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Tips for Employers with Retirement Plans

Understanding fiduciary responsibilities is important for the security of a retirement plan and compliance with the law. The following tips may be a helpful starting point:

  • Have you identified your plan fiduciaries, and are they clear about the extent of their fiduciary responsibilities?
  • If participants make their own investment decisions, have you provided sufficient information for them to exercise control in making those decisions?
  • Are you aware of the schedule to deposit participantsí contributions in the plan, and have you made sure it complies with the law?
  • If you are hiring third-party service providers, have you looked at a number of providers, given each potential provider the same information, and considered whether the fees are reasonable for the services provided?
  • Have you documented the hiring process?
  • Are you prepared to monitor your planís service providers?
  • Have you identified parties-in-interest to the plan and taken steps to monitor transactions with them?
  • Are you aware of the major exemptions under ERISA that permit transactions with parties-in-interest, especially those key for plan operations (such as hiring service providers and making plan loans to participants)?
  • Have you reviewed your plan document in light of current plan operations and made necessary updates? After amending the plan, have you provided participants with an updated SPD or SMM?
  • Do those individuals handling plan funds or other plan property have a fidelity bond?

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