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

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

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Conducted on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will prepare counsel to advise clients on negotiating and entering into service provider agreements for retirement plans. The panel will discuss some 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 and the consideration of a variety of fiduciary issues.

Contracts must meet several applicable requirements. Agreements must also account for ERISA when detailing provisions regarding the treatment of potential liability. Essential items, such as indemnification, termination, disclosure and other clauses must be carefully crafted to avoid and minimize any liability stemming from service providers.

Listen as our panel of experienced attorneys examines relevant ERISA considerations and offers proposed best practices for retirement 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 retirement and 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 noteworthy issues:

  • How to determine whether a provider is a fiduciary under ERISA 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

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

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

Safra, Seth
Seth J. Safra

Proskauer Rose

Mr. Safra advises clients on compensation and benefit programs. His experience covers a broad range of retirement plan...  |  Read More

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