There are fiduciary duties attendants with a plan administrator handling your 401(k).  Fiduciary duties are the highest known duties under the law.  A fiduciary must act in the best interest of a plan participant.  An ERISA fiduciary must fulfill that responsibility “with the care, skill, prudence, and diligence” that a prudent person would show being familiar with such matters.  

In the case, Tibble et al v. Edison International, et al., the United States Supreme Court had occasion to consider fiduciary duties and whether the statute of limitation had run relating to claims made for imprudent election of some mutual fund investments for 401(k)s when the same type of mutual funds could have been selected with far less fees.  The 9th Circuit had held that the selection on the investments had occurred more than six (6) years prior to the date the lawsuit was filed and so the claims were barred.  However, the Supreme Court said that there is a “continuing duty to monitor trust investments and remove imprudent ones.” So there was not only a problem with the selection, but the ongoing monitoring of those selections as to whether they were prudent vehicles for the participants in a 401(k) plan.

So if your 401(k) is losing value or “crashing,” it is important to find out why.  The trustee managing the 401(k) may be “asleep at the wheel.”  See erisacase.com for more.