Fiduciary Health Check – Checklist
With financial markets seemingly out of control, what can you do to take care of your retirement plan? Review this list to ensure you are maximizing your retirement opportunities.
- Make timely contributions – The government says withheld wages become “plan assets” when they can be segregated from company funds. Forward plan assets immediately!
- Follow the terms of the plan – Interpret plan provisions “reasonably and consistently.” Treat all participants the same!
- Understand your responsibilities – Identify plan fiduciaries and provide training and tools for them to>meet their responsibilities.
- Meet frequently – Adopt a formal schedule to ensure the plan sponsor and service providers have a mutual understanding of plan goals and objectives.
- Carefully select plan service providers and investments – Define plan needs, roles and responsibilities, develop measurement standards, and then select based on objective criteria.
- Communicate openly with participants – Plans are for the exclusive benefit of participants. Educate them and notify them of processes used and decisions made. Consider publishing summaries of meetings.
- Monitor service providers – Measure performance vs. established benchmarks, read and understand reports, check fees for accuracy and monitor responses to participant inquiries.
- Formalize your evaluation process – Establish objective performance measurement standards. Make the resulting evaluation reports a standing agenda item for your meetings.
- File timely governmental reports – Understand reporting deadlines. Comply to prevent future problems.
- Maintain accurate records – Accurate records protect all involved. Build a “Fiduciary Due Diligence” file containing all plan documents and records of decision making.
If you can’t check each of these, contact someone for assistance in reviewing and correcting your plan governance procedures – before the IRS or DOL contacts you!.