Mitigate Risk and Gain Peace of Mind With Fiduciary Training

MARCH 7, 2023

Between the continuing uptick in Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation targeting retirement plans and the dozens of new requirements of the SECURE 2.0 Act, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to understand your current fiduciary responsibilities.

Knowing your fiduciary obligations is critical to mitigating risk for your organization and yourself. At the company level, failing to meet all fiduciary requirements can lead to consequences, including exposing the organization to litigation risk ranging from hundreds of thousands to several million dollars. There is also a liability concern at the individual level, as fiduciaries are required to act in the best interest of plan participants.

Fiduciary training is an essential part of the solution.

Training is a Best Practice

The Department of Labor (DOL) considers fiduciary training a critical element of prudent oversight and is increasingly looking for evidence during audits that such training has been provided. Retirement plan administrative committee members are strongly encouraged to receive training on the practices and processes needed to fulfill their fiduciary obligations to plan participants. It is the fiduciary duty of the employer to protect the interests of their employees and retirees in their benefit plans.

Having a clearly documented process for making administrative and investment plan decisions is considered best practice by the DOL – and that process can bring peace of mind to the employers and fiduciaries. The solution to understanding current roles and responsibilities is through fiduciary training and a fiduciary governance self-review.

ERISA fiduciary responsibility imposes a high standard of care and loyalty on the individuals responsible for managing retirement plans.

USI Consulting Group (USICG) helps employers understand their roles and responsibilities by educating them about ERISA fiduciary obligations, developing processes, avoiding conflicts of interest, and maintaining documentation. Equipping your retirement plan committee with comprehensive fiduciary training is essential to minimize fiduciary risk.

USICG provides three levels of fiduciary training:

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Basic plan fiduciary training
Customized plan fiduciary training
Compliance and governance review

Through the training, USICG's experts will provide guidance for understanding fiduciary responsibility, areas of responsibility and best practices to mitigate potential liability.

Case Study: Training Solutions Save Time and Money

Fiduciary training proved advantageous for a USICG client who had appointed a new investment committee for its 403(b) plan. The committee members had limited experience with retirement plans and needed guidance on their roles and responsibilities.USICG provided training that covered these fiduciary basics:

  • Duty of loyalty
  • Duty of prudence
  • Duty to follow plan documents
  • Duty to diversify plan investments

Our fiduciary experts helped the client avoid potentially hefty fines for deficiencies in plan governance under review by the DOL. The training also saved the organization money and human resource staff time by creating plan governance documents and an Investment Policy Statement.1,2

1 Actual results will vary. The use of any stated benefits in this case study is intended for illustrative purposes only and may not be used to predict or project future results.

2 Investment Advice provided by USI Advisors, Inc. Under certain arrangements, securities offered to the Plan through USI Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. 95 Glastonbury Blvd. Suite 102 Glastonbury, CT 06033 860.652.3239 USI Consulting Group is an affiliate company of both USI Advisors, Inc. and USI Securities, Inc.

This information is provided solely for educational purposes and is not to be construed as investment, legal or tax advice. Prior to acting on this information, we recommend that you seek independent advice specific to your situation from a qualified investment/legal/tax professional. | 1023.S0222.0015