A Pew Charitable Trusts survey shows that only 53% of firms with five to 250 employees offer a retirement plan, with 93% of respondents saying their workers would prefer higher wages or other benefits. The survey authors note underlying trends that suggest recently formed businesses aim to reach a level of financial stability before offering such plans.
Responding to the requirements of the Labor Department's new fiduciary rule, LPL Financial has told its hybrid registered investment advisors they aren't allow to make recommendations on 401(k) rollovers when acting as brokers. The nation's largest independent broker-dealer is adopting an "education-only policy with respect to rollovers," according to a company memo.
Hartford Financial Services said it will move $1.6 billion of pension liability off its books by purchasing a group annuity from Prudential Financial. This is the latest in a steadily growing list of deals in which corporate pension funds transfer pension risks to group annuities.
Bankers Life's rising annuity premiums, largely due to indexed annuity sales, is helping to compensate for falling health premiums, analysts said. Some of the reduction in long-term care premium is a result of the company's move toward short-term care products and more limited benefits.
The recent strong performance of the US stock market has led many advisors and clients to focus their investments domestically, but Dana D'Auria of Symmetry Partners says it may be wise to consider international markets. She notes that patience is key but contends that there are benefits to be derived from overseas diversification.
Nevada's own fiduciary rule was signed law June 2, and state Sen. Aaron Ford, a Democrat, said he has been contacted by lawmakers from other states who are considering a similar move. The legislation is seen as a safeguard against the possible overturn of the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton is set to make his fiscal 2018 budget request to a Senate appropriations subcommittee today, holding it at $1.6 billion, effectively the same level as in 2017. This could entail reduced funding for the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, which could lead to fewer advisor examinations.
Borrowing against a retirement account may be easier than securing another type of loan, but borrowers should be aware of possible taxes and penalties. Dan Caplinger looks at the pros and cons of 401(k) loans.
An AIMA survey finds one-third of alternative-investment industry respondents are uncertain of how to fund research under the EU's revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, but AIMA CEO Jack Inglis says the industry is working diligently to meet MiFID II's January deadline. "Alternative asset managers face further increases in compliance costs, and we will be working hard with members and regulators to ensure concerns are addressed and avoid any fallout in six months' time," Inglis says.
Desire for transparency has increased since the financial crisis, but uncertainty on best practices for transparency exists among asset managers and investors, a Northern Trust survey finds. "As alternative investing has reached the mainstream, the industry would benefit from consistent standards and stronger policies around transparency," says Pete Cherecwich of Northern Trust.
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