WHAT IS A ‘PLAN SPONSOR’
A Plan Sponsor or any person who exercises discretionary control or authority over plan management, plan assets, or with responsibility for the administration of a plan, are subject to fiduciary responsibilities. The four principles of fiduciary responsibility as set forth in ERISA are:
Exclusive Benefit Rule – Requires fiduciaries to act solely in the best interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries. ERISA clearly sets forth a list of prohibited transactions that fiduciaries must take steps to avoid.
Prudent Man Rule – Requires a plan’s fiduciaries to act with care, prudence, skill and diligence that a knowledgeable person would use in a similar situation.
Adherence to the Plan Document – A contract between the plan sponsor and its participants, the plan document serves as the manual for operating and administering the plan and must be kept in compliance with ERISA, the IRC and applicable regulations.
Diversification of Investment Options – Plan fiduciaries must constantly evaluate the investment options available under the plan and offer a diverse range of investment options to participants through materially different risk and return characteristics.
At Bridgehaven, we strive to provide plan sponsors with the guidance and oversight needed to ensure that they are meeting their fiduciary obligation to plan participants. Our team understands that most plan sponsors and committee members are not experts on ERISA or investment management, and successfully executing their responsibilities can be burdensome. With our help, plan sponsors can substantially alleviate their fiduciary burdens that result from sponsoring a retirement plan subject to ERISA.
We have many white papers covering Retirement Plans.
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- An overview of the fiduciary’s role and frequently asked questions
- The Value of Automatic Enrollment – A strategy for increasing plan participation
- 408(b)(2) Fee Disclosures – What retirement plan sponsors need to know about the regulation
- Participant Disclosure Requirements under 404(a) – Important information regarding participant disclosure regulations
- Reviewing the Investments in Your Retirement Plan – Implementing and following a systematic process to review investments at least annually