You’re probably familiar with the term “fiduciary.” Or perhaps you’ve heard of it and have never known what it means. Often used in the context of retirement plans, but not exclusively, being a fiduciary at its core is a duty of trust, confidence, and responsibility to a beneficiary. A person designated as a fiduciary must have prudence and be able to avoid conflicts of interest for the person they are representing. Loyalty is also emphasized as a requirement, as some classic fiduciaries include trust officers, investment committees, trustees of private trusts, and corporate boards of directors and officers.


  1. Disclosure

    • Generally, the duty to disclose material information is the core of a fiduciary’s responsibility. Once a participant or beneficiary makes an inquiry, a fiduciary has a duty to make correct and complete material information available to the participant or beneficiary.
  2. Diversification

    • Investments must be diversified to minimize the risk of large losses unless under the circumstances it is clearly prudent not to do so. Diversification must be considered in the context of the entire portfolio and as a part of the overall strategy considering the appropriate risk and return.
  3. Monitoring

    • This is the act of selecting and monitoring plan service providers and the management or administration of the plan or its assets.
  4. Prohibited transactions

    • Fiduciaries are prohibited from any type of self-dealing and from using a plan’s assets in their interest or those who act on both sides of a transaction involving a plan.


If you have any questions or would like more information on the roles of a fiduciary, do not hesitate to call us (315-446-5797) or send us an email.