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ERISA Fidelity Bond

  • Quick Online Application for $500k coverage or less. Takes only a few minutes to complete your bond request.
  • Call Us for coverage amounts greater than $500k.
  • A-Rated Treasury listed Surety
  • Highly Competitive Rates

ERISA Bonds

Many Americans depend on employee retirement plans like 401(k) plans to help them secure their financial future throughout their golden years. These essential funds are critical to so many people and must be carefully managed. And when managers fail to perform their duties lawfully or ethically, they must be held accountable. That's where ERISA bonds come in. These surety bond types help protect anyone who depends on an employee retirement plan. Everyone involved should understand how ERISA fidelity bonds work. Here's your guide.

What is an ERISA Bond?

An ERISA bond is a special type of insurance policy designed to protect employee benefit plans against any illegal acts. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was enacted in 1974 and created standards for how the private sector administers health and retirement plans. One critical provision was instituting a fidelity bond requirement for anyone with fiduciary responsibilities for a retirement savings plan. Known as an ERISA bond, it acts as insurance against acts of dishonesty, theft, larceny, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, or any misappropriation of funds.

An ERISA fidelity bond must name the employer-sponsored benefit plan as the beneficiary of the insurance policy. The bond funds are to be used to repay the benefit plan in the event of fraud committed by plan administrators. Should any of these acts happen, participants can file a claim for damages against the ERISA bond. The surety agency that backs the bond guarantees payment for all valid claims up to the coverage amount.

ERISA Bond vs. Fidelity Bond

A fidelity bond protects a business entity from damaging and illegal employee behavior that could harm the company's interests. Also referred to as a "dishonesty bond," this protects the business from physical or financial losses. Janitorial service bonds are a typical example of a fidelity bond. They provide a form of insurance against a member of the cleaning staff misusing financial information in the offices they clean.

An ERISA bond is a specific type of fidelity bond that protects an employee benefit plan from damages resulting from acts of dishonesty. Both fidelity bonds and ERISA bonds are forms of insurance that protect against damages due to employee dishonesty. The ERISA bond specifically ensures employee health and retirement plans. The bond guarantees settlements for valid claims against the bond, providing a way to recoup the plan's financial losses. ERISA bonds are meant to expedite the process and ensure the outcome.

ERISA Bond Coverage

Most but not all retirement plans fall under ERISA oversight and are required to have ERISA bond coverage. Exemptions include government pensions, plans established by churches, and plans managed outside the US. For other employee benefit plans, however, anyone involved in a fiduciary or administrative role will need an ERISA fidelity bond. This includes:

  • Dispensing funds to beneficiaries
  • Working with assets that belong to the plan
  • Signing checks on behalf of the plan
  • Transferring plan funds

Every person who "handles funds or other property" in an employee benefit plan must be bonded unless they qualify for one of the exemptions listed above. The ERISA bond must be active and in good standing for as long as the individual plays a role in managing the retirement plan. Bondholders are required to renew their bond coverage annually, including updating the coverage amount based on changes to the plan's assets.

ERISA Bond Requirements

Anyone who is required to have an ERISA bond must obtain one worth at least 10% of the plan assets under management. So for a $500,000 employee benefit plan, the ERISA bond must be at least a $50,000 bond. When bond requirements apply, it's critical to get the ERISA bond coverage in place to avoid a gap in protection. Rely on Viking Bond Service to answer questions and supply bond quotes.

A 401(k) plan can purchase more coverage than the 10%, but it is not mandatory. Additionally, an ERISA bond cannot have a deductible, so the very first dollar lost is fully covered.

How to Obtain an ERISA FIDELITY Bond

The process to obtain an ERISA bond works like this:

  • For ERISA bonds valued at or less than $500,000, Bond-seekers provide the required bond amount of at least 10% of the plan's value and complete a standard bond application.
  • For larger bonds, call us at 1-888-2-SURETY (1-888-278-7389) or complete the contact form at the top of the page so we may best assist you with your specific request.
  • The surety will supply a quote for the bond premium based on the information provided in the application.
  • After premium payment, coverage is active, and the bondholder receives a document proving they've met the ERISA bond requirement.

How Much Does an ERISA Bond Cost?

ERISA bond costs depend primarily on the size of the bond. Costs are typically minimal for these types of bonds. For instance, a $500,000 ERISA bond can be obtained for less than $200 annually. To quickly determine the cost of your request, complete our simple online application, and a price will be quoted immediately.

No fidelity bond can be for a term shorter than one year. However, you can choose a longer term. Multi-year ERISA bonds typically have an "inflation guard" provision so that it automatically satisfies ERISA each year.

Request an ERISA Bond Quote Today!

At Viking Bond Service, we streamline the ERISA bonding process for you and welcome your questions. Get a free quote for your ERISA bond by just completing our simple form. There is no obligation when you contact us, just the detailed information your business needs. Contact us today, or give us a call at 1-888-2-SURETY (1-888-278-7389).

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