plans can expect a clean bill of health, Bruce Ashton, an attorney with Drinker Biddle & Reath, notes in a recent PLANSPONSOR article. READ MORE

By John Ortman7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

The SEC has released guidance on summary disclosures for mutual funds, recommending the use of “plain English” and advising that the disclosures should not exceed four pages. The guidance lists five “rule and form requirements that, while not exhaustive of the disclosure requirements, are intended to focus funds on providing investors clear and concise disclosure,” including addressing non-principal strategies and risks in the prospectus and avoiding cross-references. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/8/2014 • 0 Comments

In a case that has implications for a new Illinois law limiting state workers’ pension rights, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled July 3 that health care for retired state workers is a constitutionally protected right, reversing a lower court’s ruling.  READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/25/2014 • 0 Comments

Though he left the company he founded years ago, John Bogle of Vanguard fame still makes headlines. The Wall Street Journal reported on a presentation Bogle gave recently calling for a “Federal Retirement Savings Board” that would approve all investments that retirement plans could use and tax limits for the highest-paid executives. Bogle also called IRAs “fragile instruments” because withdrawals are too easy to make, but stopped short of endorsing mandatory retirement savings. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/24/2014 • 0 Comments

Yielding to industry concerns evidenced by 184 comment letters, FINRA withdrew its controversial rule that would have required advisors to disclose bonuses of $100,000 or more to clients. Rule 2243 is expected to resurface later this year after FINRA has had time to digest the comments. The Financial Services Institute supported withdrawal of the rule. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/20/2014 • 0 Comments

Further signaling a broadening focus by the mainstream press on retirement issues other than fees and IRA rollovers, Bloomberg published a wide-ranging article about the history of the DOL’s fiduciary rule and its proponent, Phyllis Borzi. Portraying her as the “Iron Lady” pitted against Wall Street and the considerable leverage it can bring to bear in Washington, the article provides a good summary of the issues and events surrounding the fiduciary rule — but without going into the unintended consequences that the rule in its current form would have on small investors.

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By Fred Barstein6/19/2014 • 0 Comments

As expected, a House budget subcommittee denied the SEC’s request for additional funding to hire more examiners so that it can audit more advisors. The full committee is expected to vote on the subcommittee’s proposed budget by the 4th of July.

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