New Developments in Retirement Plans and Related Fiduciary Duties
On May 18, 2015 in Tibble v. Edison International, the Supreme Court found that plan fiduciaries have an ongoing fiduciary obligation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to monitor plan investments, a duty separate and apart from the fiduciary’s duty to be careful and sensible when first selecting plan investments. After a year, the US Labor Department (DOL) has released its fiduciary regulatory package which requires financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of the retirement investors, commonly called the fiduciary or conflict of interest rule. Under these changes, the final rule extends the scope of ERISA to vast segments of the retirement market that did not exist at the time of ERISA’s adoption.
In this two-hour LIVE Webcast, a panel of key thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will provide the audience with an overview of the fiduciary fundamentals and will discuss the latest developments in DOL’s recently released fiduciary regulatory package. Speakers will also offer guidance on how to avoid common pitfalls and risks, and review key challenges and updates that plan fiduciaries should know.
Topics to be covered in this course include:
- Fundamental and Functional Fiduciary Issues
- Risks that Plan Fiduciaries Face under ERISA
- Conflict of Interest Regulation
- Tibble v. Edison International
- Compliance and Best Practices
Paul McEwan, CPA, MTax, AIFA, Principal, Director of Benefit Plan Services
Rea & Associates, Inc.
The importance of prudent process for plan fiduciaries
- Getting organized
- Identifying plan fiduciaries
- Educating plan fiduciaries
- Identifying and eliminating conflicts of interest among fiduciaries and service providers
- Reviewing service agreements
- Formalizing the process
- The Investment Policy Statement
- Implementing the process
- Selection of service providers
- Monitoring service providers
- Periodically reviewing reports from service providers
- Periodically measuring performance against expectations
- Periodically reviewing plan fees
Alex Stolyar, Senior Counsel
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
- The core fiduciary duties of (1) care, (2) loyalty, and (3) disclosure.
- How those core fiduciary duties interact with the selection and monitoring of investments.
- The extent to which trustees can delegate their investment management functions, and the analogy to Plan Sponsors.
- The “Prudent Man Rule” (i.e., prudent person standard of care), and the Uniform Prudent Investors Act.
- The extent to which ERISA fiduciary obligations derive from the common law of trusts and examples of same, such as the duty of care in selecting investments, and the duty to regularly monitor investments, as described inTibble v. Edison.
Derek W. Loeser, Senior Member
Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
- In Tibble, the Supreme Court affirmed a concept that really isn’t new: Under ERISA (and its trust law antecedents), fiduciaries cannot just make investments and then turn the other way—nor can they assume investments made by their predecessors are appropriate. If fees and expenses begin to outpace the legitimate services and administrative costs they were meant to cover—or if investments become imprudent or disloyal over time—fiduciaries must do something about it.
- The DOL’s new conflict of interest rule and associated rulemaking makes clear that brokers and others who previously were not otherwise deemed fiduciaries under ERISA must now put the best interest of participants first, disclose conflicts of interest, and be held accountable as fiduciaries when they give “investment advice for a fee” under the second prong of the statute on fiduciary status (ERISA 3(21)(A)(ii)). Assuming it goes into effect, this rule will provide a robust new safeguard against self-dealing and conflicts of interest affecting retirement savers, particularly with respect to IRA rollovers—a multi-trillion-dollar market where transactions are routinely carried out outside of plan-specific fiduciary relationships.
- The DOL’s new rules are under attack from various industry groups who have filed five lawsuits. We’ll take a look at the status of these cases and discuss whether the rule is likely to take effect as scheduled in April 2017.
Who Should Attend:
- Retirement Plan Financial Professionals
- Retirement Plan Practicing Lawyers
- Employee Benefits Attorneys
- Executive Compensation Practicing Lawyers
- Employment and Labor Lawyers
- Compensation and Benefits Consultants
- Plan Sponsors, Fiduciaries and Participants
Alex Stolyar has broad experience in representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all aspects of civil litigation in state court, federal court, and arbitrations, from prefiling through trial and appeal. Throughout his practice, Mr. Stolyar has represented multiple Fortune 500 companies, as well as a major foreign government, and has litigated cases involving a broad range of legal issues, including breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, fraud, RICO, trademark and copyright infringement, employment, probate and commercial real estate disputes.
