As the Executive Managing Director of Old Slip Capital Partners, James Lukezic has almost two decades of experience working as a retirement consultant for large corporations. In his current role, James Lukezic ensures his entire team is in compliance with ERISA. “My Firm is a leading ERISA Fiduciary Advisor to large corporate retirement plans of all kinds,” he says. For those who are not familiar, James Lukezic talks about what ERISA entails and what the responsibilities of fiduciaries are.
What is the Employee Income Retirement Income Security Act?
According to James Lukezic, the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) came into existence in 1974 to help protect the retirement assets of all the people who entered a plan. Under ERISA, fiduciaries, who manage the assets, must follow the rules to avoid misusing the assets set forth in the plan. ERISA also dictates all fiduciaries must provide participants with all of the relevant information about the plans’ benefits and features.
James Lukezic also points out ERISA has minimum participation standards set which dictate the vesting, benefit accrual, participation, and funding. Under ERISA, there are also rules that dictate how long a person should work for before they’re able to participate in a pension plan. Plan sponsors also have to adhere to the rules and provide adequate funding to remain in compliance with ERISA.
What is the Purpose of ERISA?
All in all, James Lukezic explains the purpose of ERISA is to identify roles and regulate the responsibilities of a fiduciary. According to James Lukezic, a fiduciary is a person who controls, manages, or holds authority over a plan or assets. All of the fiduciaries who violate any of the ERISA rules will have to restore the losses caused to the plan.
James Lukezic explains there are three takeaways to ERISA that all fiduciaries should be familiar with.
- If a fiduciary misused the plan, ERISA allows for participants to sue for the loss of benefits.
- The rules set by ERISA prevent the plan fiduciaries from misusing any of the assets in the plan.
- ERISA also sets minimum standards of participation, funding, benefit accrual, and vesting of all retirement plans.
James Lukezic has also worked with financial giants such as Merrill Lynch, Citigroup Global Markets, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America in his career. Some of his interests include belonging to the United States Polo Association, New York City’s Fencers Club, and the American Helicopter Society. James also enjoys helping the community and staying involved with nonprofits.