Fiduciary Liability Management


According to ERISA, a “fiduciary” is a person or entity using discretion in administering or managing a plan or controlling the plan’s assets. A plan’s fiduciaries will ordinarily include the trustee, investment advisors, all individuals exercising discretion in the administration of the plan, all members of a plan’s administrative committee (if it has such a committee), and those who select committee officials. The duty to act prudently is one of a fiduciary’s central responsibilities under ERISA. These responsibilities include:

  • Acting solely in the interest of plan participants and their beneficiaries and with the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to them:
    • Carrying out their duties prudently
    • Following the plan documents
    • Diversifying plan investments
    • Paying only reasonable plan expenses

With these fiduciary responsibilities, there is also potential liability. Fiduciaries who do not follow the basic standards of conduct may be personally liable to restore any losses to the plan, or to restore any profits made through improper use of the plan’s assets resulting from their actions.

However, fiduciaries can limit their liability in certain situations. Bridgehaven Fiduciary Partners offers a broad range of services to assist plan sponsors in navigating their fiduciary responsibilities. These services include:

  • Act as a fiduciary as defined in Section 3(21) or Section 3(38) of ERISA
  • Assistance developing an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)
  • Investment search and recommendation
  • Performance reporting
  • Service provider search
  • Plan fee benchmarking
  • Plan fiduciary meeting support
  • Employee education meetings