Last year, the United States Supreme Court provided a clear reminder of the continuing nature of fiduciary responsibilities in its Tibble v. Edison International opinion. It emphasized that fiduciaries indeed must perform a regular review of a plan’s investments, and it rejected the idea that a fiduciary could breach its ongoing responsibilities only if there were a “significant change in circumstances”.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, on remand, has considered the plaintiffs’ arguments. It determined that they indeed are entitled to an additional opportunity to argue the various breach of fiduciary responsibility claims. What does this mean? It means that the plan sponsor and other fiduciaries will be forced to defend their inaction – to defend the lack of awareness, care, or prudence that resulted in a mega plan continuing to use more expensive share classes than what was available.
We expect this will raise additional awareness of the risks associated with using retail share class funds and relying on revenue sharing, as well as the few good explanations or such an approach. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion is available here.
Matt Eickman

Matt Eickman

Full Bio

Matthew loves to write. He also loves to think, though he’s probably a better writer than a thinker. He does not like to be on camera or in videos. This blog will allow him to write, challenge his ability to think, and, from time to time, test him with video blog entries.

He has a unique blend of legal and practical experience that helps us to serve our clients well. On the one hand, he has more than 12 years of private legal practice experience focusing exclusively on employee benefits, including time as a partner in an employee benefits boutique where he has represented clients in front of the DOL and IRS. On the other hand, he holds his FINRA Series 7 and 66 registrations and serves as the Director of ERISA Services for Qualified Plan Advisors.

Matthew likes to stay active. He provides fiduciary training, Investment Policy Statement design, and vendor oversight to our clients. He is an active member of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Tax Section, serving as Chair of the Defined Contribution Plans Subcommittee. He also has been appointed to the IRS TE/GE Gulf States Council and is a frequent speaker on regulatory developments, fiduciary responsibilities, and retirement readiness.

Most importantly, he stays active with his family. His wife, Laura, is the founder of REbeL, Inc., a not-for-profit organization. His three young boys are mixed up in far too many sports, and they enjoy traveling, watching college football, running with Dad, and rooting for the Huskers.
Matt Eickman
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