The fiduciary or non-fiduciary status of other kinds of service providers can be less clear.
Directed Trustees: DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2004-03 (Dec. 17, 2004) (directed trustee is an ERISA fiduciary, but with limited responsibilities); In re WorldCom ERISA Litigation, 263 F. Supp. 2d 745 (S.D.N.Y. 2003).
Recordkeepers/TPAs: Haddock v. Nationwide Financial Services, Inc., 419 F. Supp.2d 156 (D. Ct. 2006) (individual account plans' record keeper that exercised discretion to select plans' investment options functioned as ERISA fiduciary); Health Cost Controls of Illinois v. Washington, 1999 WL 600394 (7th Cir. 1999) (firm hired by plan administrator to administer plan's claims for reimbursement from participants held to be an ERISA fiduciary); Pohl v. National Benefits Consultants, Inc., 956 F.2d 126 (7th Cir. 1992) (provision of ministerial claims administration services held to be non-fiduciary function); Harpole v. Entergy Arkansas, Inc. and T.Rowe Price, 197 F. Supp. 2d 1152 (E.D. Ark. 2002) (TPA can't be sued for payment to wrong beneficiary where plan committee, rather than TPA, approved beneficiary's claim); Smith v. Champion International Corp., 28 EBC 2847 (D. Conn. 2002) (long-term disability advisor hired to make non-binding recommendations concerning eligibility for benefits is not ERISA fiduciary); Flanagan Lieberman Hoffman & Swain v. TransAmerica Life Annuity Co., 228 F. Supp. 2d 830 (S.D. Ohio 2002) (TPA responsible for performing discrimination testing did not have fiduciary responsibility for determining whether plan contributions were proper). Bowling v. Chase Manhattan Bank, No. CV-99-0250-W-1 (W.D. Mo. Oct. 20, 2000) (acknowledging that provision of recordkeeping services to individual account plan was a non-fiduciary function); Brief of Secretary of Labor as Amicus Curiae in Tittle v. Enron Corp., No. H-01-3913 (S.D. Tex.) (where single firm provided both recordkeeping and custodial/directed trustee services, arguing that provider's role as directed trustee imposed fiduciary duties with respect to provider's actions as recordkeeper). See also DOL Amicus Brief to 5th Circuit in Milofsky v. Amerian Airlines, Inc., 2003 WL 22298799 (N.D. Tex. 2003), arguing that the question whether a recordkeeper can be sued as a fiduciary in connection with claims resulting from black-out needs further development before disposition.
Investment Consultants: Bell v. Executive Committee, 191 F. Supp. 2d 10 (D.D.C. 2001) (assuming, for purposes of motion to dismiss,