DOL Health & Welfare Plan Audit Response and Protection: Reducing Risk Exposure to Avoid Costly Penalties

Recording of a 110-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This course will provide employee benefits accounting and tax professionals with a thorough and practical guide to preparing responses for a Department of Labor (DOL) investigative audit of a company’s health and welfare plan. The panel will discuss required documentation and procedures for submittal to the Department in response to audit correspondence, and will offer useful tools to help make your firm’s health and other benefit plans “audit-ready.”


The Department of Labor (DOL) is substantially increasing the number of ERISA health and welfare plan audits of employers of all sizes. The increased investigation activity presents a heightened compliance burden on small and medium-sized employers, and employee benefits advisers must be proactive in ensuring their firms are audit ready.

DOL audits subject employers to burdensome documentation demands, intrusive investigations and disruptive on-site inspections. DOL audit letters typically seek documentation of health and benefit plan compliance with the ACA, MHPAEA, HIPAA, COBRA and other ERISA requirements. DOL audits can also attract IRS scrutiny.

Penalties due to deficiencies discovered in DOL audits can be steep. One survey found that nearly one-third of all health and welfare plan audits resulted in penalties in excess of $10,000 per examination. Employee benefits accountants and advisers must evaluate and anticipate audit risks and preemptively remedy potential defects to avoid painful and expensive assessments.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a practical guide to proactively managing the document process to effectively respond to a DOL health and welfare plan audit.



  1. DOL health and welfare audit correspondence process
  2. Typical documentation requested in DOL correspondence
  3. Making plans audit ready
  4. Penalties and fines


The panel will discuss these and other important topics:

  • What documents will an employer be required to provide in a DOL audit investigation?
  • What are the triggers for a DOL audit?
  • What are the first steps an employee benefits professional should take upon receiving a DOL audit letter?
  • What key provisions should employee benefits advisers monitor regularly and review prior to responding to a DOL audit notification?


Erin A. Kartheiser
Erin A. Kartheiser

McDermott Will & Emery

Ms. Kartheiser represents numerous large corporations, both public and private, in connection with their full...  |  Read More

Joanna C. Kerpen
Joanna C. Kerpen

McDermott Will & Emery

Mrs. Kerpen focuses her practice on a variety of employee benefits tax and ERISA matters related to 401(k) plans,...  |  Read More

Sarah G. Raaii
Sarah G. Raaii

McDermott Will & Emery

Ms. Raaii focuses her practice on employee benefits matters. She previously worked with in-house attorneys...  |  Read More

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