DOL regulations provide safe harbor relief from certain fiduciary responsibilities for fiduciaries of participant directed individual account plans who, in the absence of directions from a participant, invest the participant’s account in a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA).

The following conditions must be satisfied in order to obtain safe harbor relief:

The final regulation does not identify specific investment products – rather, it describes mechanisms for investing participant contributions. The intent is to ensure that an investment qualifying as a QDIA is appropriate as a single investment capable of meeting a worker’s long-term retirement savings needs.

Please note that the final regulation does not absolve fiduciaries of the duty to prudently select and monitor QDIAs.

The final regulation provides for four types of QDIAs:

Other Significant Provisions

 Additional Resources

QDIA Fact Sheet