Scott Campbell is a fiduciary to all the individuals, 401(k) and 403(b) plans he advises.
A fiduciary is a person or firm who acts on behalf of others to manage their assets. Fiduciaries are required to act in the best interest of their clients. They have a duty to act with care, skill, prudence and diligence. They also have a duty of loyalty to their clients and must be totally free from conflict of interest. Brokers and agents are subject to a much lower “suitability” standard.
401(k) Plans are managed for the exclusive benefit of participants by plan officials called fiduciaries. A fiduciary is a person who exercises any discretionary authority or control over the management of the plan or its assets or is paid to give investment advice regarding plan assets.
ERISA section 404(a) requires fiduciaries to perform their duties to the standard set forth in the “the prudent expert rule”:
. . . with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like character and with like aims; . . .”
It is important to note that fiduciaries are required to act “as a person familiar with such matters would”. This indicates that although a fiduciary may not be familiar with the duties, they must act similar to someone who is. The underlying implication is that fiduciaries should engage someone who is familiar with the different responsibilities to assist them in their duties as fiduciary.