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Compliance Corner

Federal Updates

DOL Reports ERISA Enforcement Statistics for Fiscal Year 2020

In a DOL fact sheet, the agency announced that over $3.1 billion was recovered from enforcement of ERISA by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) through investigations, complaint resolution and other enforcement efforts for fiscal year 2020.

The EBSA’s oversight extends to almost 722,000 retirement plans and approximately 2.5 million health plans, among other welfare benefits plans. The fact sheet explains that over $2.6 billion was recovered through investigations, and $456.3 million was restored to workers through informal complaint resolution. Of EBSA’s 1,122 civil investigations, over 65% resulted in monetary or other corrective action. Non-monetary corrective action ranged from removal of a plan fiduciary to implementation of new plan procedures.

Where voluntary compliance efforts do not come to fruition, EBSA refers cases to the Solicitor of Labor. In fiscal year 2020, the agency referred 82 cases to litigation. In addition, EBSA closed 230 criminal cases resulting in 59 guilty pleas or convictions and 70 individuals indicted.

As demonstrated by the data summarized in the fact sheet, ERISA enforcement remains robust. Employers should take note of EBSA’s increased enforcement activity and should be mindful of this information when formulating and administering their own ERISA compliance.

DOL Fact Sheet »

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