In today’s organizations, many employees are asked to take on multiple roles and responsibilities. This is especially true when considering the management of a corporate retirement plan. To better understand what role each person plays in the management of a 401(k) (or any other corporate retirement plan), we have to understand what roles there are to play.
A previous blog released by Pension Consultants, “DOL Fiduciary Rule is Here – Are You Prepared?” communicated that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Conflicts of Interest Rule (also known as the Fiduciary Rule) would be implemented on June 9th of this year. However, On November 27th, 2017, the DOL announced the Final Fiduciary Ruling will be delayed until July 1st, 2019. Continue reading
As we close out 2017 and enter into 2018, plan sponsors have retirement plan administration deadlines that need to be completed to avoid consequences for the plan. In past years, sponsors have had a significant amount of deadlines to meet before the end of the year. Fortunately, this year there have not been as many legislative changes that require plan amendments.
As a plan fiduciary, you are charged with overseeing plan management with the goal of providing a good plan for your employees.
Plan management includes selecting and monitoring plan investments, selecting and monitoring plan service providers, assisting employees in preparing for a successful retirement, and the administration of the plan.Each area of plan management will require fiduciaries to use discretion that may impact the participants in the plan and their beneficiaries.
If you make decisions regarding the administration of your employer’s retirement plan or its investment choices, then you are a fiduciary to the plan. As a fiduciary, you are charged with making decisions that can impact the employees’ assets in the plan, and ultimately their retirement readiness. Those decisions must be prudent, but they should also drive your plan toward being a good plan. However, you may ask what does it mean for a plan to be a good plan?
In an earlier blog, “DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed: Future Still Remains Unclear,” we communicated that the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Conflict of Interest Rule (also known as the Fiduciary Rule) would become applicable June 9th, 2017. As a result, after today, investment advice providers to retirement savers will become fiduciaries, and the “impartial conduct standards” will become requirements of the related prohibited transaction exemptions. Continue reading
On April 4th, the 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
Protecting the Employer – Part 2
Part 1 of this series looked at the trust law roots of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), focusing on determining who is considered the “settlor” of a retirement plan. Once the individual or group of individuals acting as the settlor of a plan have been identified, it is important to understand what their role is, and equally important what their role is not. Continue reading
Fiduciaries to qualified retirement plans must follow four basic standards of conduct established by ERISA 404(a)(1). These are:
- The duty of loyalty,
- The duty of prudence,
- The duty to diversify, and
- The duty to adhere to plan documents.
As a qualified retirement plan fiduciary, you are entrusted to oversee other peoples’ retirement assets. You make decisions on the services to be offered and the fees incurred. Today there are more media stories, lawsuits and plan audits related to retirement plans than ever before. The big reason? Plan fiduciaries make decisions on how to spend participants’ money.
In their publication, Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities, the Department of Labor states, “An employer should establish and follow a formal review process at reasonable intervals to decide if it wants to continue using the current service providers or look for replacements.”
Can you imagine retirement plan fiduciaries not monitoring the plan’s investments? In the same vein, fiduciaries should monitor their Continue reading