You may not need a committee, but you need something

When I worked at that semi-prestigious law firm on Long Island, I used to joke that if the Managing Attorney at the time (sorry Lois) wanted to kill an issue, she’d create a committee for it since a law firm committee would spend 3 months to decide on when to hold their first meeting.


Does a retirement plan sponsor need a committee? Not necessarily, but they do need some documented infrastructure for managing the plan. Whether it’s a full-blown committee or just a handful of decision-makers, it has to be an infrastructure that has been created and documented. It has to be an infrastructure that can make decisions and works. All decisions by the infrastructure need to be documented with minutes.


My concern about committees for retirement plans is like my concern over committees in any other organization. Is the committee a functioning body or is it just something that only exists on paper? Having a committee that only exists on paper is not following the processes that the plan sponsor has created and would be considered a breach of fiduciary duty.

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