The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) just issued a “Fact Sheet” describing Fiscal Year 2014 civil and criminal enforcement activity under ERISA.

Here is a copy of the fact sheet.

Key Take Aways on DOL’s Enforcement Efforts:

  1. EBSA oversees about 684,000 retirement plans, 2.4 million health plans and a similar number of welfare plans. These plans cover about 141 million workers, plus their dependents.
  2. More criminal investigations, but fewer guilty pleas.   In 2014, DOL closed 365 criminal investigations: that is about 30% more than 4 years earlier. It represents a continuing trend of more criminal investigations that started around 2000. They indicted 106 individuals and obtained 85 “guilty pleas or convictions”. This is lower.
  3. More civil investigations, focused on protection of plan assets and participants’ benefits. The DOL closed about 4000 civil investigations in 2014. This is up in more recent years, but in 2002 there were 25% more civil investigations. The DOL’s strategic plan through 2018 calls for increased civil enforcement.
  4. Monetary results lower.   The Fact Sheet claims $599.7 million was restored through enforcement. This is low compared to more recent years.
  5. Compliance Assistance. EBSA provides incentives to fiduciaries who voluntarily report and self-correct ERISA violations. About 1643 applications were filed last year to disclose and self-correct violations.
  6. Late Filings. About 25,000 applications for the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program were filed last year.