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Our formal Fiduciary Compliance Review process focuses on five critical areas:

  • Identifying fiduciaries
  • Plan governance
  • Procedural prudence
  • Plan documentation
  • Operational compliance

When you enlist our attorneys to execute a Fiduciary Compliance Review for your organization, addressing each of these areas, the Review will provide specific and explicit recommendations for governing boards and benefit plan committees to mitigate their exposure to fiduciary risks.

Our advice and counsel during the Review process does not end after we provide our recommendations. In addition, our team will support the plan fiduciaries when implementing the recommended changes to plan governance, documentation, procedures and administration, including providing fiduciary training and ongoing maintenance.

Hodgson Russ’s Fiduciary Compliance Review is an essential part of any organization’s risk management and corporate compliance strategy as the current regulatory environment becomes more complex and employers see a rise in proliferating lawsuits targeting benefit plans.

Hodgson Russ’s Fiduciary Compliance Review begins with the completion of a detailed questionnaire, eliciting information regarding each of the five fiduciary compliance categories.

A sample portion of one of the questionnaire sections is set forth below:

Module #1 – Identify employee benefit plan fiduciaries.

  • Who are the individuals named as fiduciaries in the benefit plan documents?
  • Are there officers or managers who are regularly involved in administering the plan?

Organizations engaging with Hodgson Russ in this process can expect a focused review of: 

  • Governance documents,
  • Plan documents,
  • Service provider agreements,
  • Investment policies, and
  • Existing plan administration procedures.

Necessary information also may be obtained through conferences with internal benefits or financial managers and outside plan professionals. Having Hodgson Russ’s employee benefits attorneys conduct this detailed review enables your organization to have the advantage of the attorney client privilege respecting any fiduciary issues uncovered during the review and allows proactive correction and mitigation through legally-sanctioned methods.

Executing Our Recommendations

After the review process has taken place and our specific recommendations have been reported, our attorneys will continue to provide advice and counsel. For example:

  • Drafting resolutions and committee charters to ensure the appropriate delegation of fiduciary authority
  • Providing fiduciary training to committees and individuals charged with undertaking fiduciary responsibilities
  • Working with fiduciaries and investment advisor co-fiduciaries to develop investment and fee policies
  • Correcting plan document or operational compliance concerns 

Ongoing Support

To ensure that your organization stays on the path of fiduciary compliance, our attorneys also provide ongoing support and training, through regular quarterly or semi-annual meetings. In addition, we prepare annual project tracking reports in each of the five fiduciary compliance areas to ensure governance, plan documents, fiduciary procedures and operational compliance issues are identified and addressed.

To get started with your organization’s Fiduciary Compliance Review, you may reach out to the following Employee Benefits attorneys: 

Peter Bradley 716.848.1446

Michael Flanagan 716.848.1480

Richard Kaiser 716.848.1494

Ryan Murphy 716.848.1241

Amy Walters 716.848.1481