Reporting Compliance Enforcement Manual Chapter 7: OCA General Letter Policy

Questions or concerns regarding OCA's General Letter Policy should be directed to your supervisor or team leader. In order to ensure consistency in letters issued by OCA, the following procedures must be followed. It is the analyst's responsibility to ensure that the case file is maintained in the correct order and reflects the work performed.

Support staff will mail out all letters. There are no exceptions

All OCA letters have a standard template and are maintained on the "L" drive. These templates must be used. If a different version of the letter is used, it may result in the case being returned to the analyst. If a change to the standard template letter is required, it must be discussed with and approved by the supervisor or team leader.

Ensure that the letter is properly addressed to the plan administrator or other party (e.g., CPA firm for certain DAS letters). When preparing a letter addressed to the plan administrator, it must be addressed in the following manner:

Plan Administrator
Plan Name
Street Address of the Plan Administrator (if blank use plan sponsor)
City, State, Zip Code of the Plan Administrator (if blank use plan sponsor)
Attn: Plan Administrator (if available and legible)

Ensure that the "RE: " section of the letter contains the appropriate information as applicable: plan name, EIN, PN, case number, penalty amount. Ensure that your name and complete telephone phone number are included in the letter. Proof read all of your letters before submission.

For DRC, all letters must be submitted for review. A review copy of the letter must be provided and should be a photocopy of the original letter. The review copy will have a Signature Block stamp in the top right portion of the first page, opposite the address. The analyst shall initial and date the first line. The date used is the date the case is placed in the review area.

Generally, cases are reviewed and mailed daily with the exception of Notices of Intent (NOI) and Determination (NOD) as these notices are signed by the Chief Accountant. Letters signed by the Chief Accountant are generally mailed on Mondays.

Not all letters or referrals that you prepare will be sent the week that you prepared them. Back logs in supervisory review or administrative support staff may delay the issuance of letters or referrals. Except for NOIs, you should not date any letters or referrals.

Only NOIs should be dated. Since NOIs are signed by the Chief Accountant, you should allow for sufficient time for your supervisor and the Chief Accountant to review and sign the NOI. Please also take into consideration the schedule of your supervisor and the Chief Accountant (i.e., holidays, vacations, travel) when dating NOIs. Failure to do so may result in your having to recalculate the penalty and prepare another NOI for signature.

Generally, NOIs and NODs are reviewed by your supervisor by COB on Wednesday, are signed by the Chief Accountant on Thursday, and are mailed on the following Monday. When there is an exception to this (usually due to a holiday) an e-mail will be sent informing the office of the changes.

After signature, letters and referrals are dated, copied, mailed, and entered into the OCA Case Tracking System by the support staff. Cases that are closed will be filed in the file room, except for cases where an NOD has been issued. In this case the case shall be returned to the analyst who must maintain the case until such time as a signed, return receipt card has been received, at which point it may be filed in the file room.

Include an addressed envelope for your correspondence, including any "cc" recipients. This includes preparing the green return receipt card. If an envelope and properly prepared green return receipt card are not provided, the case will be returned to you. See the envelope preparation chart on the following page of this guide for helpful hints for preparing the envelope and green return receipt card.

For letters to be sent overnight delivery (FedEx), please make sure that you provide the support staff with the complete address and telephone number of the recipient for the support staff to prepare the overnight delivery label. Unless otherwise instructed to do so, you should not prepare the overnight delivery label.

The return receipt, green card must contain the case number and analyst's initials. If using the desktop label maker the case number and analyst's initials must be hand written on the green card, not on the label.

For letters mailed certified mail, return receipt, ensure that the returned, signed, green card is stapled to the appropriate corresponding letter.

For letters mailed via overnight delivery (FedEx), that the delivery confirmation must be placed behind the appropriate corresponding letter in the case file.

Helpful Hints for Preparing the Envelope and the Green Return Receipt Card

Envelope Preparation

Most letters are mailed certified mail, return receipt requested with the exception of closing letters. It is your responsibility to prepare the envelope for mailing on all your cases. This includes preparing the green card. You have been provided stamps and a label maker to make the process easier.

  1. Print two labels with the plan administrator's address.
  2. On the Green Card:
    1. Place the 20 digit number sticker from the green & white Certified Receipt on line 2 (Article Number) of the green return receipt (green card).
    2. On the back of the green card, use the stamp with the US Department of Labor's address for the return address.
    3. Place one of the labels on line 1 (Article Addressed to) of the green card.
    4. If using a heat-generated label from your desktop label maker, write your initials, the case number, and the letter type in this space, but not on the label
    5. In box 3 (Service Type) marked the "Certified Mail" box.
  3. On the green and white slip, write the case number and letter type being mailed (15 day, NOR, etc) on the "Article Sent To" line.
  4. Removing the sticker backing from green and white slip. The sticky part should be folded over the top flap of the envelope, in the middle. The part with the bar code is on the front of the envelope with the white dotted line on the crease between the envelope and flap. Do not remove the non-sticky part of the green and white slip.
  5. On the envelope between the address and the "Official Business" line, use the small stamp with EBSA/OCA Suite 400; P460 on it. This is our return address.
  6. Put the remaining address label on the front of the envelope.
  7. Put the green card in the back of the envelope, between the flap and the envelope.
  8. STAMP the front of every envelope for NOI and Full-penalty NOD mailings with the red "URGENT Time Sensitive materials" stamp.