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DOL Final Regulations on Shareholder Rights in ERISA Plans: New Mandates for Plan Sponsors and Asset Managers

Strafford

Mar. 10, 2021
Recorded Online
Webcast

This CLE webinar will guide employer benefits counsel and fiduciaries on the implications of recent final DOL rules for the exercise of shareholder rights for benefit plans. The panel will discuss various key provisions of the DOL final regulations and potential implications to fiduciaries. The panel will provide a critical analysis of proxy votes, investment duty regulations, issues with pooled vehicles for assets of multiple employee benefit plans, and other items of concern under the final DOL regulations.

On Dec. 11, 2020, the DOL issued a final rule establishing a regulatory framework for private employee benefit plans' fiduciaries when they exercise shareholder rights, including proxy voting. Plan sponsors and fund managers must ensure compliance with the new regulations and alignment with retirees' best interests.

The DOL final rule addresses applying certain ERISA fiduciary duties to the exercise of proxy voting and other shareholder rights for benefit plans. The regulations clarify that fiduciaries are not obligated to vote every proxy or exercise every shareholder right.

Fiduciaries must act solely for the plan's economic interests, considering the costs to the plan, which further solidifies the DOL's shift from a rules-based or prescriptive approach to a principles-based approach to proxy voting guidance.

Listen as our panel discusses recent DOL guidance for private equity in retirement plans, and the final regulations on proxy voting and other shareholder rights, as well as offers strategies and best practices for ERISA counsel and fiduciaries.

Outline

  1. Overview of the final DOL rules for proxy votes and other shareholder powers
  2. Fiduciary obligations of plan sponsors and fund managers
  3. Challenges for pooled vehicles holding assets of multiple employee benefit plans
  4. Best practices for plan sponsors and fund managers

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key provisions of DOL's final regulations for proxy voting and other shareholder rights?
  • What is required of plan sponsors and fund managers under the investment duty regulations?
  • What is the impact on the fiduciary obligations of plan sponsors and fund managers?
  • What issues arise for investment managers for pooled vehicles holding the assets of multiple employee benefit plans?

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