Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) Requirements

Part One: Fiduciary Rules

In addition to the fiduciary duties, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) imposes other requirements, including that the plan must be established and maintained pursuant to a written instrument (i.e., a plan document); that plan assets must be held in trust subject to a few limited exceptions; that the plan administrator must meet certain reporting and disclosure obligations; and that fiduciaries and others who handle plan assets must meet certain bonding requirements. Failure of a plan to meet these requirements exposes fiduciaries to liability.

Furthermore, ERISA prohibits certain types of transactions related to employee benefits plans and, combined with provisions in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended ("Code"), imposes significant liability on those who engage in such transactions.

Additional requirements are covered here:

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Fidelity does not provide legal advice, and the information provided herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney regarding your plan's specific legal situation.