This booklet will help retirement plan sponsors better understand and evaluate their plan's fees and expenses. While the focus is on fees and expenses involved with 401(k) plans, many of the principles discussed in the booklet also will have application to all types of retirement plans.
Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Offering a retirement plan can be one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, decisions an employer can make. The employees participating in the plan, their beneficiaries, and the employer benefit when a retirement plan is in place. Administering a plan and managing its assets, however, require certain actions and involve specific responsibilities.
To meet their responsibilities as plan sponsors, employers need to understand some basic rules, specifically the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets (called fiduciaries). Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities provides an overview of the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to retirement plans under the law. This booklet addresses the scope of ERISA’s protections for private-sector retirement plans (public-sector plans and plans sponsored by churches are not covered by ERISA). It provides a simplified explanation of the law and regulations. It is not a legal interpretation of ERISA, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the advice of a retirement plan professional. Also, the booklet does not cover those provisions of the Federal tax law related to retirement plans.
To encourage the disclosure and review of more and better information about potential conflicts of interest, the Department of Labor and the SEC have developed the following set of questions to assist plan fiduciaries in evaluating the objectivity of the recommendations provided, or to be provided, by a pension consultant.
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