Have you heard that the DOL expressed its goal to audit all employee benefit Plans by the end of 2015? Is this a feasible task? With increasing budgets and resources, DOL activity is hitting employers hard and only getting stronger.

Are you prepared for a DOL audit? Have you prepared your staff for what an audit involves and the fines for non-compliance?

A health and welfare Plan audit is a review of documents and other Plan materials to ensure Plan Sponsors comply with federal law. This includes having and distributing the correct documents, and administering those documents consistent with federal laws and regulations. A DOL Plan auditor reviews many things, each aimed at compliance or a host of fines for non-compliance. Following is a list of items examined from recent DOL audits:

1) ERISA Plan documents from 2012-2014.

2) Summary Plan Description (SPD) from 2012-2014, including any changes in Plan benefits and entitlement to benefits. Please indicate the date of the SPD and the most recent date and method of distribution.

3) Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), Notices of Material Modifications, and Uniform Glossary.

4) Copies of the 2012-2014 annual open enrollment information.

5) Copies of the employee handbook describing or explaining the Health Plan eligibility and benefits.

6) All contracts with insurance companies for the provision of health benefits.

7) If self-insured, all contracts, fee schedules, and written guidelines/procedures for:

8) Documents which describe the responsibilities of both the employer and employees with respect to the payment of the costs associated with the purchase and maintenance of health and welfare benefits.

9) In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, please provide the following records: