New Revenue Sharing Advisory Opinion = More Mud in Already Muddy Waters

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The Department of Labor’s new Advisory Opinion 2013-03A confirms that revenue sharing deposited into an account held in a trust on behalf of a plan is a plan asset. This validation supports standard operating procedures embraced by most in the industry. However, many questions remain unanswered, leaving plan sponsors and service providers with limited visibility.

FRA PlanTools CEO/Managing Director David Witz has penned an article analyzing the questions raised by the new Advisory Opinion, including:

How is revenue sharing properly contributed to a
plan trust?

Is a 408(b)(2) disclosure a communication that
causes revenue sharing to become a plan asset
before it is received?

If revenue sharing is always a plan asset, is
returning those assets to the plan a prohibited
transaction under ERISA 406(a)(1)(B), (D) and/or
406(b)?

If revenue sharing is deemed a plan asset, is
structuring an arrangement to collect excessive
fees for services from participant accounts on a
disproportionate basis only to return the excess
fees to participants in a disproportionate basis
prudent?

If a fiduciary can’t monitor revenue sharing or
calculate the amount, should they structure a
plan with investments that pay revenue sharing?

The article, New Revenue Sharing Advisory Opinion = More Mud in Already Muddy Waters, is available for download by clicking the title.

 

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