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DOL Fiduciary News: September 25, 2017

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Deloitte Survey: Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Are Maximizing Their Fiduciary Responsibility from Oversight to Participant Experience

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Deloitte's 15th "Annual Defined Contribution Benchmarking Survey" found that with current regulatory uncertainty and increasing litigation from plan participants, defined contribution plan sponsors are focusing on their fiduciary responsibilities by shifting investments to lower cost options, utilizing direct fees, and simplifying investment approaches. These actions aim to help participants tackle their future retirement income needs.

With nearly 240 plan sponsors participating, this year's survey indicates an overwhelming push for plan sponsors to determine participant income replacement ratios by conducting retirement readiness assessments.  In fact, 35 percent of plan sponsors are doing so, representing a 23 percentage point increase over Deloitte's last survey.  The evolving legislative landscape, shifting fiduciary responsibilities and efforts by organizations to optimize their human capital balance sheets are factors driving plan sponsors to simplify offerings and help participants adequately manage their retirement income needs.

IRI Wants to ‘Hit the Reset Button’ with Fiduciary Rule [IRI annual conference]

InsuranceNewsNet; September 24, 2017

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- An 18-month delay in the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rule will give proponents of the struggling variable annuity market more time to press for a uniform fiduciary standard and push for a regulatory pause.

That was the view from Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) president and CEO Cathy Weatherford as the IRI prepares to meet for its annual conference. The three-day event begins Sunday at The Breakers.

With sales plunging faster than barometric pressure in a hurricane, insurers furiously retooling product lines and the IRI looking to help advisors with solutions to the longevity risk challenge, this year’s IRI meeting couldn’t come soon enough.

One-Size-Fits-All Doesn’t Apply to VA Market [IRI annual conference]

InsuranceNewsNet; September 24, 2017

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- If the Department of Labor fiduciary rule helped to shrink variable annuity sales, it also pushed the industry to look at itself with fresh eyes.

The one-size-fits-all model no longer applies to the variable annuity market, Insured Retirement Institute president and CEO Cathy Weatherford said. The days of traditional variable annuities with income riders as one of the few solutions for retirement income are long gone.

Weatherford discussed the VA market with InsuranceNewsNet prior to the start of the IRI annual conference, which begins today at The Breakers.

Fee-based and structured, or buffered, variable annuities have come into the market recently, she said. These are variable annuities with lower commission structures and shorter surrender charges. In addition, products with long-term care and hardship riders also have hit the annuity scene.

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