WRN#18.04.27: SEC Proposes New Regulations for Investment Professionals

Topics: Best interest, Regulation, SEC

Moving more rapidly than was originally anticipated, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed a three-part regulatory package on April 18th, totaling almost 1,000 pages. These proposed changes are aimed at reforming the way that financial professionals serve retail investors, and would apply to producers selling variable annuities and other SEC-regulated securities.


Topics: Best interest, Regulation, SEC

On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed Regulation Best Interest, applicable to brokers and advisors, on a 4-1 vote. The proposal requires broker- dealers to act in the best interest of customers; they cannot put their financial interest ahead of retail customers. The proposal also aims to provide clarity around the fiduciary duties…

WRN#18.03.20: Fifth Circuit Vacates Fiduciary Rule

Topics: DOL, Fiduciary, Regulation

Last week, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision vacating the DOL Fiduciary Rule. The decision is sweeping: it rejects the regulation re-defining fiduciary investment advice, as well as the new prohibited transaction exemptions and modifications to old exemptions adopted along with the regulation.


Topics: DOL, Fiduciary, Regulation

Yesterday, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the DOL’s fiduciary rule in a lawsuit brought by several financial services industry and business organizations. The Department may still appeal the ruling, and the current rule will likely be in effect for several more months at a minimum—May 7th is the earliest date the ruling…


Topics: Estate planning, Estate tax, IRS, Regulation

A U.S. District Court determined that the IRS did not follow applicable published guidance and therefore was not substantially justified in its position in pursuing claims for personal liability against the beneficiaries and fiduciaries for an estate tax deficiency.


Topics: Estate planning

The Mississippi Court of Appeals held that a decedent’s father, as her surviving heir, lacked authority to change the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy owned by decedent on her nephew’s life.


Topics: Charitable giving, Estate planning

The Tax Court held that a business was entitled to a charitable contribution deduction for land sold to a church equal to the difference between the sale price and fair market value of land. The court reasoned that, since the business held the land as a long-term capital asset for investment purposes and not in…


Topics: Congress, Tax reform

After the conversion of a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan, a tax- exempt organization requested a ruling on the effect of a plan amendment that would change the interest rate lookback month for present value determinations with respect to pre-conversion benefits of certain participants.


Topics: DOL, Fiduciary, Regulation

With the DOL revising its fiduciary rule, the SEC planning to propose a uniform standard of care, and an uptick in fiduciary proposals at the state level, there is a lot going on in the regulatory space. AALU continues to work to prevent regulatory agencies from promulgating rules that will make it harder for advisors…

WRN#18.01.17: Divorce Decree Suffices as QDRO Under ERISA to Require Insurance Benefit Payment to Non-Designated Beneficiary

Topics: ERISA, Estate planning, Qualified Plans

A U.S. Court of Appeals held that a separation agreement incorporated into a divorce decree, which required that the parties’ name their daughter as the sole beneficiary of any employer-sponsored life insurance, clearly specified the required information to qualify as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) for purposes of ERISA.