Adviser Shares Checklist for 403(b) Fiduciary Best Practices

June 15, 2012 ( – At the recent PLANSPONSOR National Conference, an adviser shared fiduciary best practices for 403(b) plans.

David S. Hinderstein, founder of Strategic Retirement Group, Inc., shared the following checklist: 

  • Governance: 
    • Board resolution to establish retirement plan committee 
    • Plan committee in place 
    • Defined roles/bylaws 
    • Committee members 
    • Scheduled meetings 
  • Investment Policy: 
    • Written policy in place 
    • Content of policy: 
      • Goals/objectives 
      • Asset classes/benchmarks 
      • Procedures for hiring/firing managers 
      • Fund evaluation process/watch list 
  • Utilization of advisers: 
    • Independent/objective advisers 
    • Defined responsibilities 
    • Written contract 
    • Auditors 
    • ERISA counsel 
  • Fiduciary process: 
    • Annual review of investment policy statement (IPS) 
    • Ongoing monitoring of investments 
    • Fee benchmarking 
    • Periodic request for proposals (RFP) process 
    • Documentation/minutes 
  • Investment menu: 
    • Adequate fund coverage 
    • 404(c) compliance 
    • Proper disclosures and notices 
    • Target-date fund selection 
    • QDIA selection and notices 
    • Universal availability 
  • Investment communication: 
    • Fund fact sheets include investment management fees 
    • Program documented annually 
    • Ongoing participant feedback 

NOTE: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice.