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When Should You Claim Your Social Security Benefit?

The SSA highlights some sobering statistics that confirm what studies have shown: most people have not saved enough for retirement. As a result, people are not determining their Social Security benefit timing. Instead, benefits usually begin immediately after gainful employment ends as their savings buffer is limited. For prepared investors, the goal is to make an active decision on benefit commencement.

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DOL Fiduciary Rule Takes Effect

On June 9, 2017, the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule went into effect. The rule, also known as the Conflict of Interest Rule, expands the fiduciary definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In the simplest terms, the DOL Fiduciary Rule will require advisors to put their client’s interests ahead of their own when giving advice to retirement accounts such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Further, any potential conflict of interest must be disclosed along with a clear statement of the fees and commissions received in exchange for the advice.

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Trump Orders DOL to Re-Examine Fiduciary Rule

The future of the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule is in limbo following a memorandum released last Friday by President Trump. While a draft memo released earlier in the day delayed the implementation date by 180 days, the final memo did not contain such language. Rather, the final version of the memo directs the Department of Labor to re-examine the Rule to determine whether it may adversely affect the manner in which American can receive financial advice.

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Brexit Fears Unfounded As EU Exit Could Take Years

Last week’s vote by the British electorate to end its 43-year membership in the European Union seems to have taken just about everybody by surprise, but the aftermath could not have been more predictable. The uncertainty of how, exactly, Europe and Britain will manage a complex divorce over the coming decade sent global markets reeling. London’s blue chip index, the Financial Times Stock Exchange 100, lost 4.4% of its value in one day, while Germany’s DAX market lost more than 7%. The British pound sterling is getting crushed (down 14% against the yen, 10% against the dollar).

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How Long Should Retirement Plan Records Be Retained?

Maintaining an employer-sponsored retirement plan can be an onerous task. With Basic Plan Documents, interim amendments, required restatements, Summary Plan Descriptions, enrollment and beneficiary forms, and federal forms it’s easy to see just how much paper a Human Resources department can accumulate in short order. Before you go off and shred some of those old documents in an effort to clean up your fiduciary file, you should know that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has specific requirements for the retention of records relating to employee benefit plans.

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