by Lisa Maniscalco, CPA, Audit Manager
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets. These individuals are called fiduciaries, and they have important responsibilities, as they act on behalf of participants in retirement plans.
One important fiduciary responsibility is to ensure that the plan’s investment performance is being regularly reviewed and the plan’s investment options are revised, if needed, to achieve the best results for the participants. Specifically, plan management is responsible for obtaining a sufficient understanding of the nature of the underlying investments, the portfolio strategy of the investments, and the method and significant assumptions used by the fund manager to value the underlying investments. The responsibilities noted above can be achieved by regularly meeting with investment advisors to discuss the plan investments and its performance.