Understanding and meeting your fiduciary obligations is a requirement for ERISA plans and is recognized as a best practice for non-ERISA plans. And, all plans must comply with IRS regulations. Whether working on your own or with the support of an advisor, TIAA-CREF offers a suite of services that can assist you in managing ever-increasing regulatory demands — allowing you to stay focused on maintaining a competitive plan that helps your participants plan for their financial well-being.
Overview of Your Obligations
An administrator of an ERISA retirement savings plan is generally considered to be a fiduciary with regard to that plan. Fiduciary responsibilities are enforced by the Department of Labor (DOL) and require you to meet certain standards, including that you:
- Perform your obligations solely in the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries.
- Act in accordance with the terms of the Plan Document at all times.
- Diversify plan investments to help minimize the risk of large investment losses.
- Exercise prudence in selecting and monitoring service providers for the plan.
- Act with the care, skill, prudence and diligence that a prudent person in a similar capacity would use under like circumstances.
While not every plan must follow ERISA guidelines, all plans must comply with IRS regulations. Among the key compliance areas addressed are:
- Plan documentation — Final IRS 403(b) regulations extended the written plan requirement to all 403(b) plans, not just those plans subject to ERISA.
- Operations — 403(b) plans must satisfy statutory universal availability (for salary deferral contributions) and nondiscrimination requirements (unless governmental or certain church plans), including control group rules.
- Transactions — Participant-directed asset transfers are generally limited to authorized fund providers that share information with the plan sponsor.
- Financial reporting — ERISA 403(b) plans are now subject to the same Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan) filing requirements as 401(a), 401(k) plans and private-sector defined benefit plans. In addition, large 403(b) plans — those with 100 or more eligible participants at the beginning of the plan year — are generally required to have their financial statements audited by an independent auditor beginning with the 2009 plan year.
TIAA-CREF can help you understand and manage these obligations.
Plan Document Service
Specimen 403(b) and 457(b), and Prototype 401(a)/401(k) plan documents and supporting materials, with compliant provisions and ongoing updates. More…
Help with sample investment policy statements, sample investment menus and ongoing performance monitoring. More…
Compliance Monitoring Services
A variety of tools and guidance to help you meet plan compliance requirements in such areas as loan and hardship withdrawals, contribution limits and nondiscrimination. More…
Financial Reporting & Plan Audit Services
Support for Form 5500 preparation and plan audits, including an online instructional/reporting package. More…
Service & Fee Disclosure Support
Assistance in understanding your responsibilities and simplifying compliance. More…