It is that time of year that brings about the age old question: Do you believe? Do you have to be able to see something to believe that it is real? Much like the spirit of Christmas, a DOL audit is very real and all should BELIEVE!
While you can’t see a Department of Labor (DOL) audit, you can believe that one could happen to any employer. But employers can take some simple steps to stay on the “nice” list and avoid a DOL audit. Employers can start by following the rules and regulations when dealing with employees, and secondly, they can be sure to have all of the appropriate documentation in place.
The second step is very important to avoiding the “naughty” list. The Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) mandates that employers/plan administrators of ERISA-covered plans provide a Summary Plan Description (SPD) to each participant and that plans be maintained in accordance with a written Plan Document. The ERISA Wrap applies to virtually all employers who offer or sponsor benefits, regardless of number of participants. Many employers mistakenly assume that insurance contracts, certificates of insurance, and benefits summaries fulfill the ERISA requirements for an SPD and Plan Document−but it isn’t enough.
To keep employers on the “nice” list, BASE® can provide the BASE® ERISA Wrap! It is designed to help employers fulfill the ERISA requirements for an SPD and Plan Document. From the first consultation to the implementation, BASE® provides and maintains all documentation to the employer for distribution to all eligible employers.
At Christmas if you’re naughty you get coal, but with the Department of Labor (DOL) it is much more serious – the employer will be fined $110 per-day, per employee not covered by the required or recommended provisions that protect the plan.
Despite what many employers believe, all businesses are at risk for an audit. And seeing is believing for many, so when an employer finds themselves in an audit situation, they can believe they will avoid the costly fines of not being in compliance with an ERISA Wrap in place.
The DOL Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) had an increase in the amount of ERISA DOL fines from 2016 to 2017 by 72 PERCENT, resulting in over $1.1 BILLION in fines. The DOL is taking it serious in their Strategic Plan for the upcoming year. With more data being shared electronically, any audit will trigger an investigation into other areas of employer non-compliance.
This holiday season is the perfect time for businesses to get prepared and set up properly for a profitable and compliant year. Call BASE® at 1-888-386-9680 or visit the website.