Category Archives: Fiduciary updates

Arnerich Massena Publishes New White Paper: Keeping College Affordable: How to Fund Public University Obligations in a Low-return Environment

Arnerich Massena’s newest white paper, Keeping College Affordable: How to Fund Public University Obligations in a Low-return Environment, examines the drastic decrease in public funding for state universities, asking the question: what can public colleges do to keep college affordable, and find the dollars they need to fund not only ongoing operations, but future investment as well? This paper takes a look at how to recoup those funding losses through strategies in spending, fundraising, and investment. Read more »

Legislative Updates: Third Quarter 2018

Student Loan Repayment Benefit Approved by IRS in Private Letter Ruling

On August 17, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a Private Letter Ruling (PLR) approving employer 401(k) matching contributions based on an employee making student loan payments. The PLR approves a benefit for a workforce that is increasingly burdened with student loan debt, and is the latest in an overarching effort of government and employers to help relieve this burden. Read more »

Senior Consultant James Ellis Moderating a Panel at P&I DC West Conference

Arnerich Massena senior consultant James Ellis, CFA, will be moderating a panel at the upcoming Pensions & Investments West Coast Defined Contribution Conference. The conference, running from October 21 to October 23 in San Diego, CA, will help keep plan sponsors up to date on DC industry trends and best practices. The event will kick off with keynote speaker Joseph Coughlin from MIT discussing longevity economics and how “the new business of old age will change retirement and financial services.” Read more »

Legislative Updates: Second Quarter 2018


On June 21, 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit officially vacated the Department of Labor’s (DOL) 2016 fiduciary rule in its entirety, including the related prohibited transaction exemptions and the Best Interest Contract (BIC) exemption. The Court held that the DOL exceeded its rulemaking authority under ERISA in enacting the rule. Read more »

Arnerich Massena Publishes New White Paper – Retirement Plan Best Practices: Participant Education

Arnerich Massena is pleased to announce the publication of a new white paper, Retirement Plan Best Practices: Participant Education. This paper is the last of a five-part series outlining retirement plan best practices; the series includes Plan Governance, Plan Design, Investment Menu Construction, and Plan Monitoring, and now concludes by covering participant education. Participant Education examines best practices for a plan sponsor in designing education and engagement programs to improve participants’ financial wellness and long-term retirement outcomes. Read more »

Why Go Discretionary?

The number of discretionary consulting arrangements used by plan sponsors has more than doubled since 2011.1 The trend, also called outsourced chief investment officer (OCIO) or a 3(38) arrangement (referring to the applicable section of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), has increased as plan sponsors look for ways to reduce fiduciary liability, increase decision-making efficiency, and rely on their investment consultant’s expertise. What is the difference between a traditional, or 3(21) consulting arrangement, and a 3(38) discretionary arrangement, and why would a plan sponsor choose to go discretionary?

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The DOL Reminds ERISA Fiduciaries That Economic Considerations Must Come Before ESG

In the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01, guidance encouraged plan sponsors to incorporate into their plans economically targeted investments (ETIs), investments that are selected, in part, for the social and/or environmental benefits they provide in addition to the investment return. Now, a new Field Assistance Bulletin, No. 2018-01, reminds fiduciaries that economic considerations must take priority over any collateral environmental or social benefits. Fiduciaries may not sacrifice investment return or take on additional investment risk in order to pursue environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in an investment. Read more »

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Overturns the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) fiduciary rule passed in 2016, but has met with numerous obstacles and delays throughout its implementation. On March 15, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it completely, ruling that it represents overreach by the Department of Labor. The decision, which reversed an earlier district court ruling in favor of the regulation, states that the DOL exceeded its statutory authority in issuing the rule. The new ruling suggests that oversight of this issue should fall under the purview of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Read more »