In general, a trustee for a 401(k) qualified retirement plan subject to the ERISA rules is required to be bonded. However, ERISA Section 412 provides an exemption for trustee bonding. The following is an excerpt from ERISA Section 412:
“Every fiduciary of an employee benefit plan and every person who handles funds or other property of such a plan (hereafter in this section referred to as ‘‘plan official’’) shall be bonded as provided …”
Thus, it is clear that the trustee of a 401(k) Plan that is adopted by a business with more than one employee other than the owner or spouse of the owner, will be subject to the ERISA bonding requirements.
The question then becomes – does a trustee of self-directed 401(k) Plan need to secure a fidelity bond? FSB 2008-04 states that a 401(k) Plan with no employees is exempt from Bonding because the plan is exempt from Title I of ERISA and, thus, since the self-directed 401(k) Plan is not subject to the ERISA rules a solo 401(k) Plan trustee is not required to have a fidelity bond.