The EBSA has posted on its website a fact sheet on the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The agency defines a plan fiduciary “to include anyone who gives investment advice for a fee or other compensation with respect to any moneys or other property of a plan, or has any authority or responsibility to do so.” ERISA imposes certain disclosure requirements and standards of conduct on those considered retirement plan fiduciaries. The fact sheet includes background on the term, developments to retirement plans that have caused the agency to reevaluate its definition of fiduciary, and an overview of its proposed rule to revise this definition. Specifically, the EBSA is in the process of drafting a final rule on proposed changes to the definition of fiduciary that would result in a broader range of individuals who provide investment advice to be deemed a fiduciary under ERISA.
Additionally, the EBSA has released complete transcripts from the public hearings the agency held to address when a person is deemed a fiduciary by reason of giving investment advice for a fee under ERISA. Comments on the March 1, 2011 (pdf) and March 2, 2011 hearings (pdf) can be submitted electronically to e-ORI@dol.gov with subject line: Public Hearing on Definition of Fiduciary, or in written form to: EBSA's Office of Regulations and Interpretations, Attn: Public Hearing on Definition of Fiduciary, Room N-5655, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC, 20210. All comments on the information presented at the hearings must be submitted on or before April 12, 2011.