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The Department of Labor provides numerous resources for employee benefit plan auditors and Form 5500 and financial statement preparers, as well as individuals who select auditors.
The DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) protects the integrity of pensions, health plans, and other employee benefits for more than 150 million people. Its mission is to:
- Deter and correct violations of the relevant statutes through strong administrative, civil and criminal enforcement efforts to ensure workers receive promised benefits
- Develop policies and regulations that encourage the growth of employment-based benefits
- Assist workers in getting the information they need to exercise their benefit rights
- Assist plan officials to understand the requirements of the relevant statutes in order to meet their legal responsibilities
The public may reach EBSA on its toll-free participant assistance number, 1-866-444-EBSA (3272); EFAST help line: 1-866-463-3278; and via its' Web site.
Regulations and Filing
Pension Protection Act of 2006
On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the Act), which is the most comprehensive pension reform legislation since ERISA was enacted in 1974.
Small Pension Plan Security
This DOL regulation lists the conditions that a small plan must meet in order to qualify for an audit waiver.
EFAST & EFAST 2 Filing
EFAST is a system designed to simplify and expedite the receipt and processing of the Forms 5500/5500-SF. Up-to-date information about filing requirements, electronic filing options, software availability, frequently asked questions, publications and forms may be found on the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
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Publications and Articles
Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Employee Benefit Plans.
Meeting Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has prepared a guide to the basic fiduciary responsibilities applicable to retirement plans under the law.
Selecting an Auditor for Your Employee Benefit Plan
The Department of Labor has developed a guide for plan administrators in selecting an auditor and reviewing the audit work and report.
10 Warning Signs that Pension Contributions Are Being Misused
An anti-fraud campaign developed by the Department of Labor uncovered a small fraction of employers who abused employee contributions by either using the money for corporate purposes or holding on to the money too long. To alert auditors to such incidents of fraud, the Department of Labor published 10 warning signs that pension contributions are being misused.
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Compliance and Enforcement Programs
DOL's Pension Audit Quality Enforcement Program
The DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) enforcement initiative to monitor the quality of ERISA audits.
Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program
The Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program is designed to encourage plan administrators to file overdue annual reports by letting them pay reduced penalties.
IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
This website gives information on correcting plan errors through either the self-correction program or the voluntary correction program.
Assessment of the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits
In a 1989 report on a study of the quality of ERISA audits issued by the DOL OIG and a follow up assessment by the PWBA, DOL concluded that a significant number of audits failed to comply with professional standards and/or the IQPA reports did not meet the reporting and disclosure requirements of ERISA and related regulations. Read more about this and the steps DOL has taken to improve audit quality in the DOL report, Assessment of the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits (March 1997)