29 CFR 2550.403a-1 - Establishment of trust.
(a) In general. Except as otherwise provided in § 403b-1, all assets of an employee benefit plan shall be held in trust by one or more trustees pursuant to a written trust instrument.
(b) Specific applications. (1) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section will not fail to be satisfied merely because securities of a plan are held in the name of a nominee or in street name, provided such securities are held on behalf of the plan by:
(i) A bank or trust company that is subject to supervision by the United States or a State, or a nominee of such bank or trust company;
(ii) A broker or dealer registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or a nominee of such broker or dealer; or
(iii) A “clearing agency,” as defined in section 3(a)(23) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, or its nominee.
(2) Where a corporation described in section 501(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code holds property on behalf of a plan, the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are satisfied with respect to such property if all the stock of such corporation is held in trust on behalf of the plan by one or more trustees.
(3) If the assets of an entity in which a plan invests include plan assets by reason of the plan's investment in the entity, the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section are satisfied with respect to such investment if the indicia of ownership of the plan's interest in the entity are held in trust on behalf of the plan by one or more trustees.
(c) Requirements concerning trustees. The trustee or trustees referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) shall be either named in the trust instrument or in the plan instrument described in section 402(a) of the Act, or appointed by a person who is a named fiduciary (within the meaning of section 402(a)(2) of the Act). Upon acceptance of being named or appointed, the trustee or trustees shall have exclusive authority and discretion to manage and control the assets of the plan, except to the extent that:
(1) The plan instrument or the trust instrument expressly provides that the trustee or trustees are subject to the direction of a named fiduciary who is not a trustee, in which case the trustees shall be subject to the proper directions of such fiduciary which are made in accordance with the terms of the plan and which are not contrary to the provisions of title I of the Act of chapter XXV of this title, or
(2) Authority to manage, acquire or dispose of assets of the plan is delegated to one or more investment managers (within the meaning of section 3(38) of the Act) pursuant to section 402(c)(3) of the Act.