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Fiduciary Compliance

We provide counsel to the fiduciaries to ensure they avoid conflicts and maintain the trust funds in the best interest of the participants and beneficiaries.

Title I of ERISA contains an extraordinarily complex series of fiduciary standards and prohibited transactions. Generally, the fiduciaries of the plan must act in the best interest of the participants and beneficiaries and avoid conflicts of interest.  As if this was not complex enough, the Department of Labor has hundreds of exemptions to these prohibited transaction standards.  Navigating this environment requires in-depth knowledge rules and the details of each plan transaction. 

How our team can help

Our Attorneys feel that routine consultation – at trustee meetings and otherwise – is necessary in order to provide the highest level of legal services. This regular consultation assists the trustees in maintaining fiduciary standards of conduct and carrying out their legal responsibilities to plan participants and beneficiaries. Typically, we work with trustees and plan professionals to ensure compliance with their fiduciary responsibilities by:

  • Maintaining updated plan documents

  • Preparing of investment policy statements and conflicts of interest policies

  • Assisting with compliance with governing plan documents, policies and procedures

  • Maintaining updated vendor agreements and fee disclosures

  • Reviewing administrative expenses for reasonableness

  • Reviewing administrative checks and balances 

  • Reviewing investment consultant/manager monitoring to ensure trustees are meeting prudence requirements

  • Presenting legislative and regulatory developments

  • Advising on conflicts of interest and soliciting conflicts disclosures

Additionally, to protect our Clients against inadvertent errors, we work with the administrator and the broker of record in order to determine the sufficiency of the fiduciary liability coverage. We also review the sufficiency of the ERISA Fidelity Bond to ensure it is compliant with the statutory requirements and that all plan assets held by any fiduciaries have the ERISA required coverage.  We also assist in obtaining cyber liability insurance coverage to protect the participants and assets of the plans.  

We have experience filing Prohibited Transaction Exemptions with the Department of Labor and Private Letter Ruling or Taxpayer Advice Memoranda with the IRS. Our Attorneys are experienced with working through the administrative process required to obtain each of these rulings.  

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