Tag Archives: fiduciary law

“At the Pleading Stage”: An Analysis of the Seventh Circuit’s Reconsideration of Hughes v. Northwestern University

by James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP Board EmeritusTM AWMA®  The Seventh Circuit’s recent decision1 in Hughes v. Northwestern University simply reinforces my opinion that there is definitely a trend going on in 401(k) and 403(b) litigation, a trend reinforcing … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, SCOTUS, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Humble Arithmetic” and the Future of 401(k) Litigation

By James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP Board EmeritusTM, AWMATM Fortunately, there is currently a case pending in the 10th Circuit, the Matney case, which may go a long way in resolving two of the primary issues that continue to … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

401(k) InvestSense: Focus on Fiduciary Process Over Product

By James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP Board Emeritus™, AWMA® People often ask me what is the most common mistake that plan sponsors make, The answer is simple-assuming unnecessary fiduciary liability exposure by focusing on product rather than process. Actually, … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, Annuities, best interest, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brotherston Revisited: Will the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals “Fix” the Ongoing 401(k) SNAFU?

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored” – Aldous Huxley  In 2018, the First Circuit handed down its decision in Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC.1 The decision is arguably the best analysis of the applicable fiduciary standards … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, closet index funds, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, Reg BI, retirement planning, retirement plans, SCOTUS, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

4Q 2022 AMVR “Cheat Sheets”: Correlation of Returns, “Closet Indexing,” and Fiduciary Liability

James W. Watkins, III, J.D., CFP Board EmeritusTM, AWMATM First, note the new URL address. After years of having to explain the old “iainsight.wordpress.com” URL, we finally worked with WordPress to accomplish the re-branding. Kudos to WordPress for working with … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, closet index funds, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, ERISA, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, SEC, securities, securities compliance, trust realtionships, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

401(k) Litigation Trends to Watch in 2023

I am often asked what I see as the current trends in 401(k) and what fiduciary risk management steps plan sponsors should consider in order to reduce any potential fiduciary risk exposure. With the end of the year approaching, now … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, SCOTUS, securities compliance, Supreme Court | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Annuities, SECURE 2.0, and Fiduciary Law

While there has been much speculation and anticipation about the possible passage of SECURE 2.0, the recent events involving cryptocurrency, reportedly a major component of SECURE 2.0, appears to make its passage before the end of the year doubtful. The … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, Annuities, compliance, cost-efficiency, elderly investment fraud, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement planning, retirement plans, risk management, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What If They Are Wrong?: How Court Decisions Impact 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Sponsors’ Fiduciary Risk Management Decisions

As an attorney and a fiduciary risk management consultant, my first thought when SCOTUS announced its decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University1 (Northwestern) was the renewed potential fiduciary risk liability for the plan sponsors. During the oral arguments, SCOTUS was … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, compliance, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Will Tell the Plan Sponsors?: The Truth About the Looming Fiduciary Liability Trap in 401(k) and 403(b) Litigation

I have been reading a number of articles from some very impressive law firms suggesting that the attorneys for 401(k)/403(b) firms should file combine motions to dismiss with motions for summary judgment in order to deny plan participants from obtaining … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, AMVR, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, pension plans, plan advisers, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement plans, risk management, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Target Date Funds Have Now Become the Targets of 401(k) Litigation (Part 2)

In my last post, I analyzed the popular Fidelity Freedom Active Suite and Fidelity Freedom Index target date funds. The Fidelity Freedom and TIAA-CREF Lifestyle target date funds are arguably the two most popular groups of target date funds in … Continue reading

Posted in 401k, 401k compliance, 401k investments, 401k plan design, 401k risk management, 403b, Active Management Value Ratio, compliance, consumer protection, cost consciousness, cost efficient, cost-efficiency, Cost_Efficiency, ERISA, ERISA litigation, fiduciary compliance, fiduciary duty, fiduciary law, fiduciary liability, fiduciary liability, Fiduciary prudence, fiduciary prudence, fiduciary responsibility, fiduciary risk management, fiduciary standard, investment advisers, investments, Mutual funds, pension plans, plan sponsors, prudence, retirement planning, retirement plans, risk management, wealth management, wealth preservation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment