When one reads "Five Areas 401(k) Plan Sponsors Must Address to Reduce Fiduciary Liability" (FiduciaryNews, January 18, 2012), one is struck by its subtle conclusion. After all the effort put into educating 401(k) plan sponsors, they still focus more on making widgets (or whatever their company provides) than on retirement plan fiduciary due diligence.

This behavior often frustrates professional advisers. These fiduciaries extent much effort to guide plan sponsors through the briar patch of ERISA-dom. Yet, like any other duffer, to many plan sponsors keep hitting the ball into the trap. It's as though they like the sand (or the water or the rotating blades of the windmill – choose whatever metaphor you prefer). Why does all this guidance fall on deaf ears? Are professionals just too anal? Or do plan sponsors have some sort of inbred death wish.

The answer is most likely "no" to these questions, but it doesn't mean there's not a better alternative.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).