Kweku Obed, CFA, CAIA
Defined Contribution (DC) plan assets continue to grow and now total $7 trillion, with over 90 million Americans maintaining a DC account. The portion of employees in private industry who participate in a DC plan rose to 44% in 2016, while as noted in previous Marquette papers on Defined Contribution Plans and Secure Choice, the public sector representation in the DC space also continues to gain solid momentum. With this continued growth of participant-directed retirement assets comes the increased importance of fiduciary duty on the part of plan sponsors and where applicable, their consultant(s). This fiduciary duty is especially critical as it relates to plan structure and educational materials to maximize participation, appropriate deferrals, and responsible investment decisions for participants.
This paper highlights best practices for some of these key fiduciary duties, which can be helpful for plan sponsors that are either building or maintaining a DC program. It is centered on a goal of maximizing the likelihood that participants are saving (deferring) enough and are investing as prudently as possible.
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