Fiduciary Education – The Strategy for Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities

It is unwise to leave your retirement plan on auto-pilot. And due to new regulations, the penalties for doing so are expensive and swift. The first step to avoiding such penalties is to fully understand the requirements of your fiduciary role.

The Challenge: Maximize Plan Success while Minimizing Regulatory Risk

To overcome this challenge, the plan sponsor must first answer two questions:

  1. Who are the plan’s fiduciaries?
  2. What are their responsibilities?

Many sponsors do not know they are responsible as a fiduciary. Even less know that they are held responsible if the plan is a failure.

Fiduciary Education

Plan sponsors are responsible for knowing what is ‘prudent and reasonable’, and for performing general due diligence. They are also required to avoid prohibited transactions and accurately document all transactions. While many of these functions can be outsourced, the liability cannot.

It is imperative that they remain educated on their responsibilities and on the best practices for maintaining a compliant and profitable plan.

Consultative Fiduciary Education Services

Education is the key to managing a compliant and profitable plan, but most education services have the goal of going through the motions of checking boxes, rather than instilling prudent practices customized to your company’s retirement plan. Breaking down the fiduciary role into manageable topics is of utmost importance, and this is where our services stand apart. We are consultants as well as educators.

Our training is not based on a generic, one-size-fits-all approach. We review your plan documents, identify important items and then train your team using your own company’s retirement plan integrated into our course material.

Service Highlights

  • Comprehensive, six-step process to plan success
  • Investment Policy Statement review
  • Plan document review
  • On-site or webinar education opportunities
  • Training material based on your plan design
  • Fiduciary kit complete with checklist and further guidance
  • End of training exam; to test your knowledge and further documentation
  • Certificate awards for completion

Plan Management Education

  • Identify plan goals, objectives and shortfalls
  • Develop and implement an Investment Policy Statement
  • Implement a fiduciary risk management program to document efforts
  • Benchmark your plans expenses and review your provider (optional)
  • Develop an effective participation program
  • Implement an ongoing management process to address critical issues

Five Fiduciary Requirements

We will help you understand and provide a strategy for implementing the five basic requirements of each fiduciary:

  1. Prudence
  2. Loyalty
  3. Exclusive Purpose
  4. Diversification
  5. Adherence

Topics Covered

  • What and who is a Fiduciary?
  • Fiduciary Roles and Responsibilities
  • ERISA Regulations related to Fiduciaries
  • New Disclosure Rules, 408(b)(2)
  • Prohibited Transactions; direct and indirect
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Penalties for failure to comply
  • Best Practices for managing your plan
  • Benchmarking your plan
  • Documentation Requirements
  • Plan Design Issues
  • Investment Policy Issues
  • And more…