When the Department of Labor makes the biggest change to fiduciary responsibilities since 1975, it draws people’s attention. Plan sponsors. Financial advisers. Brokers. Attorneys. Recordkeepers. TPAs. Consultants. The SEC. FINRA. Congress. The list goes on and on.

It should have grabbed your attention. Depending on your role, the new guidance will impact you in different ways. For example, if you oversee a plan under $50 million and use a non-fiduciary broker, you will need a new adviser or your broker will have to make significant changes. If you oversee a larger plan, you will see increased disclosures – many of the “CYA” variety – from your providers. And of course, as a plan participant, you will see differences in the way brokers or advisers may interact with you – and the advice they provide you – if you retire or terminate employment, and are considering a rollover.

Within a couple hours of the DOL’s release of more than 1,000 pages of regulations, prohibited transaction exemptions, and commentary, “experts” around the country were willing to tell us exactly what it all means. That may not be as bad as Congress adopting the provisions of the Affordable Care Act without reading the law, but, well you get the point.

So how do we take all of those pages and make it manageable? How do we make it understandable? We carve it up into pieces. We will endeavor to do that with an upcoming six-part series: “The Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of the Fiduciary Regulation”. We’ll start out of order with the next blog post: “Understanding the Fiduciary Regulation: Why?”


Matt Eickman

Matt Eickman

Full Bio

Matthew loves to write. He also loves to think, though he’s probably a better writer than a thinker. He does not like to be on camera or in videos. This blog will allow him to write, challenge his ability to think, and, from time to time, test him with video blog entries.

He has a unique blend of legal and practical experience that helps us to serve our clients well. On the one hand, he has more than 12 years of private legal practice experience focusing exclusively on employee benefits, including time as a partner in an employee benefits boutique where he has represented clients in front of the DOL and IRS. On the other hand, he holds his FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations and serves as the Director of ERISA Services for Qualified Plan Advisors.

Matthew likes to stay active. He provides fiduciary training, Investment Policy Statement design, and vendor oversight to our clients. He is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section, serving as Chair of the Defined Contribution Plans Subcommittee. He also has been appointed to the IRS TE/GE Gulf States Council and is a frequent speaker on regulatory developments, fiduciary responsibilities, and retirement readiness.

Most importantly, he stays active with his family. His wife, Laura, is the founder of REbeL, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. His three young boys are mixed up in far too many sports, and they enjoy traveling, watching college football, running with Dad, and rooting for the Huskers.
Matt Eickman
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