Retirement Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities

Frost Brown Todd provides advice to employee benefit plan sponsors and other fiduciaries to help them understand and comply with their fiduciary duties regarding their plans, including the highly scrutinized area of managing employee benefit plan assets. We also provide advice regarding fiduciary issues that may apply to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).

Today’s business climate demands that plan sponsors pay close attention to and comply with the often complex fiduciary duties and prohibited transaction rules under both the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code. We assist employers and other fiduciaries with:

  • Interpreting fiduciary rules relating to the payment of plan expenses from plan assets.
  • Minimizing the risk of fiduciary liability in the selection and monitoring of investment options and administering participant investment directions for 401(k) plans.
  • Monitoring fee arrangements with plan vendors.
  • Determining when employee deferrals must be deposited to a 401(k) plan.
  • Analyzing plan asset investments and transactions for compliance with prohibited transaction rules.
  • Advising plan sponsors of compliance issues and correction of issues to minimize fiduciary exposure.
  • Counseling plan sponsors regarding the investment of plan assets in employer stock.
  • Reviewing investment management agreements and establishing effective investment policies and guidelines for asset management in a volatile marketplace.
  • Advising and defending plan sponsors and other fiduciaries in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits.
  • Ensuring that plan fiduciaries have steps and processes in place to not only do the right thing ‘when nobody’s watching’ but also to prove it, if need be.

Technology and social media have resulted in more informed plan participants who are more likely to scrutinize and challenge the actions and decisions of plan sponsors and fiduciaries. Plan sponsors must pay close attention to satisfying their fiduciary obligations and responsibilities to avoid significant financial risk.

FBT’s employee benefits lawyers have not only the technical understanding needed to analyze your thorny fiduciary issues, but also the business sense to properly balance the legal requirements with your business environment. This allows our clients to move their business ahead while minimizing the risks associated with their fiduciary duties.