The Problems Of 401(k) Plan Provider Contracts

Ary Rosenbaum
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One of the best things to happen to 401(k) plan sponsors was the implementation of fee disclosure rules by the Department of Labor in 2012. Plan sponsors had a fiduciary duty to pay only reasonable plan expenses for services provided and that was an impossibility when they had no idea what their third-party administrator (TPA), financial advisor, and any other plan provider was charging. While plan sponsors now know the price of plan administration, one problem remains and that’s because the Department of Labor (DOL) hasn’t figured this out to be a priority, but they will eventually. The problem is the plan provider contract and so many disputes surround the contract and without some guidance, 401(k) plan sponsors like you may be forced to turn over plan assets or money from your pocket needlessly to a soon to be former plan provider because you don’t have the knowledge to contest. The problem with paying plan assets needlessly to a former plan provider is that a breach of fiduciary duty of its own kind. This article is all about plan provider contracts and what you need to know to avoid a mess.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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