One of the natural byproducts of doing a lot of 403(b) work is a necessary familiarity with many of the security law rules which apply to retirement  plans. This familiarity is recently becoming handy on the 401(a) side of our business as well, with the SEC showing an increasing interest in all retirement plans. The DOL, FINRA and the SEC have a growing "commonality of interests" in things like disclosure and advice.

It is striking, though, how separate the securities compliance world is from the ERISA compliance world-though it is a "separation" which will eventually die a natural death. Security practitioners and ERISA practitioners will be getting to know each other well, and probably sooner than later.

So this is my contribution to that effort. The link below brings you an article which describes ERISA compliance for the security law compliance officer. To many of you, this will be very basic, and pretty boring stuff. The securities folks, however, have expressed amazement of some of the basic things I have written about, things which we take for granted.

My article is entitled "SEC’s and DOL’s Cross Agency Waltz: The ERISA Connection to Disclosure, Advice, Compensation and Conflict of Interest ", in the May-June 2009 Issue of the Practical Compliance & Risk Management For the Securities Industry."  It really is impressive how closely correlated these rules of the various "compliance" industries really are.


I’ve been told by a number of readers that the above link is not working well, coming up "garbage." If so, try this link for another PDF version , or write me at and I’ll get you a copy.