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Fiduciary Duties

This page covers the following topics regarding fiduciary duties:

  • Overview 
  • Who Is A Fiduciary? 
  • Named Fiduciary 
  • Wearing Two Hats- Employer vs. Fiduciary Actions 
  • What Is The Significance Of Being A Fiduciary? 
  • Acting Prudently 
  • Following Plan Terms 
  • Diversification 
  • Fiduciary Requirements for Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans 
  • Limiting Liability 
  • Bonding 
  • Additional Information 


Federal law protects plan participants by requiring all who provide retirement investment advice to abide by a "fiduciary" standard. Among other responsibilities, fiduciaries are required to act impartially, provide advice that is in plan sponsors' and plan participants' best interests, and are not permitted to receive payments creating conflicts of interest unless a specific exemption applies.

Who Is A Fiduciary?

Many of the actions involved in operating a plan make the person or entity performing them a fiduciary. Using discretion in administering and managing a plan or controlling the plan’s assets makes that person a fiduciary to the extent of that discretion or control. Thus, fiduciary status is based on the functions performed for the plan, not just a person’s title.

New Definition of "Fiduciary" 

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