EBSA Offers Free ERISA Compliance Seminars

February 13, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will hold two free half-day workshops next week.

The workshops will be held in Boise, Idaho, on Wednesday, February 17, to help employers and plan administrators of pension and health plans better understand and comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).      

According to an EBSA announcement, the sessions will provide comprehensive information about the department’s Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). The program is designed to provide employers and plan administrators with an opportunity to identify and self-correct plan activities that might otherwise incur investigative or enforcement action. Following an opening presentation, EBSA staff will answer individual questions about and provide guidance on applying for participation in this program.

“The VFCP is an effective strategy to protect the pension benefits of America’s workers,” said Billy Beaver, director of the agency’s San Francisco Regional Office. “Through this voluntary program, EBSA helps employers resolve issues related to employee benefit plans that they sponsor and can help to protect employee benefits.”

The EBSA announcement notes that VFCP participants must fully correct eligible transactions, calculate any losses, restore those losses with interest or profits, and distribute any supplemental benefits owed to eligible participants and beneficiaries. The program also offers relief from Labor Department penalties and, in some cases, from Internal Revenue Service excise taxes that may otherwise be imposed.

Seating for the workshops, which will be held at the James A. McClure Federal Building/U.S. Courthouse located at 550 West Fort St., Room 311, is limited and pre-registration is recommended.        

For more information, and to register for the event, go to http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/VFCPID.pdf .  You can also contact Audrey W. Chan by telephone at 415.625.2445.