By now it should be apparent the Department of Labor ("DOL") has opened a proverbial can of worms by proposing to expand the category of service providers who will be subject to ERISA's fiduciary standard. Not only has the proposal been met with a tidal wave of negative comments from industry insiders, but Members of Congress from both parties have also weighed in with their objections...
However, while I agree with the DOL's goal, I cannot support its methodology for bringing about this change. Specifically, I believe the proposed rule (as currently drafted) violates the constitutional separation of powers by permitting an executive branch agency to rewrite existing law rather than interpreting the law as it is currently written… Continue Reading
Traditional annuities are inflexible. Period. You get the monthly benefit you pay for. They provide a very valuable benefit which should be part of anyone's retirement planning, but this inflexibility can be scary, as it takes away from the participant the ability to address unexpected contingencies. This fear comes from the second point: the funds used to buy the traditional annuity are gone for good. Other than payments made under a survivor annuity, the traditional annuity doesn't give the participant any access to funds to pay for contingencies, nor does it typically pay a death benefit. So what's a fiduciary to do… Continue Reading
The mantra of Congress, investment advisors and the DOL over the past decade has been consistent: retirement plan assets must be invested in such a way to provide American workers with sufficient assets upon which to actually retire comfortably. This is as basic as apple pie, and a concept with which one can hardly disagree. … Continue Reading