The DOL has released a fact sheet announcing the ERISA enforcement results generated by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 (October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022). . According to the fact sheet, EBSA has authority to enforce approximately 747,000 retirement plans, 2.5 million health plans and another 673,000 social benefit plans, covering some 152 million workers and their dependents and more than $12 trillions in assets.
Total monetary recoveries for fiscal year 2022 exceeded $1.4 billion, including more than $422 million in recovered benefits and assets restored to plans through the informal resolution of individual complaints. In addition to monetary recoveries, DOL’s civil investigations resulted in other corrective actions, including removal of plan trustees, appointment of independent trustees, and reform of plan procedures. The fact sheet also includes statistics on criminal investigations and EBSA’s outreach and education efforts. And it highlights the use of EBSA compliance assistance programs, noting that in fiscal year 2022 there were 1,374 requests for the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and 22,444 annual reports (Form 5500) filed through the Voluntary Compliance Program for Filers Defaulters.
EBIA Comment: While currency recoveries were lower in fiscal 2022 than in other recent years (see, for example, our Checkpoint article), the related Press release emphasizes the “DOL’s commitment to safeguarding the retirement security, health, and other job-related benefits of America’s workers and their families.” To limit potential exposure in the event of an investigation, plan sponsors, administrators, and service providers must remain aware of ERISA compliance requirements. For more information, see EBIA’s ERISA Compliance manual at Sections XXXVII (“DOL Audits and Investigations Under ERISA”), XXXII.B (“Correction of Late and Non-Filed Form 5500: Voluntary Compliance Program for delinquent taxpayers”) and XXXII.J (“Fiduciary Failures: Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program”). See also EBIA’s Self-Insured Health Plans manual at Section XXXII.B (“DOL Civil Investigations (Audits) under ERISA” ) and the EBIA 401(k) Plans manual in Section XXXII.C (“DOL Investigations”).
Contributing editors: EBIA staff.
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