In the beginning of 2018, the DOL issued a final rule increasing the fines for violations of ERISA and other federal laws. Some ERISA violations include: failure to file Form 5500s, failure to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and the failure to furnish information required by the DOL. The penalty for failing to file the 5500 increased to $2,140 per day, up from $2,097 per day in 2017. Failing to provide an SBC will now cost health plans up to $1,128 per failure and the failure of a health plan to inform participants of their rights under the Children's' Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will cost up to $114 per day, up from $112 per day.
Violations of ERISA are costly and, in light of the annual fee increase, health plan sponsors should take the opportunity to review their plan administration practices to ensure compliance.