Many people are fiduciaries of a retirement plan without even knowing it.
The many ways one can become a fiduciary of an employee-benefit plan include these:
* A document – which doesn’t have to be a “formal” plan document, and could be just a memo or even an e-mail - names you (often by a job title) as a plan administrator, plan manager, claims administrator, committee member, trustee, or other fiduciary.
* Your employer appoints you (sometimes by a job title) as a plan administrator, plan manager, claims administrator, committee member, trustee, or other fiduciary.
* You weren’t appointed to any position concerning the plan, but you participated in a decision about
* a claim under the plan;
* how to operate the plan;
* selecting anyone who provides services concerning the plan;
* getting or using the plan’s money, investments, or rights.
* You explained the plan to someone who could believe that you’re responsible, or that those who are responsible support what you said.
* You have power to appoint any fiduciary (or anyone described above).
* You have power to decide who will have power to appoint a fiduciary.
* You haven’t been granted power to appoint a fiduciary, but you picked someone to “run the plan”.
* You have power to remove someone who’s a fiduciary (or anyone described above).
These are just a few of the many ways that someone who has responsibility for a business or an employer organization can become a fiduciary of an employee-benefit plan.
If you might be a fiduciary, look at If you’re a fiduciary and Why a fiduciary must get a lawyer’s advice.
For more information, contact Fiduciary Guidance Counsel at (215) 732-1552 or send an email.