Fact Sheet: EBSA Restores Over $1.4 Billion to Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries
Available at https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/EBSA/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/fact-sheets/ebsa-monetary-results.pdf
The DOL has released a fact sheet announcing ERISA enforcement results generated by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) for fiscal year (FY) 2022 (October 1, 2021, through September 30, 2022). According to the fact sheet, EBSA has enforcement authority over approximately 747,000 retirement plans, 2.5 million health plans, and 673,000 other welfare benefit plans, covering about 152 million workers and their dependents and over $12 trillion in assets.
Total monetary recoveries for FY 2022 exceeded $1.4 billion, including over $422 million in benefits recovered and assets restored to plans through informal resolution of individual complaints. In addition to monetary recoveries, the DOL’s civil investigations resulted in other corrective actions such as removal of plan fiduciaries, appointment of independent fiduciaries, and reforms 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’s compliance assistance programs, noting that in FY 2022 there were 1,374 applications to the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and 22,444 annual reports (Form 5500s) filed through the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program.
EBIA Comment: While monetary recoveries were lower in FY 2022 than in other recent years (see, for example, our Checkpoint article), the related news release emphasizes the DOL’s “commitment to safeguarding the security of the retirement, health and other work-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 should stay on top of ERISA compliance requirements. For more information, see EBIA’s ERISA Compliance manual at Sections XXXVII (“DOL Audits and Investigations Under ERISA”), XXXII.B (“Correcting Late and Unfiled Form 5500s: Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program”), 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 EBIA’s 401(k) Plans manual at Section XXXII.C (“DOL Investigations”).
Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.