Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News & Views - May 2010

 
ERISA Enforcement Nets $1.36 Billion in '09

 

2008

2009

Change

Total Monetary Results

$1.2 Billion

$1.36 Billion

+13.3%

Individual Complaints

175,000

365,457

+108.8%

Civil Investigations

3,570

3,669

+2.8%

Investigations Closed with Results

75.5%

77.2%

+2.3%

Cases Referred for Litigation

205

204

-0.5%

Individual Criminal Indictments

101

115

+13.9%

 
In 2009, the U.S. The Department of of Labor (DOL), through its enforcement arm, the Employee Benefits Security Agency (EBSA) increased its total monetary results by roughly $160 Million, or 13.3% over 2008. This increase may be attributable to the current environment of increased regulatory oversight.
 
The number of individual complaints more than doubled in 2009, likely resulting from more than 1,500 education and outreach events the EBSA conducted for workers, employers, plan officials and members of Congress.  
 
The EBSA reached workers, retirees, employers, plan service providers, and the public through printed materials and its web site. Over 829,000 publications were distributed, and the EBSA's website, www.dol.gov/ebsa, had 6.2 million visitors.
 

Of interest is the average monetary result per closed investigation with results. In both 2008 and 2009, this average was less than $5,000 suggesting that enforcing one's rights under ERISA is attainable by rank and file employees over modest sums, not just by highly paid employees of large employers.

Sources:
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fsFY08results.html.
http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fsFYagencyresults.html 
 

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