Employee Benefits Security Administration

Friday, September 15, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Irma that parallels that which it already provided to victims of Hurricane Harvey regarding verification procedures for plan loans and distributions, participant contributions and loan payments, blackout notices, and group health plan compliance. The Hurricane Harvey relief was announced on Aug. 30, 2017, in EBSA Release Number 17-1216-NAT. The Department unders
Thursday, August 31, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed 18-month extension from January 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special transition period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24. The proposal follows a Request for Information publis
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an update on employee benefit plan compliance for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. “Our deepest and most immediate concern is for those who are in harm’s way, and for the first responders who will work tirelessly to help those affected,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “We also realize that employers and employees impacted by Hurricane Harvey will need assistance in dealing with employee benefits issues arising from disruptions in banking and payroll processing.” Th
Friday, August 18, 2017
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting nominations to fill five, three-year vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council. The deadline to submit nominations is Aug. 31. The 15-member council provides advice on policies and regulations affecting employee benefit plans governed by the 
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached an agreement with the owner of a Manhattan laser surgery center to pay $5 million to its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) to resolve violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The agreement was entered in a consent judgment by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The action follows an investigation by the New York office of the Department’s
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor and a third-party administrator that provides employee health benefit plans with access to a network of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers have reached an agreement in which the administrator has committed to improve its communications with health plans and to return certain fees the plans paid for claims administration that the department alleged were not fully disclosed to the plans. The agreement with MagnaCare LLC resolves alleged violations of the
Thursday, July 20, 2017
Type of Action: Consent order and judgement Names of Defendants: Ditch Witch Equipment of Tennessee Inc. Aubrey Needham Allegations: Based on an investigation conducted by the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a civil complaint against Ditch Witch Equipment of Tennessee Inc., an underground utility construction equipment company, and Aubrey Needham, trustee of the company’s profit-sharing plan on April 29, 2014.
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
DAYTON – A multi-agency federal and state investigation has led to the guilty plea and imprisonment of Ohio businessman William M. Apostelos, who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme that included the theft of $1.9 million from an employee benefit plan. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and Office of Inspector General participated in the investigation and prosecution led by the
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS – A fraud investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the FBI, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General has led to a 12-year prison sentence for William Jackson Moates Jr., of Fort Smith, Arkansas. The investigation found that over the course of nearly five years, Moates, 50, received investment funds from at least 25 different clients, which were not invested as Moates said they would be. Moates diverted clients’ in
Thursday, June 29, 2017
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has published a Request for Information related to the fiduciary rule. The RFI is an opportunity for the public to provide data and information that may be used to revise the rule and associated exemptions. There is a 15-day comment period regarding extending the Jan. 1, 2018 applicability date of certain aspects, and a 30-day comment period on all other issues raised in the RFI. Both begin upon publication of the RFI in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register. Complete instructions for submitting comments a
Monday, June 19, 2017
Type of Action: Consent order and judgement Names of Defendants: Andrea Lynn McCarthy Lisa Hall Truss Systems LLC Truss Systems LLC Profit Sharing Plan Allegations: The U.S. Secretary of Labor filed a complaint, based on a Employee Benefits Security Administration investigation, alleging that Andrea McCarthy withdrew $111,624 between Jan. 28 and June 6, 2009, from Truss Systems LLC Profit Sharing Plan. McCarthy was criminally prosecuted, and pled guilty
Thursday, May 25, 2017
CHICAGO – A partnership between the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has recovered almost $1.5 million for participants in two terminated Chicago-based pension plans. EBSA’s Chicago Regional Office and PBGC are focusing on tracking down about 1,200 participants entitled to benefits under the Hartmarx Retirement Income Plan and the United Airlines Ground Employees’ Retirement Plan. As part of bankruptcy
Monday, May 22, 2017
WASHINGTON – Fiduciary rule guidance for financial advisors, retirement plan sponsors, and individual workers and retirees has been published on the U.S. Labor Department’s website. This information comes in advance of the rule’s June 9 applicability date. Read Frequently Asked Questions. Read the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Date of Action: April 11, 2017 Type of Action: Consent order and judgment Names of Defendant: Michael E. Weinhagen Weinhagen Tire Co. Inc. Weinhagen Tire Co. Inc. 401(k) Plan Findings: Michael E. Weinhagen is the sole owner and president of St. Paul, Minnesota-based Weinhagen Tire Co. and the fiduciary to the Weinhagen Tire Co. Inc. 401(k) Plan. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security A
Monday, April 17, 2017
NEW YORK – A federal judge, presiding over a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit, has found that First Bankers Trust Services Inc. breached its duties of prudence and loyalty to the participants of an employee stock ownership plan sponsored by a New Jersey paving and building site preparation company when it caused the plan to overpay $9.4 million for shares of the company’s stock. SJP Group Inc., the plan’s sponsor, hired First Bankers as an independent fiduciary to advise the company’s plan on whether – and at what price – to purchase shares of SJP Inc.
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a 60-day extension of the applicability dates of the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption. The announcement follows a Feb. 3, 2017, presidential memorandum which directed the department to examine the fiduciary rule to ensure that it does not adversely affect the ability of Americans to gain access to retirement information and financial advice. Un
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a proposed extension of the applicability dates of the fiduciary rule and related exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption, from April 10 to June 9, 2017. The announcement follows a presidential memorandum issued on Feb. 3, 2017, which directed the department to examine the fiduciary rule
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Date of Action: Jan. 17, 2017 Type of Action: Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuit Names of Defendants: Sandor Szajkovics Passages Hospice LLC Passages Hospice LLC Dental Plan, Passages Hospice LLC Employee Benefits Plan Allegations: An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration found that Szajkovics, the chief financial officer for Passages Hospice LLC, and the company violated the
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Date of Action: Jan. 6, 2017 Type of Action: Lawsuit to recover missing retirement and health plan funds Name of Defendant(s): Central Security Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Robert Millikin Fiduciary Howard Klinger Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Colorado against Central Security Communications Inc., CEO Robert Millikin and fiduciary Howard Klinger to restore more than $82,000 owed to the Greeley, Colorado
Thursday, January 05, 2017
MONTPELIER, Vt. – The U.S. Department of Labor is suing the fiduciaries of a Vermont employee stock ownership plan for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act alleging that First Bankers Trust Services, Inc.’s 2011 purchase of the company on behalf of the ESOP from its two previous owners caused the plan to suffer sizable financial losses. Named in the suit are Sonnax Industries, Inc., a Bellows Falls supplier of automotive drivetrain products; Tommy Harmon, its president an

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