GIAC, a subsidiary of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, launched its Fiduciary Awareness Quiz to help plan sponsors better understand their fiduciary obligations and responsibilities. The quiz consists of 15 yes-or-no questions designed to assess a 401(k) plan sponsor’s knowledge of qualified plan fiduciary best practices, as well as which of these practices is currently being applied to the administration of the 401(k) plan. Plan sponsors can benchmark their scores to determine where their fiduciary knowledge ranks against their peers.
“Business owners wear multiple hats and may be unsure about all of their responsibilities and obligations as a plan fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). It’s important that plan sponsors appropriately mitigate their fiduciary risk, no matter how big or small the plan is,” says Matthew Bryan, director of retirement marketing for Guardian Retirement Solutions, based in New York.
The quiz tool also provides a customized report with educational information to help plan sponsors better understand their fiduciary responsibility. Financial professionals can use the tool and reports to gauge the fiduciary awareness of their plan sponsor clients and help fill in knowledge gaps. The tool also suggests solutions to help mitigate fiduciary risk.
The quiz easily calculates how well plan sponsors know their fiduciary guidelines and procedures, identifying areas that demand greater attention, says Bryan. As a result, small business owners acting as plan sponsors gain a better understanding of their role as a fiduciary and can work with their financial professionals and support partners to ensure that the best retirement outcome is achieved for plan participants.
The Fiduciary Awareness Quiz was developed from Guardian’s “Small Plan 401(k) RetireWell Study: What’s Working and Not Working for Small Businesses,” which surveyed more than 450 plan sponsors responsible for managing their businesses’ retirement plans. The study revealed that one-third of respondents did not even realize that they were a plan fiduciary and one-quarter did not have an investment policy statement in place.
More information about Guardian can be found at http://401k.GuardianLife.com.