Although by its terms, ERISA’s fiduciary rules seem to focus on investment and retirement plans rather than health and welfare benefit plans, the principles are transferable. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Fiduciary — a word anyone that advises employers, and their benefit plan representatives, knows well. Many relish the designation, still more fear it. One thing is for sure, too many cannot fully appreciate what it actually means, what is required of them, nor how to correctly execute on the obligations imposed upon them by it. Being a fiduciary sometimes means making what may feel like the less favorable decision; but, as many on either side of the political arena will say to support their subjective opinion — “facts don’t care about feelings.”

So, what is a fiduciary, and as it relates to employer-sponsored health benefit plans, what are their obligations? Generally, a fiduciary is defined as an adjective that means a relationship “involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary.”

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