Why Hire an ERISA Fiduciary Compliance Consultant
What is An ERISA Compliance Consultant?
An ERISA Compliance Consultant is a third party that is retained to act as a consultant to parties that serve as fiduciaries or serve as service providers to ERISA covered plans. The ERISA Compliance Consultant must be an expert in ERISA and knowledgeable about the duties and responsibilities of ERISA fiduciaries and service providers. An ERISA compliance consultant should be independent of the party in interest that is engaged in the transaction and affiliates. An ERISA Compliance Consultant should be retained when the Plan fiduciaries are considering entering a transaction where there is some uncertainty that the transaction may constitute a violation of ERISA. David M. Kahn has been engaged as an ERISA Compliance Consultant since 2011. David has been retained on numerous cases involving a DOL investigation.
When would an ERISA Compliance Consultant be hired?
Because ERISA sets “prudent person” standards and imposes complex responsibilities and restrictions on Fiduciaries of employee benefit plans, it is important that you seek an expert in this field. Whether a Plan Sponsor is seeking professional advice on their plans and it is voluntary or if they are the subject of a DOL investigation, this is when an ERISA Compliance Consultant is engaged. If you are a Trustee, Plan Sponsor Plan Administrator or a Service Provider of an ERISA covered Plan, it would be in your best interests to engage an ERISA Compliance Consultant for Fiduciary Audits and Compliance Reviews in order to prevent violations before they occur. Most Plan Sponsors are unaware of violations that are occurring in their Plan, and are oftentimes discovered when it is too late, which becomes extremely costly. The following are duties that an ERISA Compliance Consultant is retained for:
Qualified Retirement Plans:
- Fiduciary Audits and Compliance Reviews of ERISA.
- Plan Sponsor has not made contribution on a timely basis.
- Review existing Third Party Administration and Investment Advisers/Managers Agreements.
- Review and approve Real Estate Transactions.
- Review Fee Disclosures from Covered Service Providers to ensure compliance with provisions of ERISA section 408(b).
Health and Welfare Plans:
- Review Administrative Agreements for Third-Party Administration Services
- Review commission structures that self-funded plans pay to brokers.
- Review Operating Agreements and Administrative Agreements and make recommendations regarding fees and operation efficiencies
- Review Plan Documents to ensure compliance with COBRA, HIPAA, and ACA
- Act as an Independent Third Party between the Plan Sponsor, Plan Trustees and DOL when conflicts occur.
What encompasses a Compliance Review and Fiduciary Liability Audit?
ERISA Compliance Consulting Services can assist Plans in satisfying their compliance issues in all aspects of ERISA. In order to assess the Plan’s operations, we analyze the following 4 components of ERISA:
- Reporting and Disclosure under Title I of ERISA.
- Fiduciary responsibility under Title I of ERISA
- Plan vulnerability to ERISA violations.
- Provide assistance in correction of violations in order to limit Internal Revenue Code excise taxes, avoid plan disqualification and limit ERISA section 502(l) and other penalties