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.

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