Mr. Stolyar has served on the board of directors for the Beverly Hills Bar Foundation. He is also a contributing author of California Business Litigation, a two-volume attorney’s handbook published by California Continuing Education of the Bar, and is a frequent presenter on fiduciary duty conflicts and navigating the minefields of fiduciary liability.
Alex Stolyar has broad experience in representing both plaintiffs and defendants in all aspects of civil litigation in state court, …
With nearly 30 years of accounting industry experience, Paul McEwan, CPA, MTax, AIFA, is a principal and the director of benefit plan services at Rea & Associates. He leads the firm’s retirement plan consulting and administration services team and consults with clients on fiduciary best practices related to their qualified retirement plans. Paul also helps clients improve the retirement readiness of their employees through effective plan design and partners with investment advisors to build their retirement plan practices. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from The Ohio State University, and a master’s degree in taxation from the University of Akron. Paul can be reached at 330-339-6651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
With nearly 30 years of accounting industry experience, Paul McEwan, CPA, MTax, AIFA, is a principal and the director of …
Derek Loeser is a senior member of Keller Rohrback’s nationally recognized Complex Litigation Group and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He maintains a national practice prosecuting class action and large scale individual cases, including corporate fraud and misconduct, securities, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), breach of fiduciary duty, and investment mismanagement cases. Derek has served as lead and co-lead counsel in large, complex cases in both state and federal courts around the country.
Before joining Keller Rohrback, Derek served as a law clerk for the Honorable Michael R. Hogan, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon, and was a trial attorney in the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., where he prosecuted individual and class action employment discrimination cases. He is a frequent speaker at national conferences on class actions, ERISA and other complex litigation topics.
Derek Loeser is a senior member of Keller Rohrback’s nationally recognized Complex Litigation Group and a member of the firm’s …
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Method of Presentation:
Experience in finance or in HR & benefits work
NASBA Field of Study:
Finance - Technical
NY Category of CLE Credit:
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About Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leader in representing both funds and founders in disputes typically arising in the aftermath of purchase and sale transactions. The disputes are inherently intense, personal and emotional. The issues are typically numerous, from wide-ranging allegations of fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, theft of confidential information, breaches of noncompetition agreements, minority oppression, abuse of control and usurpation of corporate opportunities. Akin Gump has broad experience representing some of the world’s most successful funds and businesspersons in fiduciary litigation matters.
We have guided leading funds through multiple suits against founders of companies in which they have purchased a significant share of stock or assets. We routinely advise clients regarding duties of disclosure of information to partners, members and shareholders, as well as control and change in control issues, management rights and other issues. Our team also provides litigation counseling, reviewing transaction documents with a specific eye to potential litigation and liability avoidance issues.
About Rea & Associates, Inc.
Rea & Associates, Inc. is a Top 100 CPA and consulting firm with nearly 240 bright professionals in 11 offices throughout Ohio. Since 1938, Rea has provided a wide range of accounting services to businesses, individuals with means and those with dreams. Today, the firm is the go-to resource for thousands of businesses and individuals nationwide. Rea offers a brighter way to its clients in the construction, government, healthcare, manufacturing, oil & gas and not-for-profit industries – as well as family businesses – through innovative accounting, audit, tax and consulting services. For more information about Rea & Associates, please call 614.889.8725 or visit www.reacpa.com.
About Keller Rohrback L.L.P.
Keller Rohrback L.L.P. serves as lead and co-lead counsel in class actions and large-scale individual actions throughout the country. With offices in New York, Seattle, Phoenix, Ronan, Oakland, and Santa Barbara, KR’s Complex Litigation Group is proud to offer its expertise to clients nationwide. KR’s trial lawyers have obtained judgments and settlements on behalf of clients in excess of seven billion dollars.