Frequently Asked Questions

How are you paid? Do you receive commissions or have any soft dollar arrangements?

Welch Hornsby is completely independent and fee only. We invoice the client quarterly based on the negotiated fee schedule, and it is the Plan Sponsor’s decision if the fee is paid from Plan assets or outside of the Plan. Welch Hornsby’s policy strictly prohibits accepting any commissions or other soft dollar arrangements and feels that any such remuneration would violate the fiduciary relationship with our clients.

Can you work with our current record-keeper or third party administrator?

Yes, Welch Hornsby is completely independent and fee only and, therefore, does not have any type of financial arrangement or affiliations with service providers. This enables us to work with a vast array of record-keepers and third-party administrators.

What is the difference between a 3(21) and 3(38) Investment Fiduciary?

A 3(21) Fiduciary Advisor:

  • Recommends investments to the plan sponsors
  • Monitors those investments and make recommendations as appropriate
  • Advises the plan sponsor in fiduciary processes, including the Investment Policy Statement.


A 3(38) Investment Manager:

  • Appointed by the plan sponsor/committee to manage the investments of the retirement plan. The plan sponsor/committee retains the duty to prudently select and monitor the Investment Manager.
  • The Fiduciary with discretionary authority over the selection, monitoring, and replacement of plan investment options.
  • Advises the plan sponsor in fiduciary processes, including the Investment Policy Statement.
  • The plan sponsor/committee is relieved of the responsibility of the investment manager’s decisions and investment results
Does Welch Hornsby serve as a fiduciary?

Yes, Welch Hornsby states our position as co-fiduciary in our investment advisory agreement. We can serve in a 3(21) or 3(38) capacity.

What are my fiduciary responsibilities as Plan Sponsor?

The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses. Fiduciaries must act prudently and must diversify the plan’s investments in order to minimize the risk of large losses. In addition, they must follow the terms of plan documents to the extent that the plan terms are consistent with ERISA. They also must avoid conflicts of interest. In other words, they may not engage in transactions on behalf of the plan that benefit parties related to the plan, such as other fiduciaries, services providers or the plan sponsor.

Who is considered a Plan Fiduciary?

According to The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) those persons or entities who exercise discretionary control or authority over plan management or plan assets, anyone with discretionary authority or responsibility for the administration of a plan, or anyone who provides investment advice to a plan for compensation or has any authority or responsibility to do so are subject to fiduciary responsibilities. Plan fiduciaries include, for example, plan trustees, plan administrators, and members of a plan’s investment committee.

Have a question we didn't answer? Contact us.

For more detailed information, to arrange a Welch Hornsby presentation and for all general inquiries please contact us at info@welchhornsby.com or fill out the contact form below.

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