DOL Investigations of Employee Benefit Plans: Navigating Enforcement Actions, Audits and Settlements

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A


Conducted on Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Recorded event now available


This CLE webinar will prepare employee benefits counsel to represent plan fiduciaries and sponsors facing Department of Labor (DOL) investigations or audits. Our experienced panel will discuss how to navigate the investigation process, offer practice pointers on working with Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) investigators, discuss strategies for determining and implementing corrective action, and offer insights into whether to enter into a settlement agreement.

Description

The agencies responsible for overseeing ERISA-regulated employee benefit plans continue to ramp up investigations and enforcement actions. EBSA recovered $777.5m on behalf of plans, participants and beneficiaries in FY 2016, closing 20% more cases than in 2015. EBSA conducts civil and criminal investigations and has the authority to refer cases to other governmental agencies such as the IRS, SEC, PBGC or U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Investigations can drag on for months or years. Once a plan sponsor or fiduciary is the target of an investigation, benefits counsel must closely examine the agency’s claims, identify and collect extensive documentation, and create an investigation strategy that will resolve the agency’s allegations and foreclose further action.

Counsel must also decide whether or not to enter into a settlement agreement, not always a straightforward decision when settlement can result in an automatic penalty in addition to the cost of remedial measures.

Listen as our experienced panel prepares employee benefits counsel to represent plan fiduciaries and sponsors facing government agency investigations or audits. The panel will discuss how to navigate the investigation process, offer practice pointers on working with EBSA investigators, and discuss strategies for determining and implementing corrective action and deciding whether to enter into a settlement agreement.

Outline

  1. Overview of DOL/EBSA regulatory scheme and enforcement initiatives
  2. Best practices for responding to investigations and audits
  3. Working with auditors and investigators
  4. Corrective action and settlements

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What factors should counsel to plan sponsors consider when determining whether to seek settlement of an enforcement action?
  • What are the challenges and pitfalls for negotiating settlements and penalties with EBSA?
  • What are best practices for ensuring compliance and avoiding agency scrutiny?
  • What are the DOL’s enforcement initiatives focusing on in 2017?

Faculty

Ivelisse Berio LeBeau, Member
Sugarman & Susskind, Miami

Ms. Berio LeBeau's practice focuses on employee benefits law and ERISA with an emphasis on litigation and compliance matters relating to the fiduciary responsibilities imposed by ERISA. As a former DOL attorney enforcing ERISA, Ms. Berio LeBeau assisted EBSA during DOL investigations and brought legal actions claiming that fiduciaries to ERISA employee benefit plans breached their fiduciary duties to such plans. She worked on many different types of cases, including cases involving trustees to ERISA pension plans who breached fiduciary duties in making investment decisions and fiduciaries to 401(k) plans who failed to ensure that employee contributions were properly transferred to such plans.

José M. Jara, Partner
FisherBroyles, New York

Mr. Jara has over 20 years of ERISA and employee benefits experience, ranging from governmental compliance, fiduciary liability insurance, to the application of ERISA’s fiduciary standards and prohibited transaction provisions. Mr. Jara has extensive experience resolving issues for corporate plan sponsors and multiemployer plans before the U.S. Department of Labor, where he was formerly a senior pension law specialist and investigator.


Recordings

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CLE On-Demand Video $297.00

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Recorded Event

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Strafford is an approved provider and self-study CLE credit is available in most states.

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Program Materials

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Program Materials

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CLE Credits

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Customer Reviews

I appreciated that the seminar’s comprehensive coverage was targeted to those not already expert in this area of law.

Patricia Chapman

Gleaves Swearingen

Good materials plus well prepared presenters and a good level of detail.

John H. Merkle

Fredrikson & Byron

The webinar addressed exactly what I needed for this area of my practice. Very useful information and very impressive program.

Nona Massengill

Williams Mullen

I appreciated the practical solutions to common problems.

Patricia Killian

McCarter & English

Great overall summary of ERISA issues.

Shannon Awsumb

Anthony Ostlund Baer & Louwagie

or call 1-800-926-7926

Employment & ERISA Advisory Board

Susan E. Bernstein

Special Counsel

Schulte Roth & Zabel

Judith (Jude) Biggs

Partner

Holland & Hart

Joshua Davis

Director

Goulston & Storrs

Barbara E. Hoey

Partner

Kelley Drye

Jeffrey Hollingsworth

Partner

Perkins Coie

Diana L. Hoover

Partner

Hoover Kernell

Paul J. Kennedy

Shareholder

Littler Mendelson

Marcia Nelson Jackson

Partner

Wick Phillips

William C. Martucci

Partner

Shook Hardy & Bacon

Laura Foote Reiff

Shareholder

Greenberg Traurig

Eugene Scalia

Partner

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Peter Steinmeyer

Member

Epstein Becker & Green

Teresa R. Tracy

Partner

Freeman Freeman Smiley

Todd D. Wozniak

Shareholder

Greenberg Traurig

or call 1-800-926-7926

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