The fact is that sometimes, bad things happen to good people. That can be said about retirement plans and the good plan sponsors and providers who do their job. No matter how great a job you do, the threat of potential liability is always there.
No matter how you take care of your fiduciary responsibility and no matter how professional you are won’t preclude someone from suing them.
Just because a plan participant doesn’t really have a case against you or a plan provider that is doing their job, doesn’t mean they can’t sue. Competence doesn’t preclude frivolous lawsuit or litigation that has very little merit. Competence will only mean that there will likely be no liability, just the headache of a lawsuit which can hurt you if you don’t have fiduciary liability insurance.
I know a fiduciary who was sued because the previous plan fiduciary stole money the year before. These things happen because sometimes when someone hires an overly ambitious litigator, people who get sued when they do nothing wrong.
We can talk about how plan sponsors and providers can minimize their potential liability, but they can never eliminate the threat of litigation.