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Fidelity Bonds

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was enacted to protect employee benefit plans against loss by acts of fraud or dishonesty. Most retirement plans, including partially or fully funded cafeteria plans, are required to carry a fidelity bond (also known as ERISA bonds) covering persons who handle plan funds. Fidelity bonds protect the plan participants and beneficiaries against dishonest acts of a fiduciary. Fidelity bonds are not intended to insure or indemnify a fiduciary. You may voluntarily obtain separate fiduciary insurance to protect yourself or other plan fiduciaries.

The amount of the fidelity bond will vary depending on the type of plan assets. We can help you determine the amount of bond needed.  We routinely monitor the bond as part of our basic services.

Generally, you must cover a minimum of 10% of the plan’s Qualified Assets up to a maximum bond limit of $500,000 ($1,000,000 for plans that hold employer stock). Higher limits may be obtained if desired. Enhanced fidelity bonds are required if your plan contains Nonqualified Assets. The bond must cover 100% of the value of Nonqualified Asset with no maximum limit. If you are unsure whether your plan’s assets are Qualified or Nonqualified, contact us for assistance.

Small plans (100 or fewer participants) are required to undergo a small plan independent audit if, among other requirements, you fail to have a fidelity bond. In addition, failure to obtain a bond increases plan audit risk by the Department of Labor.

You are not required to carry a fidelity bond if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • Bank or insurance company holds 100% of the plan assets;
  • Your plan is not covered by ERISA – Generally, one-person plan or plans covering only your spouse or one or more partners in a partnership; or
  • Plans that pay 100% of benefits from the general assets of a union or employer.

When you are shopping for a bond, ask if the bond contains Inflation Guard features. Contact us if you have any questions related to fidelity bonds or would like rate information.

Not FDIC Insured Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value
Not Guaranteed by any Government Agency Not a Bank Deposit
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