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"To Do" List.

Byline: Nevin E. Adams

Summary paragraph: I've never been much of a list-maker. I've been through all the time-management training classes that emphasize the importance of that focus, but I've always felt the process of putting together "to do" lists just kept me from doing what actually needed to be done. However, shortlists -- or lists that focus on a particular project -- can be extraordinarily useful in helping organize and/or prioritize. These I tend to do on scraps of paper that might be unintelligible to anyone else, and their "shelf life" tends to be rather short. Yet, no matter how agile one's brain is, there is value in that simple physical organization.

It is in that spirit that this month's cover story ( outlines 10 things that you might be doing wrong as a plan fiduciary. Most of these likely aren't on your daily task list -- but they should be on your radar screen.

Something else that is almost certainly on your radar screen is fees. This month's issue looks at the potential impact of expanded participant communication on the subject. "Price Lines," ( this month's Know How, is designed to help participants better understand the elements of those fees. Those curious as to how much your participants know about how much they pay will find this issue's "Survey Says" ( to be an instructive view into what your peers think their participants know.

Speaking of things you want to know, this month's issue also contains a deeper look into the new hot topic of Multiple Employer Plans (, or MEPs. While they have been around for many years, their use picked up when the IRS, in 2002, issued Revenue Procedure 2002-21, ruling that defined contribution plans sponsored by professional employer organizations (PEOs) would be treated as MEPs. As fiduciary concerns grow, these programs look even more compelling to some companies. We focus on five things you'll need to know to make that assessment.

Another burgeoning trend -- and another spurred by concerns about fiduciary liability -- is the hiring of what is called an ERISA 3(38) manager, who takes on fiduciary responsibility for making investment decisions for the plan. That's an appealing notion for many, but there are things to consider. Check out "Going All the Way" ( inside this month's issue. It is also the focus of Fred Reish's column ( this month.

This month, you'll also read why nearly two-thirds of institutional funds utilize exchange-traded funds (ETFs) ( during the transition management process, compared with 38% in 2010, and how one court found that the fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege rule ( extends to communications regarding plan administration between an ERISA trustee and a plan attorney. You'll also discover the growing allure of unconstrained bond strategies in your portfolios. Meanwhile, Mike Barry ( asks if we should pay people to save, and Steve Saxon ( explains why the Supreme Court's recent ruling in the Amara case opens the door for participants to bring claims for money damages based on misleading plan communications.

All this -- and much, much more! Enjoy!

Nominations Open!

Each year, the editors of PLANSPONSOR magazine, the industry's leading resource for pension- and benefits-related news, choose a plan sponsor that demonstrates leadership in providing a more secure retirement for workers. As we have the past several years, we're asking for your help in identifying qualified candidates for the award.

Nominations may be made by providers, advisers, consultants, actuaries, attorneys, third-party administrators, employees, or colleagues. All we need from you is contact information and why you think they are deserving of the award -- and we'll take it from there.

More information and a link to the nomination form are online at (
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Article Type:Editorial
Date:Oct 1, 2011
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