Tips for Plan Sponsors

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Tips for Plan Sponsors

Understanding fiduciary responsibilities is important for the security of a retirement plan and compliance with the law. The following tips may be a helpful starting point:

  • Have you identified your plan fiduciaries, and are they clear about the extent of their fiduciary responsibilities?
  • If participants make their own investment decisions, have you provided the plan and investment related information participants need to make informed decisions about the management of their individual accounts? Have you provided sufficient information for them to exercise control in making investment decisions?
  • Are you aware of the schedule to deposit participants’ contributions in the plan, and have you made sure it complies with the law?
  • If you are hiring third-party service providers, have you looked at a number of providers, given each potential provider the same information, and considered whether the fees are reasonable for the services provided?
  • Have you documented the hiring process?
  • Are you prepared to monitor your plan’s service providers?
  • Have you identified parties in interest to the plan and taken steps to monitor transactions with them?
  • Are you aware of the major exemptions under ERISA that permit transactions with parties-in-interest, especially those key for plan operations (such as hiring service providers and making plan loans to participants)?
  • Have you reviewed your plan document in light of current plan operations and made necessary updates? After amending the plan, have you provided participants with an updated SPD or SMM?
  • Do those individuals handling plan funds or other plan property have a fidelity bond?