Breaking the Code of ERISA Fiduciaries: A Plan Sponsor’s Guide

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When you are purchasing a home computer these days, it can often be confusing if you are not well versed in the jargon. While selecting between a Mac and a PC or a laptop vs. a desktop is easy, the other details can be confusing. What type of processor, how much space the hard drive (or a solid state drive if it’s an Ultrabook) has, how much Gigahertz does it have, as well as gigabytes of memory RAM can lead any layperson crazy. When it comes to retirement plans these days, just as confusing is the different types of fiduciary services that are being offered to plan sponsors like 3(16), 3(21), or 3(38). So while these numbers look like biblical passages, they offer different levels of protection so a plan sponsor may be confused on what they are actually buying. There is nothing worse to assume you are buying a level of fiduciary protection that you are not really getting. So this article is intended to act as a guide for plan sponsors so they can tell the difference between the different levels of fiduciaries so that they can make sure they are getting the liability protection for what they are paying for.

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