Under ERISA, fiduciaries may be held personally liable for breach of their responsibilities in the administration or handling of employee benefit plans. Fiduciary Liability Insurance is not required by ERISA. However, it is strongly recommended if you are a fiduciary of a welfare and/or pension plan because your personal assets are at stake. Many fiduciaries believe incorrectly that their ERISA fidelity bond protects their personal assets.
Furthermore, many think that this type of coverage is included in their D&O policy. Most D&O policies exclude fiduciary liability exposures as well as those exposures pertaining to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Moreover, designated fiduciaries are not the only targets of such lawsuits; targets can also include the employer and even the plan itself. Claims can be brought by plan participants, participants legal estates, the Department of Labor, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
A company can help mitigate the personal liability of its fiduciaries by following the advice of outside experts and by selecting diverse, financially sound investments. But, it cannot entirely eliminate their personal liability.