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Check Your ERISA Compliance – Penalty Amounts Increased


The DOL recently issued an interim final rule that dramatically increases multiple penalties for ERISA violations. The increases will apply to penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 for violations that occurred after November 2, 2015. For penalties assessed prior to August 1, 2016 the fines will remain the same. While the interim regulations did not increase penalties for all violations, a few of the significant penalties increased include:

  • Form 5500: The penalty for failing to file a timely Form 5500 increased almost 100% from $1,100 per day to a whopping $2,063 per day.

  • Form M-1: The penalty for failing to file a timely Form M-1 for Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) increased from $1,100 per day to $1,502 per day.

  • Group Health Plan Notices: Failing to inform employees of CHIP coverage now results in a penalty of $110 per day and failing to furnish a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) now results in a fine of $1,087 per failure.

Plan administrators should carefully monitor their compliance with all ERISA regulations to avoid the possibility of plans being assessed these increased penalties.


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