U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
January 2024

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EBSA is responsible for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting and disclosure provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Under Part 5 of Subtitle B of Title I, EBSA has the authority to assess and collect a number of civil monetary penalties. ERISA civil monetary penalties are for a specific or maximum dollar amount provided by statute. Percentage based penalties such as ERISA section 502(l) (violations of fiduciaries) and 502(i) (certain prohibited transactions) are not civil monetary penalties.

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Inflation Act) requires EBSA to adjust ERISA's civil monetary penalties annually for inflation. ERISA monetary penalties assessed by a court (e.g., sections 502(c)(1) and (3)) rather than EBSA are not adjusted for inflation under the 2015 Inflation Act.

Calculation of Inflation Adjustments

Prior to enactment of the 2015 Inflation Act, EBSA periodically adjusted ERISA civil monetary penalties, based on the date of violation. The 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act required a one-time catch up inflation adjustment for post November 2, 2015 violations assessed on or after August 1, 2016 and an annual adjustment thereafter beginning in 2017. Annual inflation adjustments are based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index-Urban (CPI-U) for the October preceding the year of the adjustment and the prior year's October CPI-U. The new penalty amounts generally are published in the Federal Register by January 15 of the year of adjustment. For example, the percentage increase in the CPI-U from October 2021 to October of 2022 generates the inflation adjustment for penalties assessed the day after the adjustment is published in the Federal Register in January of 2023.

Current Year Inflation Adjusted Penalty

The table below shows the penalty amounts enforceable by EBSA for penalties assessed after January 15, 2024 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015. See, 89 FR 1810, 1819-1820 available at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2024/01/11/2024-00253/federal-civil-penalties-inflation-adjustment-act-annual-adjustments-for-2024.

ERISA Penalty StatuteDescription of ERISA Violations Subject to PenaltyPenalty Amount
ERISA § 209(b)Failure to furnish reports (e.g., pension benefit statements) to certain former participants and beneficiaries or maintain records.Up to $37 per employee
ERISA § 502(c)(2)
  • Failure or refusal to file annual report (Form 5500)
  • Failure of a multiemployer plan to certify endangered or critical status under ERISA § 305(b)(3)(C) treated as failure to file annual report.
Up to $2,670 per day
ERISA § 502(c)(4)
  • Failure to notify participants under ERISA § 101(j) of certain benefit restrictions and/or limitations arising under Internal Revenue Code § 436;
  • Failure to furnish certain multiemployer plan financial and actuarial reports upon request under ERISA § 101(k);
  • Failure to furnish estimate of withdrawal liability upon request under ERISA § 101(l); and
  • Failure to furnish automatic contribution arrangement notice under ERISA § 514(e)(3).

Each statutory recipient who is not furnished a timely notice is a separate violation.

Up to $2,112 per day
ERISA § 502(c)(5)Failure of a multiple employer welfare arrangement to file report required by regulations issued under ERISA § 101(g).Up to $1,942 per day
ERISA § 502(c)(6)Failure to furnish information requested by Secretary of Labor under ERISA § 104(a)(6).Up to $190 per day not to exceed $1,906 per request
ERISA § 502(c)(7)Failure to furnish a blackout notice under section 101(i) of ERISA or notice of the right to divest employer securities under section 101(m) of ERISA.Up to $169 per day
ERISA § 502(c)(8)Failure by a plan sponsor of a multiemployer plan in endangered status to adopt a funding improvement plan or a multiemployer plan in critical status to adopt a rehabilitation plan. Penalty also applies to a plan sponsor of an endangered status plan (other than a seriously endangered plan) that fails to meet its benchmark by the end of the funding improvement period.Up to $1,677 per day
ERISA § 502(c)(9)(A)Failure by an employer to inform employees of CHIP coverage opportunities under ERISA § 701(f)(3)(B)(i)(I) – each employee a separate violation.Up to $141 per day per employee
ERISA § 502(c)(9)(B)Failure by a plan administrator to timely provide to any State the information required to be disclosed under ERISA § 701(f)(3)(B)(ii), regarding coverage coordination – each participant/beneficiary a separate violation.Up to $141 per day per individual
ERISA § 502(c)(10)(B)(i)Failure by any plan sponsor of a group health plan, or any health insurance issuer offering health insurance coverage in connection with the plan, to meet the requirements of ERISA §§ 702(a)(1)(F), (b)(3),(c) or (d); or § 701; or § 702(b)(1) with respect to genetic information.$141 per day per failure during non-compliance period
ERISA § 502(c)(10)(C)(i)Minimum penalty for de minimis failures to meet genetic information requirements not corrected prior to notice from Secretary of Labor.$3,550 minimum
ERISA § 502(c)(10)(C)(ii)Minimum penalty for failures to meet genetic information requirements which are not corrected prior to notice from Secretary of Labor and are not de minimis.$21,310 minimum
ERISA § 502(c)(10)(D)(iii)(II)Cap on unintentional failures to meet genetic information requirements.$710,310 maximum
ERISA § 502(c)(12)Failure of CSEC plan sponsor to establish or update a funding restoration plan.Up to $130 per day
ERISA § 502(m)Distribution prohibited by ERISA § 206(e).Up to $20,579 per distribution
ERISA § 715Failure to provide a participant or beneficiary a Summary of Benefits Coverage under Public Health Services Act section 2715(f), as incorporated into ERISA section § 715 and 29 CFR 2590.715-2715(e).Up to $1,406 per failure

Where to Find Inflation Adjustments for Prior Years

See the table below to locate the relevant inflation adjusted penalty amount for prior years:

Violation occurringPenalty assessedWhere to find inflation adjusted penalty amounts
On or before November 2, 2015Date of violation not date of assessment determines penalty amount.29 CFR 2575.1 and 2575.2
After November 2, 2015On or before August 1, 201629 CFR 2575.1 and 2575.2
After November 2, 2015After August 1, 2016, but on or before January 13, 2017Appendix 1, 81 FR 43429, 43457 - 43459 (July 1, 2016)
After November 2, 2015After January 13, 2017 but on or before January 2, 2018Appendix, 82 FR 5373, 5384 - 5385 (January 18, 2017)
After November 2, 2015After January 2, 2018 but on or before January 23, 2019Appendix, 83 FR 7, 15 - 17 (January 2, 2018)
After November 2, 2015After January 23, 2019 but on or before January 15, 2020Appendix, 84 FR 213, 221 - 222 (January 23, 2019)
After November 2, 2015After January 15, 2020 but on or before January 15, 2021Appendix, 85 FR 2292, 2300- 2301 (January 15, 2020)
After November 2, 2015After January 15, 2021 but on or before January 15, 2022Appendix, 86 FR 2964, 2971- 2972 (January 14, 2021)
After November 2, 2015After January 15, 2022 but on or before January 15, 2023Appendix, 87 FR 2328, 2337- 2338 (January 14, 2022)
After November 2, 2025After January 15, 2023 but on or before January 15, 2024Appendix See, 88 FR 2210, 2219-2220 (January 14, 2023)