Thought Leadership

DOL Final Regulations Summary

May 1, 2016

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) imposes high standards of conduct and responsibility on fiduciaries who manage retirement plan assets. Over the past several years, the Department of Labor (DOL) has revised and expanded these rules and released final regulations in early April.

The final rules change how an advisor or service provider becomes a fiduciary under the rules of ERISA. The DOL’s goal was to ensure that fiduciaries would act in their clients’ best interests. Providers of advice are required to provide prudent investment advice or recommendations without regard to their own interests or profits and to charge reasonable fees for their advice. The DOL also closed some gaps where investor relationships, for example between advisors and IRA investors, had previously escaped the ERISA fiduciary standards.


Champagne Letter

September 11, 2015

“I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate… And I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself.” Napoleon Bonaparte

If you listen to the news, you would think that many investors have been seeking solace in bubbly given the rockiness of the financial markets over the past couple of weeks. Then again, if you watch the news too closely, then you probably also thought that the third week of August was a disaster (with 1,000 point moves and all) rather than one that ended positive for domestic equities.


The King Has Left the Building

October 06, 2014

As anyone who has turned on a financial channel over the past week knows, Bill Gross, the proclaimed Bond King, has left PIMCO, a firm he founded and has guided for 40 years, for a new position with Janus Capital. There have been many rumors regarding why he left the firm in such haste, but like any bad breakup, if you weren’t there, you simply cannot know what REALLY happened, nor should the “why” matter, rather “what’s next”, which is the most important element.


Take the Lead in Enrolling Employees in 401k Plans

June 17, 2013

The retirement realities facing Americans are staggering. According to Boston College's Center for Retirement Research, there is an estimated $6.6 trillion deficit between what workers will need versus what they will have to retire. What are some of the reasons for this huge gap? For one, we are living longer than we save for.


Hurricane Sandy, a Black Swan to Remember

November 1, 2012

The effects of a Black Swan event are by definition impossible to predict and therefore, are difficult to prepare for. On Tuesday, October 30, 2012 the East Coast experienced just such an event—and insurers everywhere found out just how unprepared they were to deal with it. Cornerstone helps insurers monitor the risk of their reserve funds. Find out how we can help.


They Were Charging WHAT?

October 29, 2012

Unfortunately, since the dawn of the 401(k) plan, many vendors have been able to hide their fees, turning some into sharks. This summer all of that changed. As of July 1, 2012 new Department of Labor (DOL) rules began requiring vendors serving ERISA-covered retirement plans to disclose all plan fees and expenses, including fees charged to participant accounts. So now that the fee disclosure has been delivered, how do you, as a fiduciary, make sense of it?