Supervising Your Plan’s Investment Manager and an Atmosphere of Misinformation
Plan sponsors have a lot on their plate. Not only is the list of Administrative responsibilities exceptionally long, the Trustee side (where investment decisions are made) can be overwhelming when managed properly. Fortunately, the law which governs Retirement Plans - the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA - allows plan sponsors to delegate their responsibility to outside professionals. Not only does delegation save the sponsor time and effort, the icing on the cake is that delegation, to certain providers, also removes any potential liability for the role.
Financial Service Firm 401(k) Sponsors Sued by Own Employees!
As a plan sponsor of a 401(k) plan you know - or at least should know - that decisions you make regarding the plan must be in the best interests of your plan participants. This covers all areas of the plan, including your decisions regarding plan investment options. Unfortunately, it is common (in my opinion) for employers not to devote the time necessary to investment options due diligence and instead rely on the investment suggestions made by the plan’s platform provider.
Re-Enrolling the Enrolled
Employers who hope to positively impact their worker’s lives in retirement know they have a few levers to pull. Getting as many employees as possible into the plan is an obvious step, as is increasing deferral rates, and including the best investment options possible.
But what if you achieve all three objectives through thoughtful plan design and investment selection, yet your employees don’t invest properly? It is a self-directed plan after all.