On February 2, the Department of Labor finally issued long-anticipated final regulations requiring retirement-plan service providers to disclose to employer-plan sponsors all of their direct and indirect compensation and potential conflicts of interest. The requirements put both the plan sponsors and investment management fiduciaries (often CFOs) in a conundrum. This is largely because the rules are very cumbersome and difficult to comply with, writes Jeff Mamorsky, and compliance is based on service-provider information that may not be accurate. Moreover, the onus is on the plan sponsor and its investment-management fiduciary to determine the “reasonableness” of service providers’ direct and indirect compensation in order to qualify for the exemption. It’s a tall order, and one that opens up the door for a high margin of error. Here, Mamorsky outlines some of the specific concerns for plan fiduciaries.
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