External Resources

OCIE Examination Priorities 2015
This document identifies selected 2015 examination priorities of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations of the SEC. Read more here.

The IRA Rollover: 10 Tips to Making a Sound Decision
The largest source of IRA contributions comes from individuals who move their money from their employer sponsored retirement plans such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans when they leave a job. From www.finra.org January 29, 2014. Read more here.

National Exam Program
On January 9, 2014, the National Exam Program published its 2014 examination priorities to communicate with investors and registrants about areas that the staff perceives to have heightened risk. Read more here.

FINRA Examination Priorities
Published by FINRA January 2, 2014. Read the list here.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 13-45
FINRA reminds firms of their responsibilities concerning IRA rollovers, in Regulatory Notice 13-45, published in December 2013. To read the text, click here.

FINRA Report on Conflicts of Interest
To read about this report issued by FINRA in October 2013, click here.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 13-23
FINRA provides guidance on disclosure of fees in communications concerning retail brokerage accounts and IRAs. To read the notice, click here.

GAO Report on IRA Rollovers
The GAO issued a report on IRA rollovers in March 2013. The title is: “401(k) PLANS: Labor and IRS Could Improve the Rollover Process for Participants.” You can find a copy of the 71-page report here.

While the GAO Report recommends a number of changes to improve the rollover process and experience for participants, it is remarkable for the comments that it makes about the IRA rollover services of some providers. For example, at one point, it states: “Plan participants are often subject to biased information and aggressive marketing of IRAs when seeking assistance and information regarding what to do with their 401(k) plan savings when they separate or have separated from employment with the plan sponsor. In many cases, such information and marketing comes from plan service providers.” Look at the portion of the linked report beginning on page 22.

Based on this report and on the response by the DOL, it seems almost certain that the fiduciary advice proposal (that is due in July 2013) will contain provisions that further regulate the IRA rollover process.

Target Date Retirement Funds – Tips for ERISA Plan Fiduciaries The Department of Labor issued guidance in February 2013 about selecting and monitoring target date funds. To read more, click here.

Selecting and Monitoring TDFs
The attached checklist for selecting and monitoring Target Date Funds (TDFs) was developed by members of the American Benefits Council and the Investment Company Institute as a tool to assist fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. It was submitted to Phyllis Borzi, Assistant Secretary of EBSA for use while the Department of Labor prepared to issue similar guidance.  A copy of the March 2010 letter may be viewed here.