Fiduciary Health Check is a new service from Benefits Plans Plus (BPP) that can help retirement plan sponsors and other fiduciaries fulfill their obligations to plan beneficiaries. Fiduciary Health Check identifies a plan's fiduciaries, determines whether their current structures and practices comply with the standards for private pension plans set by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and recommends best practices to address deficiencies. "We look at plan documents, communications with participants, fee disclosures and overall investment pictures," explains senior consultant Bob Higgins.

Pat Shelton, BPP's partner in charge of best practices, adds that Fiduciary Health Check will help clients reduce their ERISA liability risk by focusing solely on the interests of retirement plan participants and beneficiaries. "If you follow [ERISA's] exclusive benefit rule the only thing you should think about is what you can do for the participants and beneficiaries," he explains, noting: "If fiduciaries take a pure risk management approach, they're not following ERISA. And that's what a lot of companies are doing now, post Enron, post WorldCom."

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