On June 28, our qualified retirement plan consultant, Maha Ahmed, attended a special retirement plan symposium sponsored by Federated Investors.
Led by an attorney team from Morgan Lewis, the panel discussed ways in which plan sponsors (employers who offer retirement plans) can defend themselves against allegations of fiduciary breach.
The panel stressed that retirement plan sponsors have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their plan participants (their employees). In the past decade, there’s been a notable increase in litigation against the sponsors of very large plans. Moreover, the Department of Labor continues to target qualified retirement plans for audits.
One of the ways sponsors can protect themselves is by using experienced investment advisors to assist them in managing their plan.
An experienced financial advisor can help the plan adhere to its investment policy statement. An advisor can relieve some (but not all) of the fiduciary burdens from a plan sponsor, such as conducting ongoing due diligence on investment managers.
Of course, hiring an advisor is not a guarantee that the sponsor will be free from liability, especially if the sponsor doesn’t follow the advisor’s recommendations.
A qualified retirement plan can help your business save a significant amount of money in taxes and attract highly qualified employees. The best way to manage the benefits with the potential liability is to make sure you have top notch professionals working on your side. In today’s litigious environment, you can’t afford anything else.