On October 22, 2010 the U.S. Department of Labor proposed to broadly amend the definition of fiduciary under ERISA as a person who provides investment advice to plans for a fee or other compensation. The rule has generated a lot of controversy, and the DOL has delayed the redraft of it until at least January 2015.

There is one matter, however, about which there is no controversy. That is, the plan sponsor has ultimate responsibility for the investment of plan assets. Fortunately, the marketplace offers different levels of support for those 401(k) plans that need help determining the appropriate investments for their participants and benefit advisers and brokers should understand the intricacies this provision.

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