SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--(BUSINESS WIRE)--"If you sponsor or manage any type of defined benefit plan, you had better make sure you have one of these," says Carlyle Poindexter, President and Chief Underwriter of Surety One. Poindexter refers to the fidelity bond required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The purpose of the bond is to provide protection from fraud or other dishonest acts committed by a plan's trustee(s). Generally, the bond must be equal to or greater than ten percent of the value of all funds handled by the fiduciary. The bond is NOT optional.
Nationally recognized fidelity bond underwriter Surety One offers the ERISA bond required by federal law. The simple application can be completed in a few minutes and submitted to Surety One electronically. "Unless the plan contains a significant amount of non-qualifying assets or some other strange investment vehicles, we issue ERISA bonds for our applicants within an hour or two, weekends included," states Poindexter. "We provide a five line application with a built-in credit card payment form. You fill it out, fax or email it to one of our offices, and you've got your bond."
From an underwriter's perspective most ERISA bond applications are low risk and therefore freely written without a great deal of due diligence. Difficulties arise however when a plan contains large amounts of "non-qualifying assets", assets that are not held or offered by recognized financial institutions. Most insurance carriers would rather not offer bonding to fiduciaries of such plans. Fortunately, Surety One has a big appetite for anything with the word "bond" in it.
"ERISA bond underwriters look at non-qualifying assets and turn up their noses. I don't get that. First, you have to bond one hundred percent of the non-qualifying stuff rather than ten so we get paid to look more carefully at the applicant's program. Second, you have to remember that the bond is a dishonesty coverage. Dishonesty is dishonesty no matter what the plan is made up of. Plan contents don't turn a good guy into a thief. Third, if you have over five percent of your assets in non-qualifying, you're likely to get audited. That's like having the federal government as your policeman," says Poindexter. "I look at ALL outside-of-the-box applications. Qualifying, non-qualifying, employer issued securities, it doesn't matter to me. I'll offer terms. I'm a bondsman. I find a safe way to write a bond and DO it."
Surety One operates in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. Licensed since 1993, Surety One is one of the top independent ERISA fidelity bond producers in the United States. All ERISA bonds issued by Surety One are backed by one of the nation's top five surety insurance carriers, and appear on the U.S. Treasury's list of insurers qualified to secure federal obligations. For more information on ERISA fidelity bonds or any surety bond need, you may contact Surety One at (800) 373-2804 or by email at Underwriting@SuretyOne.org. Forms and support are available in English and Spanish.