June 22, 2011

Know Your Role And Control Your Risk

What Every CEO, CFO Or Human Resources Director Should Know About Their Responsibilities In Administering A Retirement Plan.

As an individual responsible for, or assisting in the administration of your company’s retirement plan, you may be considered a plan fiduciary. As a fiduciary, you are charged with specific duties and responsibilities that are governed by ERISA and enforced by the DOL and IRS. ERISA imposes personal liability, and in some cases, criminal penalties for breaches of fiduciary duties. Thus, understanding your fiduciary obligations and developing procedures for efficiently and effectively meeting your obligations is vital to managing the potential for personal liability. Join Dickinson Wright at its next Sunrise Seminar where its distinguished panel will discuss how to identify your role and control your risk when administering your retirement plan.

Topics to be covered:

  • What is an ERISA fiduciary?
  • How to determine if you are an ERISA fiduciary (Hint - do you make decisions about your company’s retirement plan?)
  • The Department of Labor’s education and enforcement initiative and increased litigation risks
  • How prudent employers can identify the fiduciaries and establish processes to review plan administration, investment fund offerings and fees paid by the investment funds
  • How to address administrative errors
  • Why knowing your role matters - personal liability for fiduciary breaches

Seminar Presenters Include:

Cynthia A. Moore is a member in Dickinson Wright’s Bloomfield Hills office and is the Practice Department Manager of the Firm’s Tax, Employee Benefits, Estate Planning, Immigration and Healthcare practice areas. Ms. Moore’s areas of practice expertise include employee benefits, corporate and real estate. She advises large and small employers on the tax and ERISA aspects of benefit plans, stock-based compensatory plans and non-qualified deferred compensation plans. Ms. Moore is a member of the Taxation and Business Law sections of both the Michigan Bar Association and the American Bar Association. She is the co-author of a BNA Tax Management Portfolio called “Employee Fringe Benefits” and is listed in Michigan Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for employee benefits/ERISA law.

Deborah L. Grace is a member in Dickinson Wright's Bloomfield Hills office. Ms. Grace has more than 25 years experience in counseling finance and human resource professionals on designing and administering pension, profit sharing, 401(k), 403(b), ESOP, executive compensation and welfare benefit plans. Her clients include large multi-state employers, U.S. based subsidiaries of foreign companies, mid-sized companies, small professional firms, universities, and school districts. Ms. Grace is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan, and the Employee Benefits Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association. In addition, Ms. Grace is the current chair of the Dickinson Wright Benefits Committee which is responsible for the administration of the Firm’s retirement and welfare benefit plans. Ms. Grace is listed in Best Lawyers in America 2010, and Super Lawyers 2010.

Michael J. Matthews is a principal in The Merchant Group, a Birmingham, Michigan, employee benefits consulting firm. Mr. Matthews began his career 25 years ago as an actuarial intern. He worked his way to partner at American Actuaries, Inc. Consulting (Detroit, Michigan office) and serviced a broad range of private companies in the areas of defined benefits, profit sharing and 401(K) plans. Mr. Matthews founded the Merchant Group to serve as a resource to help 401(K)/retirement plan sponsors design, implement, understand, manage and communicate effective retirement plans. Mr. Matthews is a frequent speaker and advocate for full and fair fee disclosure and fiduciary risk management.

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