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Brokerage Windows’ Future Unclear

Brokerage windows are relatively rare in most 401(k) plans. Out of the 686 plans surveyed by the Plan Sponsor Council of America in 2012, only 17% of them offered the option. Not So Transparent: Brokerage windows are supposed to provide plan participants with access to a greater variety of investments. However, they can be problematic […]

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ABB 401(k) Plan Participants See PRISM Plan Changes

On February 27, 2014, participants in ABB, Inc.’s 401(k) Plan were sent a letter [available here] telling them that Plan is in the process of removing all Fidelity-managed investment options and switching the Plan’s recordkeeper from Fidelity to Merrill Lynch. The Plan option changes also involve the removal of the Fidelity Freedom Funds, which will […]

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Still More Support for Low-Fee Index Funds

Matthew O’Brien’s recent piece in The Atlantic [available here] provides another insightful commentary on the benefits of passively-managed “index” mutual funds instead of their more expensive actively-managed alternatives. Mr. O’Brien first demonstrates that most actively-managed funds perform worse than the indexes they are trying to beat — and that is particularly so if you include […]

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401(k) Fees- A Threat to Retirement

America’s largest 401(k) provider, Fidelity Investments, reported that average balances in 401(k) Plans has reached a record high of $84,300, largely due to a thriving stock market. According to AARP, 71% of Americans wrongly believe they pay no fees at all.  These plans are not free.  On the contrary, the average total plan cost ranges […]

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Schlichter, Bogard & Denton 401(k) Excessive Fee Claim Against International Paper Granted Preliminary Approval

Schlichter, Bogard & Denton 401(k) Excessive Fee Claim Against  International Paper Granted Preliminary Approval On October 10, 2013, St. Louis law firm Schlichter, Board & Denton obtained preliminary approval of a $30 million settlement with International Paper Company regarding its 401(k) fee class action in Pat Beesley, et al., v. International Paper Company, et al., […]

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Plan Sponsor Council of America Releases 403(b) Plan Survey

The Plan Sponsor Council of America, an association of 1,200 companies who offer retirement plans, released its 2013 403(b) plan survey recently. The survey was sponsored by Principal Financial Group and reports on the 2012 plan-year experience of 573 not-for-profit organizations. The survey underscores that many employers continue to struggle with their fiduciary duties to […]

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401(k) Fees for Mutual Funds at 15 Year Low

According to the Investment Company Institute (“ICI”), a mutual fund industry group, the average expense ratios for equity, bond, and hybrid mutual funds fell to their respective lowest levels in 2012. The ICI arrived at this conclusion by comparing the average expense ratio of each mutual fund category to data it had compiled over the […]

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Mark G. Boyko of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP, Recognized as a 2013 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer Rising Star

Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, LLP is proud to announce that Mark G. Boyko has been recognized as a 2013 Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyer® Rising Star. Super Lawyers® recognizes attorneys who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. This is the second year in a row Mark Boyko has received this award. […]

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Seventh Circuit Favors 401(k) Plan Investors in Dispute Against Lockheed Martin

  On August 7, 2013, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision in Abbott v. Lockheed Martin, unanimously overturning an earlier denial of class certification in a case concerning one of the country’s largest 401(k) plans. Judge Diane Wood, writing for a panel of Judges, ruled that a class could be certified […]

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Employee Protections Regarding Socially Responsible Retirement Plans

Increasingly, 401(k) and 403(b) plans have added socially responsible or environmentally green funds to lineups, as these funds have been increasingly willing to pay kickbacks — called revenue sharing — to plan recordkeepers. To the Department of Labor, these funds are part of a broad category of investments called “economically targeted investments”, which the DOL […]

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