Retirement Plan Fiduciary Duty

News & Analysis as of

Communication is everything

I get along with people for the most part because I make the effort. It’s also a lot easier to function in the retirement plan business when you have more friends than enemies. Unfortunately, there has been a number of...more

Pension Plan Investments: ERISA Fiduciaries May Consider Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Related to Economic Value

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of advisory opinions and interpretive bulletins on “economically targeted investments” (ETIs). These investments are generally defined as...more

Employee Benefits – Do Employers Owe a 401(k) Fiduciary Duty?

Back in July, we discussed how Jed Clampett of Mama’s Fried Pies caused his VP of marketing Elly May to suffer exorbitant taxes due to a deferred bonus that he offered.  This month, Jed finds himself again in the grease with...more

Investment Management Update - October 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Schwab...more

California’s New “Thermal Coal” Divestment Law Forces Fiduciary Duty Question

Public pension funds exist to provide retirement benefits to public employees.  Cal. Const. Art. XVI, § 17(a).  In 1992, the voters of California tried to eliminate political interference with the state’s retirement funds by...more

Are You My Fiduciary? The DOL Takes Aim At A Fiduciary Standard For All Giving Retirement Investment Advice

The Department of Labor is pressing forward in its efforts to impose a fiduciary standard on anyone giving retirement investment advice. A fiduciary standard would require every retirement investment adviser to put the...more

Perspectives - September/October 2015

In a decision in which no opinion commanded a majority, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with a private entity — a charter school operator — in a dispute over the ownership of personal property purchased by the operator with...more

Supreme Court Emphasizes Requirements About Selecting and Monitoring Plan Investments

Plan administrators, investment committees and any other plan fiduciary responsible for selectingthe investment options of an employee benefit plan subject to ERISA should take note of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in...more

Changes In The Money Market Fund Rules: The Fiduciary Response

The SEC’s modifications to the money market fund rules won’t become effective for approximately a year, but plan fiduciaries should already be considering what to do about them.2 Almost certainly, they’ll need to make changes...more

A Summary Plan Description Can be a Plan Document

In a decision issued a couple of years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that a summary plan description that differed from the plan document could not be enforced as the plan document. The Court said that the summary...more

Investing Wisely: Employers Need to Monitor 401(k) Plan Fees

Costly lawsuits filed by employees against their employers come in several varieties, including lawsuits alleging liability because of an employer’s handling of its employee benefit plans. Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme...more

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Monitoring Annuity Providers

The DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2015-02, which provides clarity regarding selection and monitoring of annuity providers for fiduciaries of defined contribution retirement plans. There is a safe harbor regulation...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2015

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Avoid Communication Problems. It's all about relationships and communication. Life is all about relationships, whether it's family, friends, or business. Whether it's starting a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

The Top 7 Concerns for Employee Benefits Administrators

For years, employers have been getting a free pass from the courts for a number of different violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") relating to the operation of retirement, medical,...more

The DOL and the Proposed Fiduciary Rule: A Prediction

Public comments regarding the Department of Labor’s proposed new fiduciary rule were due and the process will continue. I have said all along that the Department of Labor (DOL) will get a new fiduciary rule in place...more

Seeking Guidance In Fiduciary Duty Compliance? Work With Experienced Attorney

In our last post, we spoke about the importance of businesses being aware of their fiduciary responsibilities and establishing solid compliance policies to ensure they are meeting their legal obligations. One area where this...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

United State Supreme Court Confirms ERISA Fiduciary’s Continuing Duty To Monitor Investments

In its Tibble v. Edison International decision the United State Supreme Court confirmed that the scope of an ERISA fiduciary’s duty of prudence continues after initial investments are made and imposes an ongoing duty to...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2015

In This Issue: - How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in the Wheels of Progress - Sometimes It's Just Words - Never...more

How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule

One of my favorite companies is Netflix. The first time I came into contact with them, it was through an offer that was in the box of the first DVD player I bought in 2000. Instead of rentals through Blockbuster or Hollywood...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, Anthony Cacace analyzes the heavily anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015), where the Court held that ERISA's fiduciary duty of...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

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