The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is the federal law that sets minimum standards for retirement plans in the private industry. One way that ERISA protects the assets in your retirement plan is by ensuring that those who have control over their assets meet their responsibilities as fiduciaries. Fiduciaries in Austin may be plan trustees, plan administrators or those who serve on the plan’s investment committee.
A fiduciary’s primary responsibility
ERISA fiduciaries must handle account assets in a manner that meets the interests of the plan beneficiaries, and they must only act in a way that provides benefits and pays necessary expenses. Fiduciaries must be prudent and diversify investments. This minimizes the risk that large sums of plan assets are not wasted.
Fiduciaries also have a duty to avoid conflicts of interests. They cannot enter into transactions on behalf of the plan that benefit other parties connected to the plan including other fiduciaries, service providers or sponsors of the plan.
A fiduciary under ERISA who commits an infraction that violates their role as a fiduciary may be personally responsible for any losses to the plan. This means that they can be held accountable in court for a breach of their duties, and they could even be removed from their role as a fiduciary.
You can seek assistance for ERISA violations
If you have concerns that your plan’s fiduciaries are violating their responsibilities in this role, help is available. Attorneys in Texas understand state and federal law, including the standard of review for ERISA claims and the applicable statutes of limitations. Ultimately, it is important to seek legal advice when it comes to ERISA violations, which this post does not provide.