Top Ten Fiduciary Responsibilities

A plan fiduciary plays an important role in the organization’s financial health. Not only do they oversee the fiduciary process, but they identify and serve the best interests of a retirement plan’s participants and beneficiaries. Here are 10 important responsibilities to keep in mind.

  1. Limit liability: As a fiduciary, it is imperative that you understand ERISA so you can keep yourself and your business safe from liability by acting prudently and documenting all Committee activities.
  2. Find the right plan provider: Finding a fiduciary consultant is much more complicated than many realize. The importance in finding the right partner is paramount, as the services provided can guide a committee on ALL aspects of their plan.
  3. Keep costs low: No matter how big your business’s budget, always monitor fees to ensure you are getting the best deal. It is important to know what your recordkeeper fees are, how they are structured, and what services are included. ERISA doesn’t require a Sponsor’s fees to be the cheapest; it requires them to be reasonable. Learn more about Excessive Fees in this short video.
  4. Oversee plan performance: Regularly monitor the performance of the Plan’s underlying investment menu using industry-standard sources of information.
  5. Diversify investments: The investment options offered in your plan should be diversified. This limits financial risk and helps balance risks and rewards.
  6. Educate plan participants: Regardless of position and hierarchy, employees may come to you asking about plan options. A retirement plan provider or fiduciary consultant can work with you and direct you on best practices in providing participant education.
  7. Stay informed: Your role is to know more about your firm’s retirement plan than everyone else, so education is vital. Staying informed can provide the necessary insight to running a plan that is compliant and avoids any litigation concerns.
  8. Avoid personal gain: As a fiduciary, it’s important to distance yourself from any situation that could be perceived as personal gain from the retirement plan.
  9. Monitor participant satisfaction: Evaluate employee satisfaction with the plan. Follow up on complaints, and regularly gauge the plan needs to determine the right time for change.
  10. Ensure employees understand their options and provide plan education.