The retirement plan and trust documents establishing the plan include the names of the plan administrator and plan trustee(s). The plan administrator has the legal responsibility for running the plan and is often the employer sponsoring the plan. More often than not, an outside third-party administrator (TPA) will be hired to perform many of the administrative tasks required under the plan document, even though the plan administrator remains legally responsible for all plan activities.
Many 401(k) plans allow participants to direct the investments of their accounts, which can alleviate some of the investment liability from the trustee if participants are given sufficient information and control over their investments. However, the trustee is still responsible for monitoring the appropriateness of the available investment choices.
As a plan sponsor, some of your fiduciary responsibilities include: