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As an employer and sponsor of a retirement plan, your company has a fiduciary duty to its participants. This duty is the highest standard of care in law and requires you to carry out duties prudently and in the best interest of the plan participants and their beneficiaries. This includes determining appropriate plan design provisions, keeping up with legislative changes, selecting service providers at a reasonable cost, making certain your plan is administered properly, selecting and monitoring investments, and educating plan participants. A retirement plan can be a wonderful tool to recruit new employees and to retain and motivate current employees to work harder and remain loyal to an employer by helping them achieve their retirement dreams.
How do you know if your company is meeting its obligations? What are the criteria and how do you select service providers or investment advisers? How do you know if your plan is successful? Does your company have the knowledge and resources to fulfill its responsibilities under the law? How do you know if you are in compliance with all the new disclosure and related regulations?
Unless your company has employees with specific knowledge in the retirement plan and investment areas, you should consider hiring a fiduciary plan adviser. This will enable you as a fiduciary to protect yourself from liability as much as legally allowed and can help your employees get the most from their retirement plan. For more information on meeting your obligations as a retirement plan fiduciary, go to: http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/fiduciaryresponsibility.html
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