Keyword: erisa compliance

How RIAs Are Different

A new survey finds that plan sponsors who use RIAs are more likely to hold their fiduciary duties to a higher standard, and that RIAs are significantly more likely to provide certain services to retirement plans than other advisors.   Read More

Recordkeeper Consolidation Would Not Mean Falling Skies

A recent article appearing in the retirement industry press made a bold, but not necessarily accurate, statement about the consolidation of qualified plan recordkeepers and the services they provide. First, the assertion that “rising technology costs, lower fees and increased intellectual capital needed to remain competitive” will lead to consolidation, and will reduce the total number of retirement plan recordkeeping service providers. That much may very well prove to be true. The bold statement came next, claiming that this consolidation “will result in higher fees and worse service.”   Read More

Inside a DOL Audit

Among those advisors lucky enough to have been through a DOL audit, most wish that their clients had been better prepared, with all requested documents and materials gathered ahead of time. In the wake of the 408(b)(2) rules, the DOL’s Philadelphia region recently updated the list of documents that they typically request during an audit. The list is lengthy and although the DOL will typically work with the plan sponsor if additional time is needed to produce the documentation, it’s certainly better to have it ready, which is good practice anyway.   Read More

Why Should Small Business Owners Care About ERISA?

There’s a misconception out there that ERISA compliance is really more important for larger businesses. But the fact of the matter is that ERISA has significant implications for organizations of all sizes. So, Tom Clark of FRA/Plan Tools notes, it’s vital for small business owners and plan administrators to understand five reasons why they need to pay attention to it too.   Read More

DOL Enforcement Update

According to a recent study by Alliance Bernstein, only 63% of all plan sponsors consider themselves to be plan fiduciaries. The cases summarized below highlight the DOL’s commitment to a rigorous enforcement of the law and underscore the need for competent guidance on ERISA compliance. While proactive retirement plan advisors are leveraging new challenges to create opportunities (e.g., educating plan sponsors on requirements, assisting with the implementation and maintenance of policies and procedures, supporting document retention and compliance reporting, etc.), many financial professionals lack the experience or commitment to assist in this regard. Because most plan sponsors rely upon their financial advisor for guidance, he/she may be interviewed as part of the DOL’s investigation.   Read More