Highlights include credit unions targeted in a spear phishing campaign, email fraud on the rise, U.S. companies targeted through LinkedIn, and more.
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Know about discriminatory practices to avoid. Federal employment discrimination law does not prohibit employers from requesting or obtaining criminal history information about applicants and employees. However, an employer’s use of such information could result in a claim of discrimination.
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Serving on a board can be rewarding, but it also exposes your personal wealth and assets to potential risk, since board members can be personally liable for the actions (or inactions) of the boards upon which they sit.
Make sure your 2019 employee benefits strategy is aligned with your organization’s long-term goals. Strategic planning can help manage costs while increasing efficiency and productivity in a complex business climate.
A benefit plan must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees (HCEs) and key employees with respect to eligibility, contributions, or benefits. To ensure compliance, all 401(k) plan sponsors should understand the basics of nondiscrimination testing and, considering the complexity of the rules, make sure this critical duty is being done right. Even if a plan sponsor relies on a third-party administrator (TPA) to perform the nondiscrimination testing, the plan sponsor is responsible for the consequences of noncompliance, which could include tax consequences for plan member investments.
Earlier this year, Congress passed (and the President signed) the Bipartisan Budget Act which included several provisions affecting qualified retirement plans. As employers look ahead at planning for a new calendar year, let’s take a moment to discuss the change to hardship distributions employers may consider adopting. New legislation did not change what might constitute an individual hardship, but it does make hardship withdrawals easier to obtain for participants.
Perhaps the best analogy for a robo-advisor is the self-driving car: it’s cool and impressive — sometimes even useful — but in many situations the technology can be incompatible or downright dangerous. Robo-advisors can provide useful advice to the small-balance investor who wants to get pointed in the right direction, but if you are beyond this point, proceed with caution.
On June 9, 2017, the Department of Labor finally permitted the long-awaited fiduciary rule to go into effect. Broadly, the rule fulfilled its initial promise: requiring all financial professionals who offer advice related to retirement savings to provided recommendations that are in an investor’s best interest. But many details still need to be reconciled over the next six months.
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Retirement plan sponsors are only indirectly affected by the fiduciary rule because the rule’s disclosure and compliance obligations fall primarily on the shoulders of investment advisors. But, depending on how the fiduciary rule’s status is resolved, it is possible that plan sponsors may be receiving updates and/or new disclosures from their investment advisors in the future. Plan sponsors should review any updates and disclosures they receive from their investment advisors and consider whether any new information affects their fiduciary duties to the plan participants.
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