Who are ESOP fiduciaries, what are their responsibilities and how do they get appointed?

Any person with discretion over the management or administration of a plan, or who exercises any authority or control over plans assets, is a fiduciary under ERISA. The ESOP trustee, or any other person or committee designated in the plan documents as responsible for making investments in company stock, is a named fiduciary.

ERISA requires that plan fiduciaries act prudently and solely in the interest of plan participants. Three of the most important responsibilities of an ESOP fiduciary are:

    • Securing a proper valuation of the stock;
    • Assuring that the interests of plan participants are protected in ESOP transactions; and
    • Approving all purchases and sales of ESOP stock.

SES ESOP Strategies provides expertise and support at every stage of the ESOP lifecycle.