DALBAR Launches Fiduciary Designation Program

DALBAR, Inc. has developed a fiduciary designation program, called the 401(k) RF Designation, which identifies advisers capable of acting as fiduciaries and cements it in writing.

The 401(k) RF Designation is awarded after “rigorous” training and testing to ensure that designees are fluent in the language and regulations of ERISA, DALBAR announced. Training for the designation is provided by a number of Qualified Training Organizations or through a self-study program.

Candidates are required to have grounding in 401(k) before the training begins. In addition to the training, candidates undergo a background check and supervised testing covering fiduciary practices and the technical requirements of ERISA. Holders of the 401(k) RF Designation receive credentials that enable plan sponsors to meet the regulatory requirements of prudent selection of advisers. These credentials highlight the advisers capabilities and make any necessary disclosures.

DALBAR said the 401(k) RF Designation was designed to comply with the upcoming Department of Labor regulations in the areas of fee disclosure, investment advice, and the proposed redefinition of what constitutes a fiduciary. The designation is authorized by the Fiduciary Standards Board (formally the Foundation for Fiduciary Studies) and the content is based on the most current 2010 Fiduciary Standards.

DALBAR, Inc. is an independent firm specializing in evaluating, auditing and rating business practices, customer performance, product quality and service.