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Participant-selected RIAs and fee deductions


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Some participants in ERISA plans have hired registered investment advisors (RIAs) to manage their retirement plan accounts -- selecting investments from the plan's menu, rebalancing the investments, considering in-plan and out-of-plan assets collectively, etc.  The plan sponsor/fiduciaries do not endorse any RIAs to plan participants.   Assume that the plan sponsor has permitted RIAs to access participants' accounts, and further, to deduct the RIA's asset management fees directly from the accounts. 

The Deseret Letter  (DOL advisory opinion 2005-23A) does not directly address the fee deductions.  The question is whether the plan fiduciaries will have co-fiduciary responsibility and liability for ensuring that the RIA's fees were reasonable, and if failure to monitor the fees is a breach of fiduciary duty. 

Is there any DOL, IRS, or other guidance on this topic?  Thank you.

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