If you manage employee benefit plans, you probably are familiar with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as ERISA. The federal Department of Labor enforces provisions set forth in ERISA, and there are a few things that are consistently being looked at under this act.

Here are a few things you need to know about Employee Benefit Plans:

  1. Filing an annual report with the DoL. Qualified plans must file an annual return or report on Form 5500 – whether or not they earn. And to be considered complete, this form must be filed by the last day of the seventh calendar month of the end of the plan year. There are some exceptions and extensions can be filed, but generally this is the rule. There are penalties for not doing so. If a complete and accurate Form 5500 isn’t filed, there can be penalties. Some penalties are administrative; others can have legal consequences.
  2. Forfeitures and lawsuits. There are several class action lawsuits pending from plan participants who claim their employers misused forfeitures. And the SECURE Act 2.0 – as well as a 2023 DoL lawsuit – could change things as well, as the DoL is being asked to report to Congress by the end of 2025 on this matter.
  3. Pension risk transfers. Pension risk transfers, which are the exchange of defined benefit pension plan liabilities for annuity insurance contracts, will be discussed soon, as Congress asked the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) to submit a report on pension de-risking.
  4. The Adequate Consideration rule. Also coming up on the horizon is the adequate consideration rule, which considers employee stock ownership plan valuations. Industry officials have been asking for more rules defining these and SECURE 2.0 required guidance on the standards and procedures.
  5. Finding lost participants. The DoL has issued guidance on finding lost participants and how they are treated – meaning fiduciaries have an obligation to keep accurate records and take certain steps to pay participants and beneficiaries their full benefits.

Do you still have questions about retirement planning options?

Follow us on LinkedIn and Facebook!

If you have other questions about retirement plan loans, email us or call 937.308.0758.