Under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, federal agencies are required to increase the amounts of civil monetary penalties annually to adjust for inflation. The first round of increases is set to take effect on August 1, 2016. The new penalties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) are shown below. Subsequent increases will be announced by January 15, 2017 and each January 15th thereafter.

The new ERISA penalty amounts apply where the penalty is assessed after August 1, 2016 and relates to a violation that occurred after November 2, 2015.

Offending Party Action in Question ERISA Section Current Penalty New Penalty
Employer

Failure to maintain records or furnish information sufficient to determine benefits

209(b) $11 per employee $28 per employee
Plan administrator

Failure/refusal to file annual report (Form 5500) with DOL

502(c)(2) $1,100 per day $2,063 per day
Administrator of multiemployer plan

Failure to certify endangered or critical (funding) status

502(c)(2) $1,100 per day $2,063 per day
Single-employer defined benefit plan

Failure to provide notice of funding-based limit on certain forms of distribution

101(j) and 502(c)(4) $1,000 per day $1,632 per day
Administrator of multiemployer plan

Failure to provide financial and actuarial reports on written request

101(k) and 502(c)(4) $1,000 per day $1,632 per day
Sponsor/Administrator of multiemployer plan

Failure to provide timely estimate of withdrawal liability upon request

101(l) and 502(c)(4) $1,000 per day $1,632 per day
Administrator of 401(k) plan with automatic contribution arrangement

Failure to provide notice to participants of their rights and obligations under the arrangement before the start of the plan year

514(e)(3) and 502(c)(4) $1,000 per day $1,632 per day
Multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA)

Failure/refusal to meet applicable reporting and disclosure requirements

502(c)(5) $1,100 per day $1,502 per day
Plan administrator

Failure to provide benefit plan information (including SPD) to DOL

502(c)(6) $110 per day; capped at $1,100 per request $147 per day; capped at $1,472 per request
Administrator of defined contribution plan with participant-directed investments

Failure/refusal to provide participants and beneficiaries with “blackout” notice or notice of right to divest employer securities

502(c)(7) $100 per day per required recipient $131 per day per required recipient
Underfunded multiemployer pension plan

Failure to timely adopt a funding improvement or rehabilitation plan or to meet benchmarks by the end of the improvement period

502(c)(8) $1,100 per day $1,296 per day
Employer

Failure to disclose group health plan benefits to states re Medicaid/CHIP eligible individuals

502(c)(9) $100 per employee per day $110 per employee per day
Employer

Failure to provide employees with written notice of opportunities for state-provided premium assistance for health coverage

502(c)(9) $100 per employee per day $110 per employee per day

Group health plan or plan’s health insurance issuer

Failure to follow genetic information protocols

502(c)(10) $100 per participant per day $110 per participant per day
Group health plan or plan’s health insurance issuer

Failure to follow genetic information protocols, where de minimis failure is not corrected before plan receives notice of violation from DOL

502(c)(10) Minimum penalty is $2,500 Minimum penalty is $2,745
Group health plan or plan’s health insurance issuer

Failure to follow genetic information protocols, where violation is more than de minimis

502(c)(10) Minimum penalty is $15,000 Minimum penalty is $16,473
Group health plan or plan’s health insurance issuer

Failure to follow genetic information protocols due to reasonable cause, not willful neglect

502(c)(10) Maximum penalty is $500,000 Maximum penalty is $549,095
Plan fiduciary

Making improper distribution

502(m) $10,000 per improper distribution $15,909 per improper distribution
Group health plan

Willful failure to provide summary of benefits coverage to participant or beneficiary

715 and new Labor Reg. §2575.2(m) $1,000 per failure $1,087 per failure

Sponsor of Cooperative and Small Employer Charity (CSEC) plan

Failure to establish or update a funding restoration plan

502(c)(12) $100 per day $100 per day (no change)