A while back, deep enough in the history of this blog to keep us from looking for the actual post(s), we suggested that product-pushing players who offered some sort of "co-fiduciary" services to retirement plans were trafficking in marketing slogans, not sound legal (i.e., ERISA) concepts.
So we were pleased to see this treatment of the "co-fiduciary" concept from attorneys James Baker and David Abbey (via the always-excellent 401khelpcenter.com). Here's a highlight (emphasis added in bold):
This takes us back to the great divide in the financial services industry between those who embrace their implicit and explicit fiduciary duties and those who resist them, then proceed to market their way around their own evasions.
This problem affects not only what gets sold to whom, but sponsors' assumptions about their ongoing fiduciary responsibilities. Here's another area in which more transparency, more bright light, would be very helpful indeed.
If you're into this sort of thing, we recommend the entire (relatively short) article.
James P. Baker and David M. Abbey, "A Fiduciary By Any Other Name...Thoughts on Properly Delegating Fiduciary Duties," Benefits Law Journal 22(1), Spring, 2009