If a meeting takes place and there are no minutes or formal record, did the meeting really occur? The meeting attendees could of course attest to the fact that a meeting did indeed take place. However, if meeting minutes are not prepared and approved, the only record of what happened in that meeting will be the recollection of the attendees. This approach exposes the committee to a great deal of risk and a potential breach of their fiduciary duty.
Retirement plan committees should not discount the importance of keeping minutes. Meeting minutes can help:
- Capture the discussion and decisions of the investment committee. Several sets of meeting minutes help weave together the story of the actions the committee has taken related to their retirement plan.
- Protect committee members from breach of fiduciary duty claims by capturing how, why, and when decisions were made. Fiduciaries don’t always have to make the right decision; they just need to show that a prudent process was followed in making the decision.
- Capture information on decisions and why the decisions were made as it relates to the retirement plan. Meeting minutes are not transcripts of the meeting and do not need to be overly detailed.
Not sure what to include in your meeting minutes? Topics contained in most meeting minutes include:
- Approval of prior meeting minutes
- Economic Update
- Review of retirement plan financial activity
- Review of investment performance (detailing watch lists and decisions to add or remove investment options)
- Plan operations and compliance
- Legislative and regulatory update
- Fiduciary education for the committee
Interested in more information about keeping prudent minutes?
Check out our meeting minutes resource. We also have a sample template you can download and reference when you build your own minutes document.
Multnomah Group is a registered investment adviser, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any information contained herein or on Multnomah Group’s website is provided for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Multnomah Group does not provide legal or tax advice.