Representative Engagements: Fiduciary Responsibility

We advise corporate boards and ERISA fiduciaries of the conduct expected of them as plan fiduciaries. We review Form 5500s and accompanying audit reports for appropriate disclosure. We are experienced in obtaining prohibited transaction exemptions from the US Department of Labor. We work closely with consultants, when they are retained to assist fiduciaries concerning plan investments and cost structures, and customize investment policy statements, if they are appropriate for a plan, so that they do not tie fiduciaries into a “one size fits all” pattern that makes them more (not less) vulnerable to litigation.

Representative Engagements include:

Attendance at meetings of 401(k) plan fiduciaries of plan sponsors and appointed committees, including those of two NYSE-listed companies and a major hospital.

Preparation of investment policy statements for 401(k) and 403(b) plan fiduciaries, and revisions to draft statements when appropriate. Most recently, we have done this for two NYSE-listed corporations, a well-known college, a major hospital, and a number of closely held corporations.

Advise Boards and Committees of tax-exempt organizations of the process to follow to avoid IRC “intermediate sanctions” when negotiating executive contracts.

Advise CPA in DOL investigation of his auditing methodology for ERISA pension benefit plans.

Advise 401(k) and 403(b) plan sponsors of the US Department of Labor rules with respect to uniform disclosure requirements for plan investments.

Advise ESOP sponsor of three closely ESOPs and one ESOP of a NYSE-listed company throughout the entire process of purchasing stock, qualifying sellers for favorable tax treatment, stock allocations, and employee communication.

Obtained prohibited transaction from the US Department of Labor to allow shareholders of a closely-held company to purchase company stock from the IRA of their late father.

Obtaining prohibited transaction exemption from the US Department of Labor to allow a plan sponsor to purchase real estate from the assumed plan of an acquired company after determining this would be in the best interest of participants.