“Where the trustees lack the requisite knowledge, experience and expertise to make the necessary decisions with respect to investments, their fiduciary obligations require them to hire independent professional advisors.”
[Liss v. Smith 991 F. Supp. 278, 297 (S.D.N.Y. 1998)]
A fiduciary is in a position of trust and must act for the benefit of others with a duty of care and loyalty. Under ERISA, a fiduciary is any person who exercises discretionary authority or control over plan assets, administers a plan, or gives investment advice.
As a named co-fiduciary for retirement plans, Karstens Investment Counsel (KIC) helps plan sponsors fulfill these basic duties of a fiduciary:
- Acting solely in the interests of participants and beneficiaries
- Carrying out their duties prudently
- Monitoring of reasonable and necessary expenses of the plan
- Following the terms of the plan document
- Diversifying plan investments
- Not engaging in prohibited transactions
We establish a process to meet these basic fiduciary duties by:
- Assisting the plan sponsor in preparing a comprehensive Investment Policy Statement (IPS) for the plan; the IPS will include the plan purpose, objectives, and responsibilities, as well as identify asset classes and establish investment selection and monitoring criteria
- Assisting the plan sponsor in establishing prudent investment industry best practices
- Assisting the plan sponsor in ERISA and participant fee disclosure compliance
- Assisting the plan sponsor in evaluating all fees and fund expenses associated with the plan.
- Embracing our role as co-fiduciary to the plan