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    Member-Exclusive News, Resources and Events


    April 15, 2015

    In This Issue

    Happy April 15th! News and Resources You May Have Missed During Busy Season

    Leg/Reg Update: DOL Proposed Fiduciary Rule Released

    Bob Veres Media Reviews: Paying for Tuition Trumps Retirement Savings

    CPA/PFS Corner: Upcoming Summer PFS Exam and Exam Preparation Options

    Other News: April Inside Info; Q1 PFP Trends Survey on Retirement Results



    PFP News & Resources


    Happy April 15th! News and Resources You May Have Missed During Busy Season


    For those of you involved in tax season, congratulations for making it through the first phase of the 2015 tax season! Here's a recap of some key member resources and news you may have missed during tax season.


    If you weren't able to keep up with your weekly PFP News during busy season, visit to see what member resources were added this year, and remember to take advantage of your core PFP/PFS benefits, including Forefield alerts, Inside Information newsletters and media reviews from Bob Veres, practice management and technical guides and more. Additionally, recordings from the 2015 Advanced PFP Conference are available (free to registered attendees; for purchase for others) at

    Our 2015 webcast calendar has taken shape over the past 2 months and the topics, dates, speakers and registration links (where available) are posted on our site and under the "Events" column of PFP News. In 2015 and beyond, PFP/PFS members will receive 4 complimentary CPE accredited PFP Section-sponsored webcasts on an annual basis; a selection of events will be free without CPE and the remainder will be offered to members with discounted CPE. Note that recordings and presentation materials from all PFP Section-sponsored webcasts are posted to our library of events for members after the live events.

    We will be expanding learning opportunities by hosting more podcasts in 2015. Stay tuned for future editions of PFP News for more information.

    Even though the first phase of tax season is (almost) behind you, there are still relevant resources to utilize post-busy season at, including the Tax Return for PFP Checklist, which can help you identify financial planning opportunities from your clients' tax returns, and the Personal Financial Outlook, which can be used to assess and summarize a client's financial situation.

    For those members interesting in transitioning from tax compliance to personal financial planning, see the "Events" column of PFP News for the archives and upcoming rebroadcast of the "Tax Preparer to Financial Planner: The Road Best Traveled" webcast series.



    Leg/Reg Update: DOL Proposed Fiduciary Rule Released


    Yesterday, the OMB publicly released the Department of Labor’s long-awaited proposed rule to amend the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), strengthening standards for individuals providing investment advice to a retirement plan, its participants or beneficiaries. This proposed rule replaces a similar proposal by the DOL from 2010. There is a 75-day comment period, followed by a public hearing with the record reopened for comment after the hearing.

    Major provisions of the rule include:


    The proposed rule clarifies and rationalizes the definition of fiduciary investment advice. Specifically, a fiduciary is any individual (including brokers, RIAs, insurance agents or other types of advisers) receiving compensation for providing investment advice for consideration in making retirement investment decisions that are individualized to, or specifically directed to, an employee benefit plan, plan fiduciary, participant or beneficiary.

    The proposed rule creates specific carve-outs for particular types of communications that are best understood as non-fiduciary in nature, such as order-taking. For example, it creates a “seller’s carve-out” which would not treat arm’s length transactions where there is generally no expectation of fiduciary investment advice as fiduciary advice, provided that the carve-out’s specific conditions are met. It creates carve-outs for general retirement education, sales pitches to plan fiduciaries with financial expertise, and other carve-outs, provided the conditions outlined in the rule are met.

    Generally, individuals providing fiduciary investment advice may not receive payments creating conflicts of interest without a prohibited transaction exemption. The DOL is proposing new and revised exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA and the Code that are broad, principles-based, and adaptable to changing business practices.

    The “best interest contract exemption” would allow an adviser and firm to receive commissions and revenue sharing provided that they (among other requirements) expressly agree to provide advice that is in the “best interest” of the advice recipient. The firm must have adopted policies and procedures reasonably designed to mitigate any harmful impacts of conflicts of interest, and disclose basic information on their conflicts and the cost of their advice.

    The “principal transaction exemption” would allow advisers to recommend certain fixed-income securities and sell them to the investor from the adviser’s own inventory, as long as the adviser adheres to the exemption’s consumer-protective conditions.

    The DOL is also requesting comments on a “low-fee exemption” that would allow firms to accept payments that would otherwise be deemed conflicted when recommending the lowest-fee products in a given product class.


    Read a fact sheet and FAQs from the DOL on the proposed rule, which includes information on how this rule differs from the 2010 proposal.



    Bob Veres Media Reviews


    Bob Veres Media Reviews are designed to save you hours of reading time each month -- giving you time for more productive activities.  Read Bob's write-ups of articles in April's Financial Advisor magazine, including:


    "Paying for Tuition Trumps Retirement Savings, Survey Finds" by Staff

    "A Smooth Transition" by Roy Diliberto (Succession Planning)

    "What Makes Orion So Special?" by Joel Bruckenstein (Technology)

    "The Next Rung" by Dan Jamieson (B/D Survey)

    "So, Who Are You Calling An 'Advisor?'" by Dick Wagner


    Access other editions of media reviews, Inside Information and e-columns.



