The Guardian Insurance & Annuity Company on Wednesday launched The Fiduciary Awareness Quiz, a first-of-its kind assessment to help plan sponsors better understand their fiduciary obligations and responsibilities.  

The yes-no questions are designed to assess a 401(k) plan sponsor’s knowledge of qualified plan fiduciary best practices, as well as which of these practices is currently being applied to the administration of the 401(k) plan, Guardian says.

As an example, one question in the quiz reads: “We have rigorously compared the fees and expenses our plan and its participants incur to industry benchmarks to ensure that these fees and expenses are reasonable.”

The assessment includes:

  • Fifteen yes/no questions.
  • Results which will indicate a level of fiduciary awareness — and comparisons to where other test takers stand.
  • Information and educational tools to assist with a plan’s on-going effectiveness.

The tool was developed from a recent study of more than 450 plan sponsors responsible for managing their businesses’ retirement plans.  Guardian says the study showed one-third of respondents did not even realize that they were a plan fiduciary and one in four companies did not have an investment policy statement in place.
Also see: Which type of fiduciary should plan sponsors hire?

“Business owners wear multiple hats and may be unsure about all of their responsibilities and obligations as a plan fiduciary under ERISA [Employee Retirement Income Security Act], says Matthew Bryan, director of Retirement Marketing, Guardian Retirement Solutions. “It’s important that plan sponsors appropriately mitigate their fiduciary risk— no matter how big or small the plan is.”   

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