Hard times shouldn’t mean soft ERISA compliance

Our friends at Employee Benefit News Legal Alert published one of those "must read" articles. Attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer writes Tough Times Are No Excuse for ERISA Shortcuts.

Ms. Stamer correctly points out that irrespective of the business hardships that plan sponsors are facing, the Department of Labor (DOL) will aggressively pursue enforcement if they perceive that a plan sponsor has failed take the necessary steps to protect plan participants.

Here are three key points she makes:

  1. Many employers don’t understand their fiduciary responsibilities and potential liabilities associated with sponsoring a retirement plan.
  2. Plan sponsors frequently incorrectly assume that they can rely upon retirement plan service providers to ensure that their fiduciary responsibilities are being met.
  3. Plan sponsors in other cases don’t realize that they meet ERISA’s functional definition of a fiduciary.

For comprehensive and understandable resources on what this "fiduciary stuff" is all about, check out The Fiduciary Education Campaign, a compliance assistance initiative of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the DOL agency responsible for fiduciary oversight.

Employee Benefit News Legal Alert is just one of the free resources provided by Employee Benefit News. Here’s a link to check them out.

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