PlanPILOT’s involvement with plan governance provides a significant value-add, as we draw on our extensive knowledge of industry best practices, guidance from the DOL, ERISA counsel, and case law to provide foundational documentation and fiduciary training to each of your retirement plan committee members.
In today’s regulatory environment, it is critical to address new risks and challenges through strong governance; however, even the most diligent employers and vendors make mistakes. Since courts focus on procedural prudence, fiduciaries must consider their underlying process, procedure, and documentation when making decisions. In short, your best defense is good plan governance.
Retirement plan governance is about more than just fiduciary responsibility. Plan governance encompasses all of the duties, responsibilities, and actions connected with the establishment and administration of the plan and the management of the plan assets. Case law has made it clear that following a clearly defined process will better position your organization when your decisions are called into question.
Furthermore, good governance generally leads to better outcomes for participants and beneficiaries, and positive outcomes for plan sponsors and fiduciaries in the form of lower risk. For a fiduciary, good governance practices may stand between personal liability and no liability at all.
There are some potentially adverse events, such as economic downturns, Department of Labor (“DOL”) inquiries, participant complaints, and litigation, that plan sponsors will never be able to completely control; however, you and your retirement plan oversight committee are in direct control of your response to these events, and that response should be guided by your governance practices. There is a direct relationship between your ability to demonstrate that you have followed good governance procedures and practices, and the ultimate impact of these potential adverse events.
Our ongoing role in plan governance includes the following services:
- Plan Document Review
- Fiduciary Compliance Checklists
- Document Development
- Record Retention
- Fiduciary Training
- 404(c) Compliance Monitoring
- Service Provider Fee Disclosure ERISA §408(b)(2) Review
- Participant Fee Disclosure ERISA §404(a)(5) Review