A Department of Labor (DoL) press release, said this is the second highest annual result in the agency’s history. The record was set by fiscal year 2004 results (See EBSA Sees Large Increase in Enforcement Action).
Included in the $1.7 billion is $709 million in assets restored to plans and benefits recovered for individual workers – an increase of nearly 120% over FY 2004, according to the release. Also, EBSA’s Benefits Advisors handled nearly 160,000 inquiries and recovered a record $88.4 million in benefits on behalf of workers and their families through informal resolution of individual complaints.
EBSA closed 3,782 civil investigations in 2005, with 2,862 (75.67%) resulting in monetary results for plans or other corrective action. In addition, 196 criminal investigations were closed, and the agency achieved a 13% increase in the number of criminal investigations closed with either a guilty plea or a criminal conviction. EBSA’s criminal investigations, as well as its participation in criminal investigations with other law enforcement agencies, led to the indictment of 106 individuals – including plan officials, corporate officers, and service providers – for offenses related to employee benefit plans.
In 2005, EBSA received 985 applications for the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program – a 108% increase over 2004. Applicants restored $7.4 million in assets to employee benefit plans through this program.
More information can be found at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa .