The Department of Labor (DOL) and an active class-action plaintiffs’ bar are paying close attention to the conduct of plan fiduciaries and the investments made available to plan participants. Among other issues, the DOL is demanding greater transparency with respect to fees paid to various service providers, and is scrutinizing the participation in the decisionmaking process by persons and entities that claim not to be plan fiduciaries. Plan fiduciaries are also under a microscope with respect to their investment choices and decisionmaking processes — and poor choices can often lead to claims of fiduciary liability.
We assist plan sponsors, trustees and investment committees with the development of and adherence to investment policy statements, and regularly provide comprehensive training for plan fiduciaries to help them ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. We also review and provide counsel on plan administrative servicing agreements and investment advisor contracts. We assess alternative investment contracts for appropriateness of investment by pension plans, and negotiate side letters with various investment funds, including limited partnerships, hedge funds and collective trusts.