To meet their responsibilities as plan sponsors, employers need to understand some basic rules, specifically the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). ERISA sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets, called fiduciaries. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has prepared a guide titled Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities, which provides an overview of the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to retirement plans under the law.
The guide addresses the scope of ERISA's protections for private-sector retirement plans. (Public-sector plans and plans sponsored by churches are not covered by ERISA.) It provides a simplified explanation of the law and regulations. It is not a legal interpretation of ERISA, nor is it intended to be a substitute for the advice of a retirement plan professional. Also, the booklet does not cover those provisions of the Federal tax law related to retirement plans.
The publication also is available by calling, toll-free, 1-866-444-EBSA (3272).