Sponsors of employee benefit plans have always faced an uphill battle. One of the best long term disability insurance San Francisco company based said one reason for these challenges is that the laws regarding ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act), established in 1974, along with other types of tax qualified plans have been held to extremely high standards when it comes to conduct. The plans that these sponsors operate have always been looked at with scrutiny. This scrutiny does come only from participants in these plans, but it also comes from agencies that have created regulations for the sponsors to follow.
As a result, over the past few years, the landscape around these benefit plans has become more unstable.
Retirement Industry Regulation Enforcement Have Made Participants Question Benefit Plans
Firstly, participants have started to demand more answers from sponsors, along with company officers and directors. It has also become more challenging because agencies that oversee these types of benefit plans like the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service have started increasing enforcing the regulations that are already in place. In fact, these agencies have increased their workforce to accommodate the enforcement of these regulations.
As of 2012, participants of 401K plans have probably read their statements and have realized that they are paying an additional cost just to be a part of a 401K plan. By releasing these disclosures, HR departments around the country as well as regulatory agencies have seen an increase in call volume from concerned participants. It is these types of challenges that make many sponsors consider hiring an ERISA attorney.
The Importance Of Hiring The Right Legal Advisor
Not only is hiring an ERISA attorney to help you navigate the process a wise choice, it is also a decision that needs to be made carefully. The attorney will work on behalf of the sponsor and benefit plan, and must have the expertise and background to provide assistance with certain aspects of the situation and plan.
However, it is just as important to hire an attorney who truly cares about the plan and the participants. It is this type of attorney who will provide efficient and practical resolutions to the issues.
The two fundamental issues facing this industry are plan disqualification and fiduciary liability. These are two terms that could upset anyone who has a retirement plan.
Unfortunately, many people in the retirement industry are unaware of these aspects because are uneducated and have not hired an ERISA attorney.
Hiring an ERISA attorney is a decision that should be made with skill, prudence and care. The risk of fiduciary liability, as well as the benefits from the business and employees should make the decision to hire legal counsel a vital decision.