EBSA Enforcement Action Gains Reach $1.4B in 2006

January 18, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) achieved $1.4 billion in results from actions to enforce the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) during fiscal year 2006.

That figure was below the $1.7 billion it reaped from its enforcement efforts the year before (See EBSA Achieves $1.7 Billion in Enforcement Actions Results ).

Included in the $1.4 billion for FY 2006 is $829 million in assets restored to plans and benefits recovered for individual workers – an increase of nearly 200% over FY 2001, according to a DoL press release.  Also, EBSA’s Benefits Advisors handled nearly 165,000 inquiries and recovered a record $87.1 million in benefits on behalf of workers and their families through informal resolution of individual complaints.

EBSA closed 3,411 civil investigations in 2006, with 2,534 (74.29%) resulting in monetary results for plans or other corrective action, the press release said.  In addition, 221 criminal investigations were closed, with 75 ending in 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 (the same as the year before) – including plan officials, corporate officers, and service providers – for offenses related to employee benefit plans.

In 2006, EBSA received 1,468 applications for the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. Applicants restored $24.2 million in assets to employee benefit plans through this program.

More information can be found at    http://www.dol.gov/ebsa .