Planadviser magazine looked to Monetasm Partner Jake Winegrad as an industry thought leader for retirement plan consulting services, interviewing him about the latest trend of the IRS and DOL giving more attention to the disturbing lack of fiduciary training among committee members.
The Planadviser story reports that, “The vast majority of retirement plan committee members have not received any formal fiduciary training,” and, “This is something the DOL and IRS are now looking for when they’re out conducting an audit: If committee members haven’t had training and don’t understand their responsibilities and potential liability, maybe there are things that are slipping through the cracks that could potentially warrant an investigation and bring in money to those agencies.”
Beyond the legal ramifications, a lack of fiduciary training sets committee members up to fail or to achieve sub-optimal outcomes.
With all of this in mind, Winegrad offered his advice for how other advisors should navigate this issue by giving examples of what he and his team at Moneta already do for their clients:
“Most of all, the key thing committee members need to understand is the fiduciary duty of loyalty to the plan participant. If you look at the litigation happening in the marketplace, what tends to happen is that committee members are making decisions in the best interests of someone other than the participants. You have to make all decisions in the best interests of participants, and you have to document that all decisions are made in the best interests of participants.”
“Have a structured training program: Moneta often gets hired to help plan committees develop structured fiduciary processes, and in those cases it puts together customized training based on a committee’s needs. For other fiduciary training, Moneta uses an Fi360 fiduciary training package as the framework. We do the training, though Fi360 provides the materials.”
“Make it convenient. When not doing customized committee training, Moneta does committee training by offering it online for multiple clients at a time. Besides this being more efficient for Moneta, it can make getting the training more efficient for clients versus having an in-person meeting. We are rolling that out via webinar, to make it easier for people to access. You know how it is: People are strapped for time.
Planadviser ranked Moneta among the nation’s “Top 100 Retirement Plan Advisers” for the third consecutive year. The honor confirms Moneta remains at the top of its peer group within the industry with more than 300 retirement plans under advisement amounting in more than $3.7 billion assets under advisement.
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