29 U.S.C. § 1104 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 29. Labor § 1104. Fiduciary duties




Prudent man standard of care

 Subject to sections 1103(c) and (d) , 1342 , and 1344 of this title, a fiduciary shall discharge his duties with respect to a plan solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and--

 for the exclusive purpose of:

 providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries;  and

 defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan;

 with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims;

 by diversifying the investments of the plan so as to minimize the risk of large losses, unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so;  and

 in accordance with the documents and instruments governing the plan insofar as such documents and instruments are consistent with the provisions of this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter.

 In the case of an eligible individual account plan (as defined in section 1107(d)(3) of this title), the diversification requirement of paragraph (1)(C) and the prudence requirement (only to the extent that it requires diversification) of paragraph (1)(B) is not violated by acquisition or holding of qualifying employer real property or qualifying employer securities (as defined in section 1107(d)(4) and (5) of this title).

Indicia of ownership of assets outside jurisdiction of district courts

Except as authorized by the Secretary by regulations, no fiduciary may maintain the indicia of ownership of any assets of a plan outside the jurisdiction of the district courts of the United States.

Control over assets by participant or beneficiary

 In the case of a pension plan which provides for individual accounts and permits a participant or beneficiary to exercise control over the assets in his account, if a participant or beneficiary exercises control over the assets in his account (as determined under regulations of the Secretary)--

 such participant or beneficiary shall not be deemed to be a fiduciary by reason of such exercise, and

 no person who is otherwise a fiduciary shall be liable under this part for any loss, or by reason of any breach, which results from such participant's or beneficiary's exercise of control, except that this clause shall not apply in connection with such participant or beneficiary for any blackout period during which the ability of such participant or beneficiary to direct the investment of the assets in his or her account is suspended by a plan sponsor or fiduciary.

 If a person referred to in subparagraph (A)(ii) meets the requirements of this subchapter in connection with authorizing and implementing the blackout period, any person who is otherwise a fiduciary shall not be liable under this subchapter for any loss occurring during such period.

 For purposes of this paragraph, the term “blackout period” has the meaning given such term by section 1021(i)(7) of this title.

 In the case of a simple retirement account established pursuant to a qualified salary reduction arrangement under section 408(p) of Title 26 , a participant or beneficiary shall, for purposes of paragraph (1), be treated as exercising control over the assets in the account upon the earliest of--

 an affirmative election among investment options with respect to the initial investment of any contribution,

 a rollover to any other simple retirement account or individual retirement plan, or

 one year after the simple retirement account is established.

No reports, other than those required under section 1021(g) of this title, shall be required with respect to a simple retirement account established pursuant to such a qualified salary reduction arrangement.

 In the case of a pension plan which makes a transfer to an individual retirement account or annuity of a designated trustee or issuer under section 401(a)(31)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 , the participant or beneficiary shall, for purposes of paragraph (1), be treated as exercising control over the assets in the account or annuity upon--

 the earlier of--

 a rollover of all or a portion of the amount to another individual retirement account or annuity;  or

 one year after the transfer is made;  or

 a transfer that is made in a manner consistent with guidance provided by the Secretary.

 In any case in which a qualified change in investment options occurs in connection with an individual account plan, a participant or beneficiary shall not be treated for purposes of paragraph (1) as not exercising control over the assets in his account in connection with such change if the requirements of subparagraph (C) are met in connection with such change.

 For purposes of subparagraph (A), the term “qualified change in investment options” means, in connection with an individual account plan, a change in the investment options offered to the participant or beneficiary under the terms of the plan, under which--

 the account of the participant or beneficiary is reallocated among one or more remaining or new investment options which are offered in lieu of one or more investment options offered immediately prior to the effective date of the change, and

 the stated characteristics of the remaining or new investment options provided under clause (i), including characteristics relating to risk and rate of return, are, as of immediately after the change, reasonably similar to those of the existing investment options as of immediately before the change.

 The requirements of this subparagraph are met in connection with a qualified change in investment options if--

 at least 30 days and no more than 60 days prior to the effective date of the change, the plan administrator furnishes written notice of the change to the participants and beneficiaries, including information comparing the existing and new investment options and an explanation that, in the absence of affirmative investment instructions from the participant or beneficiary to the contrary, the account of the participant or beneficiary will be invested in the manner described in subparagraph (B),

 the participant or beneficiary has not provided to the plan administrator, in advance of the effective date of the change, affirmative investment instructions contrary to the change, and

 the investments under the plan of the participant or beneficiary as in effect immediately prior to the effective date of the change were the product of the exercise by such participant or beneficiary of control over the assets of the account within the meaning of paragraph (1).

 Default investment arrangements

In general

For purposes of paragraph (1), a participant or beneficiary in an individual account plan meeting the notice requirements of subparagraph (B) shall be treated as exercising control over the assets in the account with respect to the amount of contributions and earnings which, in the absence of an investment election by the participant or beneficiary, are invested by the plan in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary.  The regulations under this subparagraph shall provide guidance on the appropriateness of designating default investments that include a mix of asset classes consistent with capital preservation or long-term capital appreciation, or a blend of both.

Notice requirements

In general

The requirements of this subparagraph are met if each participant or beneficiary--

 receives, within a reasonable period of time before each plan year, a notice explaining the employee's right under the plan to designate how contributions and earnings will be invested and explaining how, in the absence of any investment election by the participant or beneficiary, such contributions and earnings will be invested, and

 has a reasonable period of time after receipt of such notice and before the beginning of the plan year to make such designation.

Form of notice

The requirements of clauses (i) and (ii) of section 401(k)(12)(D) of Title 26 shall apply with respect to the notices described in this subparagraph.

Plan terminations

 If, in connection with the termination of a pension plan which is a single-employer plan, there is an election to establish or maintain a qualified replacement plan, or to increase benefits, as provided under section 4980(d) of Title 26 , a fiduciary shall discharge the fiduciary's duties under this subchapter and subchapter III of this chapter in accordance with the following requirements:

 In the case of a fiduciary of the terminated plan, any requirement--

 under section 4980(d)(2)(B) of Title 26 with respect to the transfer of assets from the terminated plan to a qualified replacement plan, and

 under section 4980(d)(2)(B)(ii) or 4980(d)(3) of Title 26 with respect to any increase in benefits under the terminated plan.

 In the case of a fiduciary of a qualified replacement plan, any requirement--

 under section 4980(d)(2)(A) of Title 26 with respect to participation in the qualified replacement plan of active participants in the terminated plan,

 under section 4980(d)(2)(B) of Title 26 with respect to the receipt of assets from the terminated plan, and

 under section 4980(d)(2)(C) of Title 26 with respect to the allocation of assets to participants of the qualified replacement plan.

 For purposes of this subsection--

 any term used in this subsection which is also used in section 4980(d) of Title 26 shall have the same meaning as when used in such section, and

 any reference in this subsection to Title 26 shall be a reference to Title 26 as in effect immediately after the enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990.





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