With the fiduciary rule coming down the pike in April, people ask me what the next big thing to shake up the retirement plan industry will be. I’m no soothsayer, but I think there will be a couple of areas that the Department of Labor (DOL) will probably take a look at.
I think one area that the DOL is going to factor on is trying to get plan participants who direct their own investments in a 401(k) plan more education and/or investment advice to help them make informed investment decisions. With the new fiduciary rule, I expect that investment advice will be easier for plan sponsors to provide.
The second area is multiple employer plans (MEPs). I believe that the DOL will correct their error from 2012 and make it easier for Open MEPs to function because it would be easier to cover employees in 401(k) plans by making it easier for employers to offer them 401(k) plans without all of the liability that goes with it.
I’m sure that people will say that the Trump presidency will put a kibosh on any type of retirement plan reform, but the fact is that positive change in the retirement plan industry has happened under both Republican and Democrat administrations.