January 11, 2018

Court Orders Illinois Business Owner to Restore Losses To Retirement Plan and Trust After Fiduciary Violations

CHICAGO, IL – Following a U.S. Department of Labor investigation, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois entered a judgment requiring Michael Lewis, former president of Acme Orthotics and Prosthetic Laboratories Inc., to restore $128,535.75 in losses owed to the company’s Profit Sharing 401(k) Plan and Trust (“Plan”).

January 5, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Decision on April 1, 2018, Applicability of Final Rule Amending Claims Procedure for Disability Benefit Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today its decision for April 1, 2018, as the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with a final rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that will give America’s workers new procedural protections when dealing with plan fiduciaries and insurance providers who deny their claims for disability benefits.

January 4, 2018

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Proposal to Expand Access to Healthcare Through Small Business Health Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to expand the opportunity to offer employment-based health insurance to small businesses through Small Business Health Plans, also known as Association Health Plans.

December 21, 2017

New Hampshire Man Pleads Guilty to Obstruction of Justice in Connection with U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Investigation, and Lawsuit

CONCORD, NH – A New Hampshire man has pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of obstruction of justice in connection with a U.S. Department of Labor wage and hour investigation and litigation. It is believed to be the first federal criminal prosecution arising from a Department wage and hour investigation in New Hampshire.

December 12, 2017

Court Orders Repayment of $45,896 and Sentences Former Fund Manager In Pension Plan Theft to Serve 5 Years of Probation

BIRMINGHAM, AL – The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Southern Division, has sentenced a former fund manager in Birmingham to make restitution in the amount of $45,896 and serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement, for violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. In addition, she has been barred from acting as a fiduciary for five years.

November 27, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Transition Period For Fiduciary Rule Exemptions

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor has announced an 18-month extension from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019, of the special Transition Period for the Fiduciary Rule’s Best Interest Contract Exemption and the Principal Transactions Exemption, and of the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 (PTEs). This follows public comment on a proposed extension that was published in August.

November 24, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Announces 90-Day Delay of Applicability Date For Disability Claims Procedure Amendments

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a ninety (90) day delay – through April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits.

November 21, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Guidance and Relief to Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Maria and October 2017 California Wildfires

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the October 2017 California Wildfires.

The Department understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries may encounter issues complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) over the next few months as the implications of Hurricane Maria and the California Wildfires unfold.

November 20, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Advance Copies Of Form 5500 Annual Return/Report for 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions.

November 16, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor and First Bankers Trust Settle ESOP Lawsuits; Agreement Includes $15.75 Million Recovery for Retirement Plans

NEW YORK, NY – The U.S. Department of Labor has reached agreements to resolve three lawsuits with First Bankers Trust Services Inc. (FBTS). The lawsuits alleged that FBTS violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it approved stock purchases by three Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). As part of the agreements, FBTS will pay $15.75 million to the plans and reform its procedures for handling ESOP transactions.

November 8, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Obtains a Temporary Restraining Order to Protect Participants and Beneficiaries of Failing MEWA

CHICAGO, IL – The U.S. Department of Labor obtained a temporary restraining order in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against AEU Holdings LLC and AEU Benefits LLC (collectively “AEU”), and Black Wolf Consulting Inc. The defendants failed to pay more than $26 million for participants’ health benefit claims in the AEU Holdings LLC Employee Benefit Plan.

November 3, 2017

General Foreman at Port Elizabeth Convicted of Submitting False Timesheets

NEWARK, NJ – After a seven-day trial, a jury sitting in U.S. District Court in Newark found Paul Moe Sr., general foreman for a Port Elizabeth terminal operator, guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and 13 substantive counts of wire fraud.

October 30, 2017

Florida Insurance Scam Leads to $1.6 Million Restitution and Incarceration

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL – The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida has sentenced a Port St. Lucie resident to serve 161 months of imprisonment, followed by an additional three years of supervised release, and to make $1,665,348 in restitution for violating federal criminal statutes pertaining to plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

September 15, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Hurricane Harvey Compliance Guidance and Relief to Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Irma

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.

August 31, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Additional Extension Of Transition Rule Period for Fiduciary Rule Exemptions

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.

August 30, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Compliance Guidance For Employee Benefit Plans Impacted by Hurricane Harvey

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.”

August 18, 2017

U.S. Department of Labor Extends Nominations Period for 2018 ERISA Advisory Council

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.

August 16, 2017

Court Orders $5M to Be Restored to Employee Stock Ownership Plan

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.

July 25, 2017

Manager of health care network to reimburse plans for fees

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.

July 20, 2017

Manager of health care network to reimburse plans for fees

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.