ERISA Fiduciary Issues: A Practice Guide for Advisors
As plan sponsors become aware of the fiduciary responsibilities they have undertaken in sponsoring a retirement plan, they are increasingly turning to advisors to guide and support them in performing their duties.
Although stories of delayed retirement and lost savings have led some members of congress to challenge whether our private employer-sponsored retirement framework should be retained,there has been support for preserving the defined contribution system but with increased attention to those responsible for overseeing the plans and protecting participants’ interests – the plan fiduciaries.
The DOL’s regulatory agenda reflects the intensified focus on the plan fiduciary as the protector of participant rights. The service provider fee disclosure regulations, which became effective July 1, 2012, spotlight the plan sponsor’s fiduciary obligation to prevent excessive fees from eating away at participants’ savings. A separate DOL project is designed to expand the circle of individuals subject to fiduciary duties by expanding the definition of who is a fiduciary as a result of providing investment advice.
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