ERISA Service Provider Agreements for Retirement Plans: Negotiating, Drafting and Monitoring Agreements

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will prepare counsel to advise clients on negotiating and entering into service-provider agreements for retirement plans. The panel will discuss a number of practical business concerns and possible best practices.


Identifying, monitoring and ensuring the effectiveness of service providers in the context of employee benefits raises concerns for clients due to complex ERISA-related compliance and business considerations. At the selection stage, candidates’ qualifications should be verified and otherwise carefully considered. Negotiating and entering into service agreements often involves a determination of the scope of services being rendered and the consideration of a variety of fiduciary issues.

Contracts must meet a number of applicable requirements. Agreements must also account for ERISA when detailing provisions regarding the treatment of potential liability.

Listen as our panel of experienced attorneys examines relevant ERISA considerations and offers proposed best practices for pension plan sponsors and service providers at each stage of the agreement process—from selection and negotiation through the structuring, drafting and execution of the agreement.



  1. Negotiations for ERISA pension plan service providers
    1. Services needed by retirement plan sponsors
    2. Considerations for plan sponsors when selecting service providers
    3. Bonding/insurance considerations
    4. Is the service provider a fiduciary under ERISA?
  2. Drafting service provider agreements
    1. Damages/indemnification provisions
    2. Limitation of liability
    3. Termination provisions
    4. Electronic communications
    5. Required compensation/fee disclosures
  3. Monitoring service provider performance


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How to determine whether a provider is a fiduciary under ERISA, including under recently re-proposed ERISA regulations—and the ramifications of that determination
  • How to draft ERISA-compliant agreements that meet the business needs of both parties to the agreement
  • Additional negotiating issues raised by ERISA concerns


Castleton, Todd
Todd B. Castleton

Senior Counsel
Proskauer Rose

Mr. Castleton's practice focuses on the compliance and administration of qualified defined contribution and...  |  Read More

Sarah E. Downie
Sarah E. Downie

Hughes Hubbard

Ms. Downie advises plan sponsors, employers, management and executives on all aspects of compensation and...  |  Read More

Andrew L. Oringer
Andrew L. Oringer


Mr. Oringer's practice includes advising clients regarding ERISA and employee benefits generally, including...  |  Read More

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