Retirement Industry Leaders Define Best Practices to Defeat Retirement Account Fraud

SPARK Institute’s Data Security Oversight Board Develops Standards to Help Protect Retirement Assets from Cyber Threats.

Criminals have been actively targeting retirement savings, increasing the threat of account take-overs and fraud. The SPARK Institute, through the work of its Data Security Oversight Board, announced today that it developed standards designed to protect retirement accounts from fraud in light of heightened and ongoing cybersecurity threats.

The SPARK Institute’s recommendations build upon the recently issued Department of Labor (DoL) cybersecurity guidance and provide more explicit guidance to defeat retirement account fraud.

“The protection of retirement accounts can only be fully realized with a partnership among Plan Sponsors, Fiduciaries, Recordkeepers, Participants — and Advisors, when applicable,” stated Tim Rouse, Executive Director of the SPARK Institute. “With this is mind, our recommended controls should be implemented among all individuals and organizations involved in a retirement plan.”

To facilitate implementing the standards, SPARK summarized the Data Security Oversight Board’s recommendations that highlight the minimum set of controls to consider and sets expectations for all parties involved. Rouse concluded, “We know that cyber threats are only going to increase. And we also know that protecting plan assets means that the retirement industry has to make a concerted and coordinated effort to fight fraud over the long term.”

For more information, please contact Tim Rouse at

About the SPARK Institute
The SPARK Institute represents the interests of a broad-based cross section of retirement plan service providers and investment managers, including members that are banks, mutual fund companies, insurance companies, third-party administrators, trade clearing firms, and benefits consultants. Through the combined expertise of its member companies, the Institute provides research, education, testimony, and comments on pending legislative and regulatory issues to members of Congress and relevant Government agency officials. Collectively, its members serve approximately 100 million participants in 401(k) and other defined contribution plans.

Back to news