29 U.S. Code § 1104 - Fiduciary duties

(a) Prudent man standard of care
(1) 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—
(A) for the exclusive purpose of:
(i) providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries; and
(ii) defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan;
(B) 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;
(C) 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
(D) 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.
(2) 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).
(b) 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.
(c) Control over assets by participant or beneficiary
(1)
(A) 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)—
(i) such participant or beneficiary shall not be deemed to be a fiduciary by reason of such exercise, and
(ii) 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.
(B) 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.
(C) For purposes of this paragraph, the term “blackout period” has the meaning given such term by section 1021 (i)(7) of this title.
(2) 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—
(A) an affirmative election among investment options with respect to the initial investment of any contribution,
(B) a rollover to any other simple retirement account or individual retirement plan, or
(C) 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.
(3) 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 title 26, the participant or beneficiary shall, for purposes of paragraph (1), be treated as exercising control over the assets in the account or annuity upon—
(A) the earlier of—
(i) a rollover of all or a portion of the amount to another individual retirement account or annuity; or
(ii) one year after the transfer is made; or
(B) a transfer that is made in a manner consistent with guidance provided by the Secretary.
(4)
(A) 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.
(B) 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—
(i) 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
(ii) 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.
(C) The requirements of this subparagraph are met in connection with a qualified change in investment options if—
(i) 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),
(ii) 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
(iii) 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).
(5) Default investment arrangements.—
(A) 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.
(B) Notice requirements.—
(i) In general.— The requirements of this subparagraph are met if each participant or beneficiary—
(I) 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
(II) has a reasonable period of time after receipt of such notice and before the beginning of the plan year to make such designation.
(ii) 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.
(d) Plan terminations
(1) 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:
(A) In the case of a fiduciary of the terminated plan, any requirement—
(i) 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
(ii) 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.
(B) In the case of a fiduciary of a qualified replacement plan, any requirement—
(i) 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,
(ii) under section 4980 (d)(2)(B) of title 26 with respect to the receipt of assets from the terminated plan, and
(iii) under section 4980 (d)(2)(C) of title 26 with respect to the allocation of assets to participants of the qualified replacement plan.
(2) For purposes of this subsection—
(A) 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
(B) 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.

Source

(Pub. L. 93–406, title I, § 404,Sept. 2, 1974, 88 Stat. 877; Pub. L. 96–364, title III, § 309,Sept. 26, 1980, 94 Stat. 1296; Pub. L. 101–508, title XII, § 12002(b)(1), (2)(A),Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–565, 1388–566; Pub. L. 104–188, title I, § 1421(d)(2),Aug. 20, 1996, 110 Stat. 1799; Pub. L. 107–16, title VI, § 657(c)(1),June 7, 2001, 115 Stat. 136; Pub. L. 107–147, title IV, § 411(t),Mar. 9, 2002, 116 Stat. 51; Pub. L. 109–280, title VI, §§ 621(a), 624 (a),Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 978, 980; Pub. L. 110–458, title I, § 106(d),Dec. 23, 2008, 122 Stat. 5107.)
References in Text

The enactment of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (d)(2)(B), is the enactment of Pub. L. 101–508, which was approved Nov. 5, 1990.
Amendments