    CPA/PFS Corner



    Upcoming PFS Exam
    The summer 2015 PFS exam will be offered June 19 - July 31, 2015 at convenient testing centers located across the country. Learn more at

    June 2015 PFP Boot Camp in Denver, CO
    The AICPA's in-person PFP Boot Camp will be held June 17-19 at the offices of Colorado State Society of CPAs in Denver. To register at the PFP Section discounted price, call the Colorado State Society of CPAs at 303-773-2877. Whether you are preparing for the PFS exam or are interested in refreshing your knowledge in estate, retirement, tax, investment and insurance planning, the PFP Boot Camp will systematically cover the entire PFP body of knowledge in an engaging and practical 3-day class. For more information on all of our PFP Boot Camps, in-person, online, or on-demand, visit



    Other News



    Results from the Q1 AICPA PFP Trends Survey on Retirement
    Results of the Q1 2015 survey on retirement planning concerns are now available at Each quarter, this survey will address trends and issues that CPA financial planners encounter with their clients. The survey results provide data and analysis that CPA financial planners can use to understand trends in the planning industry, enhance relationships with the media and drive awareness of these issues.

    April Inside Information
    The April 2015 edition of Inside Information* from Bob Veres covers creative advisors' advice to control custodial fees in client accounts, the most powerful success factors in the advisory profession explained in simple detail, and a guide to rethinking your pricing model. *Access to Inside Information is a benefit of PFP/PFS membership, which is an individual membership. If your colleagues would like access to this newsletter service, they can either purchase directly from Bob Veres or sign up for PFP membership.





    PFP Section-sponsored webcast recordings and materials are available as part of your PFP/PFS membership and are posted to if you would like to listen again or if you are not able to attend the live event.

    Conference recordings are available at no charge to conference attendees or for purchase to those who weren't able to attend. Recordings from past conferences are available at aicpaconference

    PFP Section-Sponsored Webcasts:
    In addition to the webcasts below, scroll down for information on the rebroadcast of the "Tax Preparer to Financial Planner" series, being held May 21-June 18.

    2015 Taxes: Start Your Money Plan Here
    Consumer Series: Take Charge: Your Money. Your Life.
    April 23, 1-2pm ET
    Free. No CPE available. Invite your clients to this consumer-oriented webcast.

    Maximize Year-Round Productivity with Leading Financial and Tax Planning Strategies
    May 6, 1-2:45pm ET
    Free | Discounted CPE

    Decanting: Understanding the Income, Gift, Estate and GSTT Aspects
    May 12, 1-2:45pm ET
    Free | Discounted CPE

    Expanding the Framework of Safe Withdrawal Rates
    May 20, 1-2:15pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    Practical Planning for Aging and Elder Issues
    June 3, 1-2:45pm ET Registration coming soon.

    Asset Allocation Glidepaths in Retirement
    June 10, 1-2:15pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    Asset Protection Strategies
    July 8 at 1-2:45pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    Practical Planning for Cash-Flows and Withdrawal Strategies in Retirement
    August 5, 1-2:45pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    Navigating Medicare and the Affordable Care Act
    August 19, 1-2:45pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    Planning for Spending in Retirement
    Consumer Series: Take Charge: Your Money. Your Life.
    August 27, 1-2pm ET
    Registration coming soon.
    Free. No CPE available. Invite your clients to this consumer-oriented webcast.

    Aging & Incompetence: When Your Client Has Crossed the Line and What Next?
    September 16, 1-2:45pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    How to Know Wills, Trusts and Other Legal Documents Meet Your Clients' Goals
    October 21, 1-2:45pm ET
    Registration coming soon.

    PFP Series Rebroadcast: From Tax Preparer to Financial Planner: The Road Best Traveled
    Register for the entire series or individual sessions. Archived sessions (without CPE) are available free to PFP/PFS members on our website. The rebroadcasts offers discounted CPE for PFP/PFS members; a subject matter expert will be available during the rebroadcast to answer questions.

    Understanding the Value of Personal Financial Planning
    May 21, 1-2:45pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    Moving from Tax Planning to Integrated Financial Planning
    May 28, 1-2:15pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    The Practical Side of Investment Planning
    June 2, 1-2:45pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    The Practical Side of Estate Planning
    June 4, 1-2:30pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    The Practical Side of Retirement Planning
    June 9, 1-2:30pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    The Practical Side of Risk Management and Insurance Planning
    June 11, 1-2:30pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    Comprehensive PFP Case Study
    June 18, 1-3:15pm ET
    Discounted CPE.

    Other AICPA Webcasts:

    Tax Power Hour: Annual Tax Season Debrief
    April 23, 1-2:34pm ET
    Free | Discounted CPE

    Upcoming Conferences:

    Tax Strategies for the High-Income Individual
    May 18-19
    Aria, Las Vegas
    Live | Virtual
    PFP/PFS members save an additional $100 on the early bird AICPA member price.

    Practitioners Symposium and Tech+
    June 7-10
    Orlando, FL
    Register. PFP/PFS members save an additional $100 on the early bird AICPA member price.

    Advanced Estate Planning
    July 20-22
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Live | Virtual
    PFP/PFS members save an additional $100 on the early bird AICPA member price.

    2016 Advanced Personal Financial Planning
    January 18-20
    Bellagio, Las Vegas
    Live | Virtual
    PFP/PFS members save an additional $100 on the early bird AICPA member price.

    Implementing PFP Services: Step-by-Step Plans for Success
    January 16-17, 2016
    Bellagio, Las Vegas
    PFP/PFS members save an additional $100 on the AICPA member price.
    Watch PFP News for registration information.


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