Handling Fiduciary Responsibility

Choices of providers and even monitors of outsourcers proliferate, but plan sponsors are still stuck with liability.

With expanded 401(k) fee disclosures to employees this summer likely to focus even more attention on retirement plans, plan sponsors may want to review their service providers and the burden of fiduciary liability.

While the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which governs workplace retirement plans, mandates that plan sponsors get outside expert help when they don’t have enough expertise in-house, that doesn’t relieve companies of their fiduciary responsibility. Outsourcing requires vigilance, too.

Meanwhile, Millennium Investment & Retirement Services (MIRA) and Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. recently launched an outsourcing service called Fiduciary Freedom Solutions that will review a retirement plan’s expenses, monitor service providers such as investment managers and record keepers, and review the plan’s tax forms. MIRA and Rosenbaum are initially targeting sponsors with 500 or fewer employees and charging a flat fee, typically about $5,000 a quarter.

James Holland, director of business development for MIRA, says the Millennium/Rosenbaum solution is “a complete outsourcing of the service, with as much legal liability removed as possible.”

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