As the financial industry continues to grow, the regulatory landscape has become increasingly complex. One area that has received particular attention is the management of employee retirement plans. To help ensure that these plans are managed appropriately, the Department of Labor has established a set of regulations known as the Qualified Professional Asset Manager (QPAM) agreement.
What is a QPAM Agreement?
At its most basic level, a QPAM agreement is a contract between a plan sponsor and a financial institution. The agreement allows the institution to continue managing the plan`s assets even if the institution has been found guilty of certain types of misconduct. Specifically, a QPAM agreement allows a financial institution to continue managing retirement plan assets even if it has been convicted of a “disqualifying criminal conviction.”
Why is a QPAM Agreement Important?
There are numerous reasons why a QPAM agreement is important for retirement plan management. First, it helps ensure that plans continue to receive consistent investment management even if the financial institution managing the assets has been found guilty of certain types of misconduct. This helps prevent plan participants from being unfairly penalized if their retirement plan assets are mismanaged.
Second, a QPAM agreement helps protect the assets of the retirement plan from being misused. By establishing strict guidelines for investment management, QPAM agreements help ensure that plan participants` assets are invested appropriately. This can help prevent the type of financial misconduct that has plagued the financial services industry in recent years.
Finally, a QPAM agreement can help reduce the risk of legal action being taken against a plan sponsor. By demonstrating that the plan sponsor has taken steps to ensure that its employees` retirement assets are being managed responsibly, the plan sponsor can help protect itself in the event of legal action.
What are the Requirements for a QPAM Agreement?
To qualify as a QPAM, a financial institution must meet certain requirements. These requirements include having at least $1 billion in assets under management, having experience managing institutional assets, and having systems and policies in place to prevent conflicts of interest.
In addition, QPAMs must adhere to a number of conditions when managing retirement plan assets. These conditions include avoiding transactions that could pose a conflict of interest, maintaining appropriate levels of diversification, and avoiding investments in certain assets (such as commodities and real estate).
In today`s complex financial landscape, it is more important than ever to ensure that employee retirement plans are managed responsibly. QPAM agreements help provide a framework for responsible retirement plan management, allowing financial institutions to continue managing these assets even in the event of certain types of misconduct. By working with a QPAM, plan sponsors can help protect their employees` retirement assets and reduce the risk of legal action.