DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed: Future Still Remains Unclear

On April 4th, th2017_COLA_limitse Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it would be delaying the applicability date of its Conflict of Interest Rule (also known as the Fiduciary Rule) by 60 days. This moves the applicability date of the rule back from April 10th to June 9th.

Next, the DOL will be considering whether to leave the rule unchanged, to revise the rule, or to rescind the rule all together. It’s unclear whether this determination can be made within 60 days or whether the DOL will pursue an additional delay in the applicability date. Continue reading

IRS Makes Prompt Correction of Elective Deferral Errors Less Expensive

As anyone who deals with the administration of qualified retirement plans knows, mistakes happen.  This is a fact that the IRS is well aware of, and the last thing that the Service wants to do is harm participants by disqualifying their company’s retirement plan.  For this reason, the IRS has established the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”).  This system allows plan administrators to make voluntary corrections without risking disqualification of their plan. Continue reading

Quick Compensation Primer – The Basics

July 2018 Update:

When you’re a fiduciary of a retirement plan, understanding the basics of plan administration is one of the most critical and essential functions of your duties to oversee the plan. Below you will find information on how your plan design defines three basic compensation types that you should be aware of.

Having confidence that your plan meets compliance standards gives you the opportunity to spend your time focusing on plan performance in high impact areas, such as providing an outperforming investment lineup, lowering plan fees, and improving your workforces’ retirement readiness. Continue reading

Will the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule Change Affect You as a Plan Sponsor?

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has submitted their final draft of the proposed fiduciary rule to the Office of Management and Budget for final review and approval.  This means that the final rule is likely to be published within the next several months. Continue reading

Why the Results of Tibble V Edison Should Not Concern the “Well-Educated Plan Fiduciary”

There has been a lot of national press over the recent Supreme Court Case Tibble V Edison, which involves the question as to whether a plan fiduciary has an ongoing duty to monitor a plan’s investments.

The basic facts of the case are as follows: Continue reading

Locating Missing Participants – Much Appreciated DOL Guidance

In Summer 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) updated its guidance for plan administrators making distributions to participants in terminated defined contribution plans. Among other information,1  Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (FAB) provides the minimum steps a plan fiduciary must make in order to locate missing participants.

Continue reading

A Guide to Fiduciary Prudence, Part 4: Establishing and Operating a Committee Meeting To Ensure ERISA Compliance

In continuation of our fiduciary prudence series, the next issue of importance in complying with one’s duties as a plan fiduciary should be establishing and maintaining a retirement plan committee. The following questions will be answered in this blog post:

1. How can a retirement plan committee help manage the fiduciary oversight of a plan?
2. Who makes a good retirement plan committee member?
3. What should a committee meeting agenda be comprised of and how should committee meetings be properly memorialized?

So let the fiduciary governance discussions begin!

How can a Retirement Plan Committee help manage the fiduciary oversight of the plan?

As you may know, serving as a plan fiduciary can be a daunting task, one with a lot of risks and requirements. In fact, there are so many requirements and such a concern of risk, that one common way to reduce the fiduciary burden on one individual is by spreading the wealth of duties to other qualified individuals through the formation of a retirement plan committee. Continue reading

Are you worried about compliance reviews?

People don’t always act rationally. You’ve, no doubt, experienced this reality many times in life. It will come as no surprise then to learn that retirement plan governance is not exempt from this proverb.

A recently released survey from Towers Watson (and reported on planadviser.com) says that 80% of defined benefit and defined contribution plan sponsors identified regulatory compliance as a top risk over the next two years; however, only one in four (26%) conduct regular compliance reviews.

Proper plan administration is so complex that it is virtually impossible to avoid every regulatory misstep. On-going compliance reviews are essential to identifying mistakes and correcting them timely. Conducting compliance reviews require time, energy and focus. We all struggle to find time, are usually tired as a result and therefore lose focus. So it’s really no wonder that so many plan sponsors irrationally worry about something that they do nothing about.

For those charged with running retirement plans worth millions and millions of dollars and hundreds or thousands of employees, it simply isn’t a risk worth taking. For your sake, your company’s sake, and the sake of all of the employees, take the time and commit to a regular compliance review. Seeking compliance guidance can be an enormous benefit in preparing for reviews.

It isn’t particularly rational to be seriously concerned about something and then fail to address it.

But, you knew that already.

PCI’s archived blog entries are dated, the rules and statutes referenced may have changed. The analysis or guidance within these blog entries may have become stale, dated, or no longer accurate. PCI will not update or change these entries to reflect the latest analysis or development.