Who is a fiduciary? First and foremost, the fiduciary status is based upon the functions performed for the plan, not the title or position. According to Employee Benefits Security Administration publication “Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities” on the Department of Labor’s website, using discretion in administering and managing a plan or controlling plan assets makes a person a fiduciary. They indicate that a plan’s fiduciaries would normally include the trustee, the investment advisers, all individuals exercising control of plan assets or exercising discretion over plan administration, all members of the administration committee and those who select the committee. Attorneys, accountants and actuaries are normally not fiduciaries as long as they are operating in a professional capacity.
The publication goes further to say that the fiduciaries have the following responsibilities:
- Act solely in the interest of the plan participants and their beneficiaries with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them;
- Carrying out their duties prudently;
- Following the Plan Document;
- Diversifying plan investments; and
- Paying only reasonable plan expenses.
Fiduciaries who do not follow the basic rules may be subject to personal liability for any losses to the plan, or to restore any profits made through improper use of plan assets.
Here at Edu4Retirement, Inc. we assist you in maintaining good fiduciary practices. We provide our 401(k) clients a Quarterly Fiduciary Report that review each of the funds and the record keeper. We recommend changes to the fund line-up when the funds currently offered do not meet the specified criteria, and work with the record keeper, and their outside fiduciaries, to carry out those duties.
We provide you, upon request, a breakdown of service provider fees for your review. We work with our qualified retirement plan clients to develop an Investment Policy Statement and a Funding Policy.