When I first heard about ERISA §3(38) fiduciaries, I was a lowly law firm associate and I saw that it was going to be a growth area for advisors. According to PLANADVISER’s most recent survey about 15% of Defined Contributions plan sponsors had 3(38) fiduciaries, about 31% had 3(21) fiduciaries and 24% were unsure of which type of adviser they had. I would assume the number of 3(38)s was higher because almost a quarter of plan sponsors had no idea what kind of advisor they have.
It’s been such a growth area for advisors because it allows the advisor to do what they best, manage the fiduciary process, without bothering with the plan sponsor, who would have gladly put off a fiduciary meeting if they could. It’s not for every plan sponsor because plan sponsors out there might still want to exercise control over their plan.