401(k) plan service providers are not fiduciaries
with respect to their client plans and thus may conceal sources of compensation and engage in conflicts, thereby inflating fees.
While fiduciary norms furnish beneficiaries who entrust others within fiduciary interactions with the means to protect or abuse their interests, the fiduciaries
entrusted by the beneficiaries are furnished with significant disincentives to abuse that trust.
This time, the agency took a more conservative approach and required plan fiduciaries
to vote proxies only if they concluded that the vote would more likely than not result in an increase in the plan's investment relative to the expenses incurred in taking the action.
The three specific types of prohibited transactions for fiduciaries
are engaged in the provision of fiduciary services for or on behalf of a beneficiary or group of beneficiaries.
First, a Fiduciary Program employee can terminate fiduciaries
who misuse funds or fail to follow Fiduciary Program rules and appoint a successor fiduciary at any time.
Part II discusses the problem of fit between private fiduciaries
and public officials.
The NCC limits the fiduciaries
to two categories (the enumeration of the NCC is limitative, in conclusion no other person or institution may become fiduciary): credit institutions, investment companies, financial investment services companies, insurance and reinsurance companies; lawyers and public notaries.
Congress, VA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) and GAO have noted that VA does not always have, or adhere to, effective policies for selecting and monitoring fiduciaries
and therefore, does not fully safeguard the assets of beneficiaries in the Fiduciary Program.
Attorneys, accountants, trust officers, physicians, registered investment advisers, trustees who manage money, and company directors and officers are all fiduciaries
It is important to determine who the fiduciaries
are of any employee benefit plan covered by ERISA because parties who are considered fiduciaries
with respect to the plan have specified duties and responsibilities, must conduct plan business under established standards of care, and are prohibited from engaging or causing the plan to engage in certain transactions under ERISA.
If the overall economic impact on investment returns isn't enough to make plaintiff attorneys cheer, regulatory and legal changes have also helped land today's fiduciaries
in the hot seat.