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3(38) Fiduciaries: Experienced Investment Management for Your Retirement Plan

What is a 3(38) Fiduciary?

A 3(38) fiduciary plays a pivotal role in managing investment options. Unlike a 3(21) fiduciary, who advises but doesn't necessarily make final decisions, a 3(38) fiduciary takes on the full responsibility of selecting, monitoring, and, if necessary, replacing plan investments. 

This designation signifies a high level of trust and experience, as these fiduciaries assume legal liability for their investment decisions. Employers often seek out 3(38) fiduciaries to streamline the investment process and alleviate some of the fiduciary burdens associated with managing retirement plans.  

This is why our clients turn to us. Acting as 3(38) fiduciaries, we assume the responsibility for prudently investing on behalf of our clients’ employees. We have the experience that our clients trust, and we have helped countless individuals to be vastly successful with their retirement plans.

3(21) vs. 3(38) Fiduciary: Understanding the Difference

3(21) vs. 3(38) Fiduciary: Understanding the Difference

When considering fiduciary responsibilities within retirement plans, the distinction between a 3(21) and a 3(38) fiduciary is crucial. A 3(21) fiduciary advisor offers investment recommendations to a retirement plan sponsor, who ultimately retains the responsibility for implementing and monitoring those recommendations. 

Conversely, a 3(38) fiduciary, often referred to as an investment manager, assumes the authority to make and implement investment decisions on behalf of the plan sponsor, thereby alleviating them of some fiduciary duties. While both designations carry fiduciary responsibilities, the key distinction lies in the level of discretion and decision-making authority held by each.

Fiduciary Liability: Mitigating Risks with a 3(38) Fiduciary

Fiduciary liability is a critical concern for plan sponsors. By appointing a 3(38) fiduciary, sponsors can transfer a significant portion of this liability to the designated investment manager, thus safeguarding the interests of both the plan participants and the sponsor.

The Importance of a 3(38) Fiduciary Agreement

A 3(38) fiduciary agreement outlines the terms and responsibilities of the designated investment manager. This agreement serves as a vital document in clarifying roles, mitigating risks, and ensuring compliance with Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations.

Experienced Investment Management: Partnering with a 3(38) Fiduciary

Experienced Investment Management: Partnering with a 3(38) Fiduciary

Navigating the complexities of investment management and fiduciary responsibilities requires foresight and diligence. Our firm specializes in serving as a 3(38) fiduciary, providing comprehensive investment oversight and assuming the highest level of fiduciary responsibility for your retirement plan. With us, you can enjoy:

  • Experienced Oversight
  • Fiduciary Protection
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Enhanced Governance
  • Improved Investment Outcomes
  • Streamlined Administration
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Transparent Reporting
  • Customized Solutions
  • Peace of Mind


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

A 3(21) fiduciary provides recommendations and guidance to the plan sponsor, while the ultimate responsibility for investment decisions remains with the sponsor. Conversely, a 3(38) fiduciary assumes full discretion and responsibility for investment decisions within the plan.

What is included in a 3(38) fiduciary agreement?

A 3(38) fiduciary agreement typically delineates the scope of investment management authority, the selection and monitoring process for plan investments, and the fiduciary duties and responsibilities assumed by the designated investment manager.

What strategies does Dahring | Cusmano use to manage investments effectively within retirement plans?

Providing insight into your company's investment philosophy, approach to asset allocation, due diligence process for selecting investment options, and ongoing monitoring procedures are some of the strategies we use to help optimize plan performance while mitigating risk.

3(38) Fiduciary Near Me

3(38) Fiduciary Near Me

Looking for professional investment management near you? We are here and ready to help you every step of the way! We take this responsibility very seriously and we do our due diligence in researching investment options, analyzing performance, and making adjustments when needed.  Enhance the performance and compliance of your employee retirement plans with dedicated guidance and professional oversight. Contact us today to learn more about our 3(38) fiduciary services and how we can help optimize your plan's investment strategy while minimizing your fiduciary liability.

For more information about our firm and the services we offer, send us a quick email or call the office. We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.