Retirement Plan Fiduciary Duty Benefit Plan Sponsors

News & Analysis as of

Don’t hire relatives as your plan providers

I have some simple rules to live by. I never bet on the Mets, eat at a place called Mom’s, play cards with a guy named Doc, or do business with family. Yet I have come across so many financial advisors who bemoan to me...more

Does the Fiduciary Exception Apply to Legal Advice Received By Insurers During the Claims Process

Seyfarth Synopsis: Adding to the body of conflicting authority on the scope of the attorney-client privilege in ERISA lawsuits, a district court has found that the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applies to...more

Education is an important part of the fiduciary process

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...more

Being a Plan Sponsor is all about the Process

Imagine a diet where it doesn’t matter how much weight you lost. Imagine a golf game that wasn’t about your score. Imagine about a job and not how much money you make. Being a plan sponsor isn’t about a specific result, it’s...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - January 2017

Concepts You May Not Be Aware Of As A 401(k) Plan Sponsor. Quite a few things out there. As a child, I was never taught the birds and the bees. I was actually handed some cartoon book from my parents when I was...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...more

A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law - 2017 Edition

The employee benefits world, with all its legal rules and regulations, is viewed by human resources people, financial people, and for that matter most lawyers, as forbidding territory - the "darkest forest" from the Wizard of...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: Sequoia Fund Litigation

While much of the 401(k) fiduciary litigation in recent years has focused on investment and recordkeeping expenses, a large number of claims filed against 401(k) fiduciaries have alleged that fiduciaries simply made a bad...more

Proof Again That Small Plans and Their Fiduciaries Can Get Sued

I’ve heard of for years on how small 401(k) plans and their plan fiduciaries don’t get sued. While they are never going to be the target for a class action lawsuit because they don’t have enough assets to justify an ERISA...more

Dear Plan Sponsors, it’s about Reasonableness

Thanks to fee disclosure regulation and litigation against plan sponsors, plan sponsors are focusing on the costs of administering their plan. That’s great, but there’s a problem because of the focus. A study recently shows...more

401(k) Plan Fee Litigation Update

The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401(k) plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401(k) plan fees and expenses....more

Face facts: Retirement Plan Sponsors Only Seek Help When They Need It

When I was at that semi-prestigious law firm many moons ago, I developed this plan review called the Retirement Plan Tune-Up. I’d look at the plan document, plan design, costs, the Fiduciary process, basically anything that...more

Are HR employees ‘investment advisors’ under the DOL’s fiduciary rule?

In April 2016, the Department of Labor promulgated final regulations that fundamentally changed the ERISA fiduciary rules governing advisors to retirement income investors. Though the rule is final, the new provisions...more

ERISA Fiduciary Issues for Plan Sponsors: What Do 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need to Know About Revenue Sharing?

Retirement plan revenue sharing has a bad reputation. Numerous lawsuits have been filed during the past year against employers that sponsor 401(k) plans alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - September 2016 #2

How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Can Improve Their Plan At Little Cost. It doesn't have to cost much. There are many ways that a retirement plan sponsor can improve their 401(k) plan, but they usually balk when it comes...more

Top US Universities Hit with Retirement Plan Lawsuits: Lessons for Plan Sponsors

The recent wave of 403(b) lawsuits against more than a dozen prominent US universities could herald similar suits for other 403(b) plan sponsors. Plan sponsors can minimize their risk by reviewing their plan governance...more

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Part 1 - An Overview

In this 6-Part Series, we're going to be exploring the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule which was published in April. This Series will not only explore the legislation itself, but also its impact. ...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

Big Fish and Service Provider Lawsuits

It seems like every week, there is another major lawsuit against a plan sponsor and one of their service providers. Allegations of impropriety are just allegations until decided by a trier of fact of whether they are...more

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2016

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Deal With The Fiduciary Rule Change. Adapt to this change. At its prime, Blockbuster Video had 9,000 stores and was actually bought by Viacom in 1994 for $8.4 billion. Then some...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - July 2016

The Future Is Now For 401(k) Plan Sponsors. The future is here. When I was the head ERISA attorney at a New York based third party administrator (TPA), I left because I saw the future of the retirement plan...more

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule—Considerations for Plan Sponsors

The final rule has implications for plan sponsors and may impact certain relationships with service providers. On April 6, after a long (and some might say tortured) process, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a...more

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