Many employers mistakenly believe that if they use a prototype or volume submitter plan for their 401(k) type retirement plans they can put their plans on auto-pilot and forget about them. This is because these forms of plans allow adopting employers to simply elect options (often in a check-the-box format) and not really worry about ongoing changes. The creator of the form document (the prototype or volume submitter sponsor) retains responsibility for submitting the plan for approval to the IRS and updating the plan to reflect law changes.

Unfortunately, employers may not realize that they nonetheless have ongoing obligations with respect to their plans. They are plan fiduciaries and have fiduciary duties to plan participants and beneficiaries with respect to both administering the plan and managing its assets.

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