The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added to the already overwhelming amount of mandatory notices required for employers to remain compliant. Employers are required to provide employees with a variety of notices advising them of their rights and responsibilities in regard to FMLA, HIPAA and the ACA. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is no exception to this trend, presenting further challenges to employers in remaining compliant with federal and state laws.
ERISA is a 40-year-old compliance requirement which demands employers to provide specific information to workers about their retirement and health accounts, and it was rarely enforced, until now! The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible for ensuring adherence to the employee benefit plan system in the United States. The EBSA substantially increased their enforcement of ERISA audits throughout the U.S. in 2013 by adding 1,800 new auditors and found over $1.6 billion in total monetary results with companies who were not fully compliant. Typically, employers who are not in compliance are subject to fines that could range from $110 per day to over $1000 per day. These monetary results achieved by the EBSA are expected to grow in 2014 and 2015, further underlining the importance for employers to administer a fair, consistent and effective ERISA program to their employees.