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3 Types of Fiduciary Risk and Ways to Mitigate Them

Fiduciary responsibility compels plan providers to maintain a safe, fair and prudently managed plan for participants. Advisors should communicate openly to plan sponsors about their responsibilities and risks, which can vary depending on several factors including whether they’re engaged as a 3(21) or 3(38) fiduciary. Here are three types of fiduciary risk that your plan sponsor clients should be aware of, plus some ways to help mitigate them.

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Fortune 500 Firm Neglected Fiduciary Duty

Food manufacturing powerhouse Kellogg was recently sued by a former employee, who alleges that the company failed to meet its fiduciary duty in administrating its 401(k) plan. The suit claims that, since at least 2016, Kellogg allowed excessive recordkeeping and managed account fees to accrue and did not take timely action to keep employee-covered fees reasonable. The lawsuit names the company, its board of directors and two separate committees that helped manage the company’s plan.

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Lady Justice - Litigation Risk

401(k) Litigation Risk Likely to Increase with COVID-19

Economic downturns aren’t good news for anyone, but for plan sponsors and fiduciaries, they can signal double trouble as the harbinger of looming litigation. After the financial meltdown of 2008, the number of 401(k) complaints filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) spiked to a high of 107. The number of new lawsuits dwindled to just two filings in 2013 before rising again. Experts fear the COVID-19 crisis could spawn a rash of new class-action 401(k) lawsuits from participants unhappy with the present state of their investments.

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People discussing the CARES Act.

PlanFees CARES Act Update

On March 27th, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. Watch our video below to learn more from industry-renowned ERISA attorney Joel Shapiro, SVP, RPAG about the impact of this new law on plan sponsors and participants.

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