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New ‘FORT™’ Built to Protect Plan Sponsors

Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries™ (CBCF™) builds a FORT™ to help improve communications between 401k plan sponsors, advisors, and service providers.

August 5, 2021 – STONINGTON, Conn: The Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries™ (CBCF™) introduces Fiduciary Oversight of Responsibilities and Tasks™ (FORT™), a new tool for professional and lay fiduciaries that clearly delineates the fiduciary responsibilities and tasks of a plan sponsor.

“Most fiduciary liability is the result of an omission as opposed to a commission. It’s not what a fiduciary did – it’s what the fiduciary forgot to do,” reports Don Trone, CBCF’s CEO. “Furthermore, plan sponsors face moral hazards when retirement advisors or service providers state or imply that they’ve relieved a plan sponsor of their fiduciary responsibility, but actually have only assumed a small subset of the tasks.”

There are 17.5 million lay fiduciaries in the US, men and women who have the legal responsibility for managing the assets of pension plans, foundations, endowments, health and welfare plans, and personal trusts. Three million lay fiduciaries manage $20 trillion dollars in retirement plans. These critical decision-makers generally come from outside the financial services industry; are often surprised to learn they are serving in a fiduciary capacity; and, have little, if any, training on what the law requires.

Lay fiduciaries don’t have to manage these assets by themselves – they can prudently select experts and delegate certain responsibilities. But often, there’s no bright-line between the fiduciary responsibilities lay fiduciaries retain, and the responsibilities that are contractually assumed by experts.

I can see clearly now…

“The FORT clearly shows the responsibilities and tasks of a plan sponsor along with the identification and fiduciary status of advisors and service providers that normally provide services to a 401k plan,” reports Trevor Merrill, the new Curator at CBCF™.

Screen shot that shows six of the seventy-nine responsibilities and tasks of a plan sponsor

“Lay fiduciaries may not realize that they can prudently delegate some of their fiduciary responsibilities to professional fiduciaries,” added Don Jones, CBCF’s Chairman of the Board. “The FORT should help mitigate risks.”

About the BCF™ Mark: The Board Certified Fiduciary™ (BCF™) is a professional mark awarded by the Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries™, (CBCF™), that recognizes the knowledge, skills, work experience and special expertise of an exemplary fiduciary leader.

About the Center: The Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries™ (CBCF™) is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) founded and funded by fiduciary advocates. The CBCF™ will be affiliating with a leading university to provide a graduate-level certificate in fiduciary leadership, stewardship, and governance. Over time, CBCF will develop the curricula for the first Master’s with a concentration in fiduciary responsibility. Learn more at

Trevor Merrill, BCF™ 480-202-9851
Don Trone, BCF™ 860-333-3401
Don Jones, BCF
Keith Gredys
Kate McBride, AIFA®, 732-241-4988