Key Compliance Deadlines for Employers in July 2024

Information Regarding ERISA Compliance and Health Plan Audits

Through the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Department of Labor (DOL) enforces the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1774 (ERISA). ERISA provides a set of minimum standards for employee benefit plans that are maintained by private-sector employers. It is important for employers who offer benefit plans to understand the requirements in order to remain compliant.

Employers who are subject to ERISA

Regardless of size, private-sector employers that provide welfare plans for their employees are impacted by ERISA. This is not limited to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, sole proprietorships and nonprofit organizations. ERISA is exempted for only two types of employers:

  • Church plans; and
  • Plans established by an “agency” of a federal, state, or local government entity.

For more information about ERISA requirements and FAQs, click here.

 

Enforcement of ERISA through DOL Audits

The DOL may perform audits which will focus on violations of ERISA’s obligations and reporting, in addition to disclosure requirements. Additionally, the DOL seeks to enforce group health plan requirements which include the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act Requirement. Investigation purposes may not be disclosed by investigators; however, some audits may be triggered due to:

  • Repeat complaints regarding potential violations made to the DOL;
  • Repeated inconsistencies or incompletion of Form 5500; and
  • National enforcement priorities or projects by the DOL.

 

Ways Employers can Minimize the Risk of Getting Audited

There are several ways employers can minimize the risk of being audited:

  • Responding quickly to plan participants’ questions and requests for information;
  • Filing Form 5500 on time and accurately;
  • Distributing required participant notices by the deadline;
  • Providing timely updates to plan documents and summary plan descriptions; and
  • Regularly reviewing health plans for compliance.

If you have questions regarding compliance, contact your dedicated Creative Benefits, Inc. team member.