An article in the May 2014 Employee Benefit News outlined potential changes to the Department of Labor guidance regarding brokerage accounts within 401(k) plans.  The DOL is concerned that Plan Sponsors aren’t providing enough guidance to participants who don’t have the financial experience or knowledge to make wise investment decisions, particularly when provided the wide ranging choices available when a self-directed brokerage account is an option.  The DOL is expected to

  • Clarify the number of investment options it considers reasonable for a 401(k) Plan
  • Establish fiduciary guidelines for offering brokerage accounts
  • Require more notices for participants with brokerage accounts
  • Mandate that brokerage accounts may not be the only investment choice

Has your Plan considered the potential fiduciary responsibilities of offering a brokerage account to participants?