If it hasn’t started already, you’ll likely soon be inundated with questions and concerns about the market’s — and your firm’s — response to COVID-19. You may be contacted by plan sponsors, participants and coworkers en masse, all trying to figure out how to best navigate the crisis.
Live-bid benchmarking is a necessity for advisors who want to ensure they’re meeting their fiduciary obligations. But while traditional methods are necessary, they’re not sufficient to meet all the needs of today’s retirement plan advisor.
Economic downturns aren’t good news for anyone, but for plan sponsors and fiduciaries, they can signal double trouble as the harbinger of looming litigation. After the financial meltdown of 2008, the number of 401(k) complaints filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) spiked to a high of 107. The number of new lawsuits dwindled to just two filings in 2013 before rising again. Experts fear the COVID-19 crisis could spawn a rash of new class-action 401(k) lawsuits from participants unhappy with the present state of their investments.
As part of the CARES Act, plan sponsors can now offer coronavirus-related distributions (CRDs) as a means to offer participants greater access to their retirement funds and help deal with hardships associated with COVID-19. This option waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for participants under age 59 1/2 for amounts up to $100,000 on 401(k)s or IRAs taken between January 1 and December 31st of 2020.