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Retirement Plan Fiduciary Duty

June 12, 2012

New ERISA regulations hold plan fiduciaries personally liable.

Are you a fiduciary of your company’s 401(k), 403(b) or other employee benefit plan? If so, your world has probably been turned upside down by the new fee disclosure regulations issued by the Department of Labor taking effect this year, and their emphasis on fiduciary responsibility regarding these new fee disclosures.

As a plan fiduciary, one very important thing you need to remember regarding fiduciary responsibility under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is that you can be held personally liable for any wrongful acts against your company’s plan. ERISA was enacted to protect the participants in an employee benefit plan and hold fiduciaries accountable to those participants.

The two new fee disclosure regulations affecting the retirement plan community have only highlighted the plan fiduciary role and their responsibilities to the plan. As always, the fiduciaries of the plan are charged with protecting the plan’s participants. Plan fiduciaries must always act in the best interest of the plan. Under the two new regulations, plan fiduciaries are responsible for ensuring the fees being charged to the plan by service providers are reasonable, and that those fees are disclosed both to the fiduciaries of the plan and the plan’s participants.

Stay tuned for the second part of our fee disclosure series as we discuss the service provider disclosure, ERISA 408(b)(2), and your responsibilities regarding this new regulation. For more information visit the employee benefit plan page on our website.

Read Part 2 of our blog series New ERISA 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosure Deadline- July 1, 2012.

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