New Definition of Fiduciary

As you are aware, in 2016 the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized regulations updating, and expanding, the definition of “fiduciary” in regards to the provision of investment advice. Originally these regulations were set to become applicable in April of this year. The current administration wanted to delay the applicable date to  allow the DOL to fully examine the impact of the new rules. As a result … Continue reading New Definition of Fiduciary

Complying With ERISA 404(c)

According to ERISA, plans intending to comply with 404(c) must provide that participants: Have the opportunity to choose from a broad range of investment alternatives (which are adequately diversified); may direct the investment of their accounts with a frequency which is appropriate; and can obtain sufficient information to make informed investment decisions. The plan sponsor must provide annual written notification to participants with its intent … Continue reading Complying With ERISA 404(c)

Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Plan sponsors are often concerned with the prudence and process of obtaining insurance covering ERISA retirement plan fiduciaries. While fiduciary insurance is an important aspect in mitigating the financial impact of fiduciary litigation, there are a number of additional, important activities that are prudent for fiduciaries to embrace. ERISA fiduciaries are well advised to follow a comprehensive strategy to optimize fiduciary risk mitigation. Other important … Continue reading Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck! – Negotiating Retirement Plan Fees with Your Provider

According to plan sponsors, one of the most harrowing aspects of their fiduciary obligations is to ensure that plan fees are reasonable. From administration and recordkeeping to compliance and investment management, how can a plan sponsor feel assured that they are aware of all plan fees, understand them thoroughly and then determine their fair and reasonableness? It’s quite a task! Best practices dictate the use of … Continue reading Getting the Biggest Bang for Your Buck! – Negotiating Retirement Plan Fees with Your Provider

“Conflict of Interest” or “Fiduciary” Rule: A Plan Sponsor’s Q&A – Part II

Last month we featured the first part of our Q&A series. Now enjoy the final five questions and wrap-up. After years of proposed regulation issuance, comment periods, drafting and anticipation, the Department of Labor (DOL) finally published final guidance regarding the definition of “fiduciary” on April 8, 2016. It is important for plan sponsors to understand the reasoning behind, and the scope of, the final … Continue reading “Conflict of Interest” or “Fiduciary” Rule: A Plan Sponsor’s Q&A – Part II

Organizing Your Fiduciary File

As a plan sponsor and fiduciary of your company’s retirement plan, keeping an up-to-date fiduciary file is critical. To begin, we recommend preparing your file in four key sections; contents of each section could include the following: I. Documents: plan document, IRS determination letter, summary plan description, investment policy statement, 404(c) policy statement and notice, form 5500s; service provider contracts; nondiscrimination test results, corporate tax returns, corporate board … Continue reading Organizing Your Fiduciary File

“Conflict of Interest” or “Fiduciary” Rule: A Plan Sponsor’s Q&A – Part I

After years of proposed regulation issuance, comment periods, drafting and anticipation, the Department of Labor (DOL) finally published final guidance regarding the definition of “fiduciary” on April 8, 2016. It is important for plan sponsors to understand the reasoning behind, and the scope, of the final rules. The following Q&A is meant to assist you in understanding the regulations and how they pertain to you, your plan … Continue reading “Conflict of Interest” or “Fiduciary” Rule: A Plan Sponsor’s Q&A – Part I

404(c), ERISA, Investments

ERISA Fidelity Bond versus Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Plan sponsors often ask, “Is an ERISA fidelity bond the same thing as fiduciary liability insurance?” The answer is no, they are not the same. The two insure different people and have different requirements under the terms of ERISA. An ERISA fidelity bond is required under ERISA Section 412. Its purpose is to protect the plan, and therefore the participants. It does this by ensuring … Continue reading ERISA Fidelity Bond versus Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Retirement Plans, The Labor Management Relations Act of 1947, Taft Hartley Act

Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Plan sponsors are often concerned with the prudence and process of obtaining insurance covering ERISA retirement plan fiduciaries. While fiduciary insurance is an important aspect in mitigating the financial impact of fiduciary litigation, there are a number of additional, important activities that are prudent for fiduciaries to embrace. ERISA fiduciaries are well advised to follow a comprehensive strategy to optimize fiduciary risk mitigation. Other important … Continue reading Fiduciary Liability Insurance

Plan Eligibility

What Constitutes Proper Documentation of Retirement Plan Committee Meetings?

With most retirement plans the fiduciary responsibility of selecting and monitoring the plan’s menu of investments is designated to a retirement plan investment committee. This committee usually includes financial officers and human resources officers of the employer. The committee meets periodically (anywhere from annually to quarterly) to consider agenda items including investment due diligence, fees and services of plan providers, status of plan goals, etc. … Continue reading What Constitutes Proper Documentation of Retirement Plan Committee Meetings?