In order for plan fiduciaries to take advantage of the protections of ERISA Section 404(c), the plan must meet the following requirements:
- The plan must be an individual account plan
- The plan provides participants with an opportunity to exercise control over assets within their own account
- The plan allows for participants to choose from a broad range of investment alternatives
ERISA Section 404(c) provides relief from breach of fiduciary responsibility where participants are allowed to direct their own investments and the many requirements enabling participants to make informed investment decisions are satisfied. Specifically, where participants in a defined contribution plan are allowed to direct the investment of the assets in their account, the plan fiduciary may avoid liability for losses resulting from investment decisions made by participants who are exercising control over their own plan accounts if the plan complies with all 404(c) requirements.