The Department of Labor
The individual who makes the investment selection is considered a plan fiduciary. There can be more than one plan fiduciary for a given plan. Fiduciaries are responsible for: (1) acting solely in the best interest of plan participants and beneficiaries. (2) acting exclusively for the purpose of providing plan benefits to participants. (3) following the “prudent person” standard. (4) acting in accordance with the plan documents.
Fiduciary standards related to plan investments include:
(1) developing a statement of investment policy (2) diversifying plan assets. (3) monitoring investment performance (4) monitoring and controlling investment expenses (5) deciding on investment with skill, care and prudence.
A breach of fiduciary duties can result in a large fine.
A participant could potentially sue a plan fiduciary for the poor investment performance or losses in his account. However, employers who comply with the 404(c) regulations, may reduce their potential liability.
DOL Web Pages on the Fiduciary Rules
Compliance Assistance Provides publications and other materials designed to assist employers and employee benefit plan practitioners in understanding and complying with the requirements of ERISA as it applies to the administration of employee pension and health benefit plans.
Protect Your Pension: A Quick Reference Guide Provides an overview of the rules that protect pension plans, including 10 warning signs that your 401(k) contributions are being misused.
Understanding Retirement Plan Fees And Expenses Provides information for asking the right questions to better understand and evaluate the fees and expenses related to your 401(k) plan.
401(k) Plan Fees Disclosure Tool (PDF) Provides employers with a way to get uniform information on fees from prospective plan service providers to make apples to apples comparisons of prospective plan service providers.
What You Should Know About Your Retirement Plan Provides information about ERISA as it pertains to retirement plans.