Employers that sponsor employee benefit plans are legally required to follow federal compliance regulations. These regulations are created to protect the interests of the plan participants and can be overwhelming and difficult for sponsors to maintain.
Compliance means adhering to the regulations AND documenting their implementation. Why? Because all benefit plans are subject to investigation by the Department of Labor. The sponsor’s compliance procedures and documentation are key components of these investigations.
Who is Liable for Compliance Penalties?
Employers are directly responsible for ensuring compliance obligations are met and are also liable for penalties if mandates aren’t followed. Even if you utilize the services of a Third Party Administrator or Benefit Adviser, it’s important to know that outsourcing responsibility does not equal outsourcing liability.
What Is ERISA?
ERISA (Employee Retirement Income and Security Act) is the comprehensive federal law that regulates pensions, retirement plans, and welfare employee benefits. Title I of ERISA applies to and imposes requirements specifically on employee health & welfare plans. Most employer and multi-employer sponsored health & welfare plans are covered under ERISA. This is true whether the plans are small or large, fully insured or self-insured, although certain obligations may vary according to the size and type of plan.
Employers assume various roles under ERISA (whether named or by default) and should be aware of what plans ERISA covers and the associated compliance obligations. Compliancedashboard® covers ERISA, HIPAA, ACA, COBRA, Medicare, 401(k) and other Federal Mandates, to the extent they apply to an employer’s health and 401(k) plans.
Our compliance experts are always compiling news and updates. Browse our resources to learn about compliance in a way that’s easier to understand. And check out our blog for the latest legal news that could affect your compliance obligations.
Use these links to get official information on benefit compliance laws, and other compliance assistance tools and resources for employers.