A published set of uniformly enforced guidelines and specifications is the essential trait of a standard. Examples of published standards abound in many fields including technology, manufacturing, and healthcare. There is a good reason that CFOs and human resource executives are challenged to know how to comply with the fiduciary standard.read more
ERISA retirement plan sponsors are in the midst of dramatic changes in the Department of Labor’s fiduciary rules.
This podcast looks deeply into the causes of the regulatory shifts. Experts in ERISA governance, risk management, and compliance (“GRC”) procedures offer guidance on how CFOs and human resources executives should respond. Special attention is focused on the dramatic new conflict of interest rule.read more
Computerizing Fiduciary Controls is a New Business Reality for ERISA Plans
Recent changes to ERISA make compliance with its fiduciary rules more challenging than at any time since its introduction in 1974. Many organizations that sponsor ERISA plans lack the needed controls and most do not have the means to document their compliance with ERISA’s fiduciary standards of care. Computerization of the fiduciary function is now essential to maintaining employee confidence and avoiding penalties.read more
CFOs and human resource executives grow their skills at the Executive Leadership Forum.read more
Out of necessity, a fiduciary’s performance of their duty will drive interactions with vendors of investment advice and administration services. Those interactions all have the potential to create real or perceived conflicts of interest with the trinity of ERISA fiduciary responsibility…independence, loyalty, and exclusive purpose.
Organizations that sponsor ERISA retirement plans have long struggled with the complexities of their vendors’ fee arrangements. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) blames much of that struggle on an information gap that divides plan managers and vendors.read more
Have you ever been so thirsty on a steamy August day that you drank from a garden hose? Yes, I must admit that I have. I remember falling for this hydration method as a teenager in the midst of my lawn mowing days. It seemed like a good idea at the time, with the temperatures well into the 100s and my mouth feeling as dry as a cotton ball. But after gulping endless amounts of water, my body was unable to process the h2o quickly enough, which led to the worst stomach cramp in the history of stomach cramps. “Where am I going with this?” you may ask.read more
As I sit here reviewing an investment advisory agreement this morning on behalf of one of our ERISA 3(16) clients, I am reminded of the weight of a client’s duties – not just under ERISA – but under the obligations of the many vendor agreements they will sign on behalf of their company’s qualified retirement plan.read more
When faced with such a question, few plan sponsors – and the executives appointed to be Plan Administrators – seem able to answer it with any confidence. As fiduciary consultants we often find that those who feel positive about their status are likely to overestimate their level of protection. Many Plan Administrators operate unaware of what truly creates risk within their plan dynamics.read more
In my work with retirement plan administrators and investment advisors, I often consider what is happening in the food industry across the United States. There is a shift occurring in the food industry. Consumers are realizing that the benefits of “mass production” come at a price.The CONSUMER is now taking BACK control of the conversation and the market has been forced to respond. The same can be said for the qualified plan market. Most qualified plans go unmonitored – much like the diet of the typical U.S. citizen. My dream for the qualified plan market is that it goes organic.read more