News & Analysis as of

The Ambushed Fiduciary: Does Authority over a Corporate Account Cross the Line?

Corporate officers can wear two hats under ERISA: the corporate officer hat or the ERISA fiduciary hat. Actions taken wearing the corporate officer hat are traditionally not fiduciary functions. The courts recognize...more

A Good Plan Sponsor is the key to a Good Retirement Plan

I was a fit at my old law firm sort of like how my son’s toddler clothes fit him at age 7. I wasn’t a good fit because I didn’t take myself too seriously, I tried to push for flat fee billing, and I tried to break down...more

Proactive Steps Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Take

Retirement plan sponsors have a lot of headaches and liability because of their role as plan fiduciaries. They can sit back and do nothing, thereby increasing their potential liability. They can also be proactive and take...more

Fourth Circuit Adds Even More Complexity to Benefit Plan Fiduciaries' Role

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Dudenhoeffer decision demonstrated that benefit plan fiduciaries are definitely in the litigation spotlight, and that they should exercise caution to avoid fiduciary liability in garden-variety...more

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their...more

The Reckless Fiduciary: When Are Imprudent U.S. Fiduciaries Liable For Plan Losses?

“A pure heart and an empty head are not enough.” This is a quote from an early case defining the scope of ERISA fiduciary liability. However, ERISA has always made fiduciaries responsible only for losses caused by their...more

Fiduciary Notice Obligations Associated with Change of Carriers

This case discusses the fiduciary obligation of plan administrators to inform participants in advance of ERISA’s statutory notice periods regarding the potential impact caused by a change of life insurance carrier under a...more

The Law Firm Review

Plan Sponsors' Misconceptions About Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure. There are many. To me, there is no greater television show than Seinfeld because it's timeless and there is something about each episode that...more

Fees are only part of a 401(k) Plan’s problem

10 years before I went on my own and started my own practice, I started The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. It was a side venture, kind of an attempt to see if I can start my own practice without actually having to leave my day job....more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

Some plan sponsors will only “get it” when it’s too late

I talk to a lot of advisors and I have many advisor clients around the country and one of the things that I keep on hearing is that even with fee disclosure regulations almost 2 years later, it is still difficult to get...more

The proposed Fiduciary Rule and the selling of Fear

I’m a Howard Stern fan since I was about 11. I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I love that brand of humor. One of the main producers of funny materials are guys by the name of Sal & Richard. Aside from their phony calls, they...more

No Country for Lousy Retirement Plans

In the movie, No Country for Old Men, the hit man Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) confronts Carson Wells (who was also trying to recover the same money Chigurh was after) in his hotel room. Before killing...more

Advisors Advantage

Do you have it? It will determine whether you'll be a big hit or not. When it comes to being a retirement plan provider and selling your services, you have to have it. Those who have it, succeed. Those who don't,...more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

End of Year Tips For Retirement Plan Sponsors

With the Holiday season about to start, we know that the end of the year will soon follow. While plan participants maybe more concerned about holiday shopping or the firm’s annual holiday party, it’s a great and necessary...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

U.S. Department of Labor Provides a Reminder to Plan Sponsors and Committees of Certain Fiduciary Responsibilities

Some mutual funds (and possibly other funds) that are made available by a 401k plan for investment by its participants may make payments to the plan's record-keeper (and perhaps other service providers) for certain services...more

The Sixth Circuit Reminds Claim Administrators Of The Dangers Of A Breach of Fiduciary Duty When Handling Plan Assets

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq., was passed with the goal of protecting plan assets so that those assets would be available for plan participants and beneficiaries. See...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors: This is Your Wake Up Call

Anytime I travel, I ask for a wake up call even though my IPhone will blare “The Godfather Waltz” around the same time because you can never be too careful in getting up in the morning. When I travel around the country to...more

DOL Clarifies Revenue Sharing Fiduciary Responsibility Issues

Advisory opinion on "plan asset" issue lays out factors for fiduciary consideration. On July 3, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Advisory Opinion 2013-03A, which discusses whether a bookkeeping account for...more

Employer’s Excuses Why They Don’t Look At Their Retirement Plan And Why They’re Wrong

As an ERISA attorney with a national practice of plan sponsor and retirement plan provider clients around the country (cheap plug here), I hear many excuses as to why plan sponsors don’t want to take a look at their...more

Another 10 Major Misconceptions Plan Sponsors Have About Their Retirement Plans

Throughout history, there have been misconceptions that people believe in (even until this day) despite the evidence to the contrary. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow didn’t start the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and Benito Mussolini didn’t...more

DOL Clarifies Application of ERISA Rules to Cleared Swaps

New guidance defers to the Dodd-Frank/CFTC framework for regulating the swaps clearing process. On February 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an advisory opinion on the application of the ERISA fiduciary rules...more

Indalex: What Are the Pension Implications?

On February 1, 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada released its much anticipated decision in Sun Indalex Finance, LLC v. United Steelworkers, a case which pitted the claims of pensioners against those of secured creditors in...more

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