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  1. 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.
  2. We started up an Open MEP recently and question the best way to collect fee's on it. Before it was a MEP, the fee's had been paid out of plan assets. We had a base fee and then a per participant fee. A total fee was calculated and then taken based on account balance. Not that it is split, we are now not 100% sure if there are certain fee structures that can't be used. Let's say we have the following company fee structure. For simplicity, a $25 per participant fee. 20 people in company A and 80 in company B. - Total fee is then $2,500. However, Company A has 50% of the assets and Company B has 50% of the assets. Now it's created a situation where even though Company B has created $2,000 of the fee's, it only has to pay for 1,250 of it. Does anyone have past experience with this or know if there is some sort of regulation on how we can charge the fee's then for this case? The company would not want to start paying the fee's - they like to have as much paid by the plan as possible.
  3. I’m interested in learning more about how Plans account for fee disclosure change notices during their transition to a new provider/recordkeeper. As transitions can take a few months to work through Plan details, determine new fees (plan level and individual fees), and finalize how the investments will transfer; it seems having the change notice to participants 30 days prior to their first opportunity to choose investments could be tough. Does anyone have experience with these notices and how you've handled it in the past, specifically when the assets are “mapping” to new investments and the blackout begins about a week prior to the effective date. In this scenario participants wouldn’t have access to their accounts until after the blackout ended.
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