The Department of Labor (DOL) released its annual adjustments for civil monetary penalties affecting various benefit plan related violations. The higher penalties apply for assessments after January 23, 2019. Below are highlights of the more common penalties.

Form 5500:

  • Required to be filed by most ERISA plans, the maximum fee for filing a late Form 5500 is $2,194 each day the Form is late, an increase from the 2018 fee of $2,140.

Reports and Recordkeeping:

  • A failure to provide benefit statements to certain former participants and beneficiaries and the failure to maintain records as required under ERISA increased from $29 to $30 per day per employee, per violation.

401(k) plans:

  • The penalty increase for failing to provide a blackout notice (mandatory prior to specific timeframes when participants cannot make certain plan changes) and/or the notice of the right to divest employer securities increased from $136 to $139 per day.
  • Failure to give notice for plans with an automatic contribution arrangement is now subject to a penalty of $1,736 per day, up from $1,693 per day.

Group Health Plans:

  • Failure to provide annual Summary of Benefits Coverage or “SBC” for certain group health plans increased from $1,128 to $1,156 per failure.
  • Violation of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and disclosure failures regarding Medicaid and CHIP assistance are now subject to a penalty of $117 per participant per day, up from $114.

Increases have also been made to other penalties that may be assessed for wide-ranging benefit plan violations as determined by the DOL. Please contact your Nyhart consultant with questions about your plan’s compliance or the DOL’s adjustments.