Tool Helps Plan Sponsors Keep Track of Their Fiduciary Duties

The FORT tool helps plan sponsors understand what fiduciary responsibilities they retain when they delegate some duties to an adviser or service provider.

The Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries (CBCF) has introduced a tool it calls “FORT,” which stands for “Fiduciary Oversight of Responsibilities and Tasks,” to help retirement plan sponsors understand their duties and protect them from errors due to omissions.

“Most fiduciary liability is the result of an omission as opposed to a commission. It’s not what a fiduciary did—it’s what the fiduciary forgot to do,” says Don Trone, CBCF’s CEO. “Furthermore, plan sponsors face moral hazards when retirement advisers or service providers state or imply that they’ve relieved a plan sponsor of their fiduciary responsibility, but actually have only assumed a small subset of the tasks.”

The FORT tool clearly delineates the fiduciary responsibilities and tasks of a plan sponsor, shows tasks that can be outsourced, and identifies the fiduciary status of advisers and service providers that normally provide services to a plan. The sample of FORT below shows six of the 79 responsibilities and tasks of a plan sponsor.



“Lay fiduciaries may not realize that they can prudently delegate some of their responsibilities to professional fiduciaries,” added Don Jones, CBCF’s chairman of the board. “The FORT should help mitigate risks.”

More information about CBCF is available at