Workplace Insights | Bank of America Merrill Lynch
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Helping you fulfill your fiduciary responsibility

At Bank of America, we understand that the fiduciary role is an important position of trust on behalf of the participants and beneficiaries in your retirement plan. We’re here to help you shoulder that burden and manage through the complexities. Through our Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) program,1 we can act as an ERISA 3(21) fiduciary2 and help you navigate this responsibility.

Fiduciary best practices guide all that we do

As a fiduciary, you must always act in the best interest of your participants, including helping them invest for retirement and plan for the future. One of the cornerstones of DCIC is our team of Merrill Designated Advisors, selected to provide our fiduciary services based upon a deep knowledge and understanding of defined contribution plans and fiduciary requirements.

DCIC primary services include:

Investment Policy Statement and Menu Design

With Merrill accepting ERISA 3(21) fiduciary responsibility for investment advice and recommendations, you can have a dialogue with your Merrill Designated Advisor to explore plan objectives and investment options.

Due Diligence

You can be confident knowing that due diligence is conducted by our Chief Investment Office (CIO) and other strategic partners.

Investment Performance Reporting

Reporting to assist you in documenting a fiduciary process.

Enjoy the attention of a qualified Merrill Designated Advisor

Our DCIC program is delivered by a select, credentialed group of Merrill Designated Advisors who specialize in defined contribution (DC) plans. This team delivers non-discretionary investment advice and personalized services, with the ability to bring you the broader resources and capabilities from across Bank of America enterprise.

What differentiates Merrill Designated Advisors

Qualified: All of the advisors selected to provide our fiduciary defined contribution services must meet requirements and demonstrate deep knowledge of defined contribution plans.

Consultative: Through personal interaction and the regular exchange of information and ideas, your Merrill Designated Advisor learns about your organization, your employees and their needs so they can make appropriate recommendations.

Proactive: Your Merrill Designated Advisor will notify you of any investments that no longer meet our criteria, share insights on investments and recommend options. They will also provide investment performance reporting to help you assure your monitoring process is appropriately carried out and documented.

As a fiduciary much of your focus, rightfully so, is on delivering positive outcomes for your employees. Let us demonstrate how we can assist you in this important endeavor.


1Defined Contribution Investment Consulting (DCIC) is an investment advisory program sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (also referred to as "MLPF&S or "Merrill"). It is only available to defined contribution plans, typically with greater than $10 million in assets, for which an external provider serves as recordkeeper (plans with recordkeeping services provided through Merrill or Advisor Alliance are not eligible for DCIC), and subject to certain requirements. For more information on plan eligibility speak to your Merrill Designated Advisor.

2The Merrill Lynch DCIC Client Agreement and disclosure documents include information about the program, including Merrill’s fiduciary responsibilities pursuant to ERISA section 3(21). Final selection of all investments to be included in the defined contribution plan menu will ultimately be that of the client. Merrill will not advise upon any employer securities, including any employer stock fund, or with respect to any self-direct brokerage option, participant loan balances, in-plan retirement income options, custom funds or Bank of America or Merrill affiliated mutual funds or other affiliated products (including, without limitation, deposit products including Retirement Bank Account).

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