2008—Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 110–458substituted “participant or beneficiary” for “participant” wherever appearing.
2006—Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 109–280, § 621(a)(1), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), redesignated former subpars. (A) and (B) as cls. (i) and (ii), respectively, of subpar. (A), in cl. (ii), inserted “, 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” before period at end, and added subpars. (B) and (C).
Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 109–280, § 621(a)(2), added par. (4).
Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 109–280, § 624(a), added par. (5).
2002—Subsec. (c)(3)(A). Pub. L. 107–147, § 411(t)(1), struck out “the earlier of” after “the earlier of” in introductory provisions.
Subsec. (c)(3)(B). Pub. L. 107–147, § 411(t)(2), substituted “a transfer that” for “if the transfer”.
2001—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 107–16added par. (3).
1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–188designated existing provisions as par. (1), redesignated former pars. (1) and (2) as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, and added par. (2).
1990—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 101–508, § 12002(b)(2)(A), substituted “and subchapter III” for “or subchapter III”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–508, § 12002(b)(1), added subsec. (d).
1980—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 96–364inserted reference to subchapter III of this chapter.
Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 110–458effective as if included in the provisions of Pub. L. 109–280to which the amendment relates, except as otherwise provided, see section 112 ofPub. L. 110–458, set out as a note under section 72 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Effective Date of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–280, title VI, § 621(b),Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 979, provided that:
“(1) In general.—The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2007.
“(2) Special rule for collectively bargained agreements.—In the case of a plan maintained pursuant to 1 or more collective bargaining agreements between employee representatives and 1 or more employers ratified on or before the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 17, 2006], paragraph (1) shall be applied to benefits pursuant to, and individuals covered by, any such agreement by substituting for ‘December 31, 2007’ the earlier of—
“(A) the later of—
“(i) December 31, 2008, or
“(ii) the date on which the last of such collective bargaining agreements terminates (determined without regard to any extension thereof after such date of enactment), or
“(B) December 31, 2009.”
Pub. L. 109–280, title VI, § 624(b),Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 980, provided that:
“(1) In general.—The amendments made by this section [amending this section] shall apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2006.
“(2) Regulations.—Final regulations under section 404(c)(5)(A) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 [29 U.S.C. 1104 (c)(5)(A)] (as added by this section) shall be issued no later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 17, 2006].”
Effective Date of 2002 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–147effective as if included in the provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001, Pub. L. 107–16, to which such amendment relates, see section 411(x) ofPub. L. 107–147, set out as a note under section 25B of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Effective Date of 2001 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 107–16applicable to distributions made after Mar. 28, 2005, see section 657(d) ofPub. L. 107–16, set out as a note under section 401 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–188applicable to taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 1996, see section 1421(e) ofPub. L. 104–188, set out as a note under section 72 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–508applicable to reversions occurring after Sept. 30, 1990, but not applicable to any reversion after Sept. 30, 1990, if (1) in the case of plans subject to subchapter III of this chapter, notice of intent to terminate under such subchapter was provided to participants (or if no participants, to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation) before Oct. 1, 1990, (2) in the case of plans subject to subchapter I of this chapter (and not subchapter III), notice of intent to reduce future accruals under section 1054 (h) of this title was provided to participants in connection with termination before Oct. 1, 1990, (3) in the case of plans not subject to subchapter I or III of this chapter, a request for a determination letter with respect to termination was filed with Secretary of the Treasury or Secretary’s delegate before Oct. 1, 1990, or (4) in the case of plans not subject to subchapter I or III of this chapter and having only one participant, a resolution terminating the plan was adopted by employer before Oct. 1, 1990, see section 12003 ofPub. L. 101–508, set out as a note under section 4980 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.
Effective Date of 1980 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 96–364effective Sept. 26, 1980, except as specifically provided, see section 1461 (e) of this title.
Regulations

Pub. L. 109–280, title VI, § 625,Aug. 17, 2006, 120 Stat. 980, provided that:
“(a) In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 17, 2006], the Secretary of Labor shall issue final regulations clarifying that the selection of an annuity contract as an optional form of distribution from an individual account plan to a participant or beneficiary—
“(1) is not subject to the safest available annuity standard under Interpretive Bulletin 95–1 (29 CFR 2509.95–1), and
“(2) is subject to all otherwise applicable fiduciary standards.
“(b) Effective Date.—This section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 17, 2006].”
Secretary authorized, effective Sept. 2, 1974, to promulgate regulations wherever provisions of this part call for the promulgation of regulations, see sections 1031 and 1114 of this title.
Plan Amendments Not Required Until January 1, 1998

For provisions directing that if any amendments made by subtitle D [§§ 1401–1465] of title I of Pub. L. 104–188require an amendment to any plan or annuity contract, such amendment shall not be required to be made before the first day of the first plan year beginning on or after Jan. 1, 1998, see section 1465 ofPub. L. 104–188, set out as a note under section 401 of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.

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29 CFR - Labor

29 CFR Part 2550 - RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY

29 CFR Part 2578 - RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR ABANDONED PLANS

 

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