An Insurance News Net, Inc. Feature
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Jan. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), every retirement plan must comply with the Federal Code and be insured by an ERISA fidelity bond. The purpose of the fidelity bond is to protect plan assets from fraud or other dishonest acts committed by the plan’s trustees. Carrying an ERISA bond is mandatory. Civil and criminal sanctions can be brought for willful failure to procure the coverage.
Surety One, Inc. offers the ERISA fidelity bond required by federal law. “If you are a sponsor or manage any type of retirement plan, you have to put this fidelity bond in place,” says Constantin Poindexter, President of Surety One, Inc. “There is a quite a bit of non-compliance but largely because small plan sponsors are simply unaware that they need one. If a loss is reported to the Department of Labor and no fidelity bond covers the plan, penalties can be harsh. The coverage is really inexpensive, so it doesn’t make sense to skip it.”
The simple application for plans with qualified assets can be completed and the bond delivered electronically within minutes. “Unless the plan contains a significant amount of non-qualifying assets or some odd investment vehicles, we issue ERISA bonds for our clients immediately,” states Poindexter, “We provide a six-line application. You fill it out, fax or email it to one of our offices, and your bond is in your hands in minutes.” ERISA fidelity bonds are generally low risk obligations. Difficulties arise only where a plan contains significant balances of non-qualified assets, i.e., assets not issued by financial institutions. Retro-dating of bonds is also problematic however Surety One, Inc. offers special programs for “outside of the box” requirements. Says Poindexter, “Surety companies generally decline bonding those plans with significant non-qualifying asset balances or allow much retro-dating. That really doesn’t make a lot of sense. A dishonest act is a dishonest act, no matter what makes up the plan. A diversity of assets doesn’t turn a trustee into a thief.”
Surety One, Inc. has decided to offer a special advantage to customers that choose to purchase its ERISA bond product. According to Poindexter, “Social responsibility is a big part of what we do here. We cannot discount these bonds without running afoul of some states’ rebating laws so what I have chosen to do is gift our entire brokerage commission to an armed forces food assistance program for the entire first quarter of 2023. Per my standing agreement with Surety One, Inc., I’ll match those donations with my personal funds. The Military Family Advisory Networks group does a good job in this area, so that is where the money is going to go.”
Surety One, Inc. is an international insurance intermediary domiciled in Puerto Rico, operating throughout the United States, Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands. All ERISA fidelity bonds issued by Surety One, Inc. are supported by highly rated surety insurance carriers and active on the U.S. Treasury’s circular (T-List) of insurers qualified to guarantee federal obligations. The ERISA bond program offers coverage for plans made up of employer issued securities (ESOPs), labor unions, multi-employer structures and non-qualified assets as well as standard plans. For more information on ERISA fidelity bonds or to process an online application visit https://ERISA-Bonds.com. For more information call (800) 373-2804 or email
SOURCE Surety One, Inc.