Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marcia Wagner: Plan Sponsor's Duty To Avoid Conflicts of Interest

You'll need to click the above title to be taken to the article by attorney Marcia Wagner (who has a number of great articles). This article speaks mainly to ERISA plans, but all Plan Sponsors should take heed of its contents and follow them.

There are many in this 403(b)/457(b) industry (on the government) side who ignore the existence of ERISA because it doesn't technically apply to them. They don't feel a tinge of guilt when they break nearly every prohibited transaction rule and even find foolish reasons to defend their actions.

There are those in the public arena that take great care to run their plans on a fiduciary basis, unfortunately they are currently in the minority.

My advice if you are reading this article is to keep a copy if you are a plan sponsor or administrator, read it every quarter and distribute it to all that work with you. If you are a participant, print it out and send it to your plan sponsor or administrator - hold them accountable.

We need accountability in this 403(b) world, without it bad things happen to good people. There are some in this industry that profess to be Fiduciaries and then do the exact opposite in private, hoping not to be found out or believing that if they are found out that no one will care. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Scott Dauenhauer, CFP, MSFP, AIF