Q: We like to keep an eye on trends that could impact retirement for our employees. Is anything new on the horizon these days?
A: Yes, there are some trends to watch, although some have been on our (and probably your) radar for the last few years. The American Retirement Association (ARA) identified seven of them in a September 2018 presentation for ASPPA. Take particular note of litigation over plan fees. Several factors have emerged among plans undergoing fee litigation, according to the presenter, ARA Chief Content Officer Nevin Adams. Plans that hold multi- billions in assets are often targeted, he said, especially those that include retail-class mutual funds. Also under scrutiny are plans with proprietary funds in their investment line-ups; plans that fail to regularly benchmark their plans and investments; those using assets as a basis for recordkeeping charges instead of per-participant fees; and plans that aren’t working with a qualified retirement plan advisor. None of these factors are illegal, of course. But if they apply to your plan, a thorough review of your processes and procedures could be helpful in maintaining the plan’s effectiveness — and keeping fiduciaries out of court. Click here to learn about more trends identified in the presentation.