EBSA Reorganization Suggests More Uniformity
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is the agency under the Department of Labor that administers, regulates, and enforces the requirements of ERISA regarding retirement and health and welfare plans. It was recently announced that, effective October 1, the agency will be reorganized. Previously, there were two deputy assistant secretaries that reported directly to the Assistant Secretary, the head of EBSA. This reorganization will add an additional deputy assistant secretary position, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Regional Office Operations. In the past, the regional EBSA offices have been relatively independent from the national office and have enjoyed wide latitude to make decisions regarding interpretation and enforcement of ERISA. The creation of this position suggests that EBSA may be working towards more nationwide consistency and uniformity in enforcement and interpretation.