February 12, 2021

US Department of Labor confirms investment advice exemption

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has confirmed that “Improving Investment Advice for Worker & Retirees,” an exemption for investment advice fiduciaries, will go into effect as scheduled on Feb. 16, 2021.

January 19, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Appoints New Members To the 2021 ERISA Advisory Council

WASHINGTON, DC Today the U.S. Department of Labor announced the appointment of five members and leadership for the 2021 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council.

January 12, 2021

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Missing Participant Guidance

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) today announced guidance in its ongoing efforts to help plan fiduciaries meet their obligations under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to locate and distribute retirement benefits to missing or nonresponsive participants.

Today’s guidance comes in three forms:

January 5, 2021

Court Sentences Former United Industrial and Service Workers Union President After U.S. Department of Labor Embezzlement Investigation

LOS ANGELES, CA – The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has sentenced John S. Romero – a former president of the United Industrial and Service Workers of America in Colton, California – to 12 years in prison for embezzling funds from the union’s health plan, conspiracy and making false statements on annual government filings.

December 29, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Guidance Supporting Workplace Flexibilities through Virtual Communication

WASHINTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) today announced new guidance in its ongoing efforts to support the American workforce through the pandemic recovery. As employers continue to meet the challenges presented to their businesses by the coronavirus, and as telework arrangements and virtual communication increasingly provide solutions, the agency provides additional guidance to maximize the benefits of these arrangements for employers and workers alike.

December 18, 2020

U.S. Department Of Labor Files Complaint to Protect Participants And Beneficiaries of Failing Medova MEWA Operating in 38 States

KANSAS CITY, MO – The U.S. Department of Labor filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas against Wichita, Kansas-based Medova Healthcare Financial Group LLC, its president and CEO Daniel L. Whitney, chief operating officer Michelle Willson and Midlands Casualty Insurance Co. Inc.

December 16, 2020

Court Appoints Independent Fiduciary to Distribute $1,500,000 In Retirement Funds Held By Defunct Oregon Retirement Plans

SEATTLE, WA – The U.S. District Court of Oregon recently granted the U.S. Department of Labor’s motion for default judgment against Portland, Oregon-based National Security Retirement Plan LLC and Invest n’ Retire LLC for abandoning employer sponsored benefit plans while 31 participants’ assets, worth over $1,500,000, remained in them. The participants were employees of Retirement Solutions Advisors LLC, the National Association for Plan Liability and Keene Photography Studio.

December 15, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Exemption to Improve Investment Advice and Enhance Financial Choices for Workers and Retirees

WASHINGTON, DCThe U.S. Department of Labor today announced a new exemption for investment advice fiduciaries.

December 11, 2020

U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury Issue Final Rule to Provide Greater Flexibility for Grandfathered Group Health Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury today announced a final rule that amends the requirements for grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered group health insurance coverage to preserve their grandfather status.

December 11, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights by Employee Benefit Plans

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule establishing a regulatory framework for private employee benefit plans’ fiduciaries to follow when they exercise shareholder rights, including proxy voting, and select and monitor proxy advisory firms.

December 2, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Releases Advance Copies Of Form 5500 Series Annual Return/Report for 2020

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today released advance informational copies of the 2020 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and related instructions – including the Form 5500-SF and the IRS released Form 5500-EZ, which now also appears on the EBSA website.

December 2, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Obtains Consent Order and Judgment to Restore $13,193 to the Sartell Group 401(k) Plan in Minneapolis, Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – After an investigation by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a consent order and judgment requiring the fiduciaries of Minneapolis, Minnesota-based The Sartell Group Inc. to restore $13,193 to The Sartell Group 401(k) employee retirement benefit plan.

November 16, 2020

Federal Court Sentences Los Angeles Chiropractor After U.S. Department of Labor Uncovers Healthcare Fraud

LOS ANGELES, CA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and its Office of Inspector General, the U.S.

November 12, 2020

U.S. Department Of Labor Announces Registration Requirements For Pooled Plan Providers

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule establishing registration requirements for pooled plan providers. The rule implements the registration requirements for pooled plan providers pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act).

October 30, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Final Rule To Protect Americans’ Retirement Investments

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced a final rule that updates and clarifies the Department’s investment duties regulation in 29 CFR 2550.404a-1.

October 27, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Restores Over $3.1 Billion to Employee Benefit Plans, Participants and Beneficiaries, the Most Ever

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued its fiscal year (FY) 2020 enforcement fact sheet highlighting the Agency’s recovery of over $3.1 billion in direct payments to plans, participants and beneficiaries in FY 2020.

October 26, 2020

Federal Court Sentences Georgia Woman to Prison, Orders $1,034,793 In Restitution after U.S. Department of Labor Fraud Investigation

ATLANTA, GA – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia has sentenced Carrie N. Harris – former Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Plan Administrator for the Southern Pan Services Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) – after she made more than $1 million in fraudulent withdrawals from the company’s bank accounts to pay charges to Harris’ and her husband’s personal and business credit cards.

October 23, 2020

U.S. Department of Labor Updates Tool to Determine If Health Plans or Insurers Comply with Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released an updated tool to help employers comply with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and related requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

October 22, 2020

Federal Court Sentences Kentucky Woman to Prison, Orders $838,804 In Restitution After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Benefit Plan Fraud

LOUISVILLE, KY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky has sentenced Candi Fluhr, a former controller in Bullitt County, Kentucky, to 94 months in prison, 36 months of supervised release, and ordered her to pay $838,804 in restitution.

October 19, 2020

CEO and CFO of Kentucky Medical Companies Sentenced to Prison For Defrauding the U.S.; Ordered to Pay More than $1.5M in Restitution

LEXINGTON, KY – After a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) and the IRS, U.S. District Court Judge Karen K. Caldwell sentenced two Kentucky healthcare companies’ executives to prison and ordered them to pay $1,595,725 in restitution.