The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has broad authority to investigate or audit an employee benefit plan’s compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Audits are performed by the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). To perform these audits, EBSA employs over 400 investigators.
Unlike the IRS, the DOL doesn’t conduct random audits, so when an employer receives a notice from EBSA that its plan has been selected for audit, the DOL is looking for something specific. It may be acting on complaints from plan participants, a government referral, a referral from a service provider, or items “red flagged” by its computer programs. According to a DOL audit report for the 2014 fiscal year, approximately 5 out of 8 investigations resulted in penalties or required other corrective action.
The best time for an employer to analyze whether it may become the subject of a DOL audit is before the DOL comes knocking.
Marsh & McLennan Agency, known locally as Insurance Associates Company provides our clients with information and resources to reduce the risk of being audited, and prepare for an audit if EBSA contacts you.
- Audit Triggers
Participant complaints to the DOL
Incomplete or inconsistent information on Form 5500
- Minimizing The Risk
Respond to participant’s benefit questions timely
File Form 5500 completely and accurately and on time
Distribute participant notices by the deadline
Make timely updates to plan documents and SPDs
- Compliance Review
List of resources and documents that employers can use as part of their compliance review
- Correcting Mistakes
File delinquent Forms 5500
Correct fiduciary breaches
- Penalties For Non-Compliance
Form 5500 violations can result in a penalty of up to $1,100 per day
Failure to respond to participants’ requests for plan information may be charged up to $110 per day
Breaches of fiduciary duty
We can help you stay on top of health care reform in order to avoid penalties – from legislative briefs to compliance checklists, we’ve got you covered.
As an employee benefits expert, with over 20 years’ experience, I look forward to the opportunity to learn about your needs and design a solution for your company to keep you in compliance.
Contact me today, before you receive a letter from the DOL!
Information about the Author: Leslie’s career in the health insurance industry began with working at MAMSI as a sales consultant and later as a broker sales representative with United Healthcare. She has ten years’ experience and before coming to Marsh & McLennan Agency, known locally as Insurance Associates Company, Leslie developed and managed a team of sales professionals at a new health insurance carrier, Evergreen Health. As a Benefits Consultant at Marsh & McLennan Agency, known locally as Insurance Associates Company, Leslie specializes in designing employee benefit programs through education, communication and property aligned incentives.
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Phone – 301.838.8834