Our daily roundup of retirement news your clients may be thinking about.

What fiduciary rules could mean for clients

Pre-retirement client are likely to gain considerably from the proposed rules that would require financial advisors to comply with fiduciary standards when providing retirement advice, according to experts. For example, 401(k) participants and IRA investors would no longer be offered to buy investments that are against their best interest, an expert says. However, the proposal could also mean fewer and costly investment choices and less accessibility to quality advice, some analysts argue. -- MarketWatch

Five money milestones for clients to hit while in their 40s

Reaching the age of 40 could mean significant changes, including the fact that retirement is increasingly becoming tangible, according to this article in The Washington Post. As such, clients who are in their 40s must have maxed out their contributions to 401(k) and other retirement accounts. One milestone that they need to have achieved by this time is having retirement savings that amount to three times their annual pay, a financial planner says. -- The Washington Post

The retirement problem that costs Americans $17 billion a year

Retirement investors lose some $17 billion each year from conflicted financial advice as advisors are not bound to observe a fiduciary standard when providing guidance to clients who are investing for their golden years, writes Thomas Perez, the U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Jeff Zients, director of the White House National Economic Council. This practice has to end "as the retirement landscape shifts and fewer Americans have the fallback of a defined benefit pension," they write. The proposed rule that would impose fiduciary duty to financial advisors is a move in the right direction, and the Labor Department will make some revisions based on valid concerns "to streamline and clarify our proposal." -- CNNMoney

These retirement plans have the highest fees

The average expense ratio among funds is significantly lower with bigger 401(k) retirement plans than their smaller counterparts, according to a study by FeeX, a service that calculates the fees in retirement plans. For 401(k) plans with more than 100,000 participants, the expense ratio was 0.27%, while plans with fewer than 100 participants have an expense ratio of 0.87%, the study finds. Although employers with small plans "had good intentions in mind," these firms "don't have the time and resources to invest to find the best 401(k) plan for their employees," says FeeX CEO Yoav Zurel. -- CNBC

Should clients ever spend their retirement money before they retire?

Clients may withdraw from their 401(k) and other retirement accounts before they retire, but such a move could mean a 10% penalty plus tax liability, according to this article on CBS Moneywatch. Those who tap their retirement plans to cover death, disability, education and housing costs are taking "hardship" withdrawals and will be exempt from paying the penalty. Taking a loan could be a better option than withdrawing the retirement funds for some clients. -- CBS Moneywatch

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