Health and retirement plan sponsors and fiduciaries must know their fiduciary responsibilities under ERISA. Health and retirement plan documents must specifically indicate who the fiduciaries are for the plans. More likely than not, the plan document designates the sponsor as the plan administrator and the investment fiduciary of the plan. Plan sponsors often, incorrectly, assume that the fiduciaries of the employee benefits plans are the third party administrator or the investment broker.
Check your plan documents. If they designate the employer or any of its employees as the Plan Administrator or Investment Fiduciary, then the Department of Labor (DOL) considers it part of the employer’s responsibility to educate and train these fiduciaries on their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). The DOL is offering its training course live on August 2 in Little Rock and will provide guidance on the following ERISA duties and responsibilities and ways to correct for :
- Understanding your plan and your responsibilities;
- Carefully selecting and monitoring service providers;
- Making contributions on time;
- Avoiding prohibited transactions; and
- Making appropriate disclosures to plan participants and filing annual reports to the government on time.
It is highly recommended that plan sponsors and fiduciaries attend this course to better understand their responsibilities under ERISA. Information on the course and registration can be found at: https://www.dol.gov/ebsa/fiduciaryeducation.html .