Fiduciary Governance

5 Steps to Managing your Retirement Plan Fiduciary Responsibilities

"Under the law, if you have fiduciary authority over your retirement plan, you could be held personally responsible for the plan's financial losses. Your exposure could be up to the full extent of your personal wealth. Protect yourself by protecting your participants. Here's how — in 5 steps."

1) Build upon a solid foundation

  • Develop a comprehensive investment policy statement
  • Maintain a smooth plan operation
  • Understand your basic fiduciary responsibilities

2) Conduct effective regular fiduciary reviews (quarterly, semi-annual or annual)

  • Offer a diversity of investment options
  • Make prudent selections of fund options
  • Ensure that participants are in control of investments
  • Practice ongoing due diligence and monitoring
  • Document meetings with minutes that include decisions and action items
  • Reconcile fees and revenue sharing
  • Conduct annual internal self audit to uncover potential errors or discrepancies

3) Help participants make informed choices

  • What participants need to know
  • Investment education vs. advice
  • Minimum standards of communication
  • Maximizing the value of communications
  • Identifying communications problems
  • Minimize fiduciary exposure

4) Manage service provider relationships

  • Understand what you are paying for
  • Benchmark costs
  • Evaluate fund manager performance
  • Monitor record keepers and third party administrators
  • Monitor your fiduciary advisor/consultant

5) Comply with government regulations

  • Reporting to government agencies
  • Avoiding common mistakes uncovered during audits
  • Potential penalties for non-compliance
  • Important dates for defined contribution plans

Engage Stiles Financial Services, Inc. to be your guide through the rough waters of fiduciary oversight.


Unless otherwise exempted by law, this website, our investment advisory and securities transactional services are only for residents of AZ, CA, CT, FL, IA, MN, NV, NY, OR, TX, WA, and WI. Stiles Financial Services, Inc. is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, a Registered Investment Adviser. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., Member FINRA & SIPC. Cambridge & Stiles Financial Services, Inc. are not affiliated.