BASE Introduces ERISA Compliance Service

Lack of ERISA Wrap documents could trigger penalties in event of DOL audit.

Adel, IA, April 02, 2015 --( BASE announced a new compliance service available to assist any employer offering benefits (medical plan, dental plan, Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), prescription-drug plan, etc.) to their employees. The BASE ERISA Wrap is designed to help employers fulfill the ERISA requirements for a Summary Plan Description (SPD) and Plan Document.

The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) mandates that employers/plan administrators must provide an SPD to each participant and that ERISA-covered plans be maintained in accordance with a written Plan Document. The Department of Labor (DOL) also requires an SPD to contain other information that is not necessarily part of the plan (plan administrator details, plan sponsor information, etc.).

Employers can undergo an ERISA compliance audit by the DOL regardless of business size or number of participants. According to the Department of Labor's Strategic Plan for Fiscal Year 2014-2018, a random-sample of plans shows seven out of ten plans fail to comply with some aspect of ERISA's provisions. The price of noncompliance in the event of a DOL audit is expensive at the rate of $110 per employee per day fines for failure to have or provide an SPD or Plan Document.

Most employers fail to comply with the SPD or Plan Document requirements. Many companies mistakenly assume that insurance contracts, certificates of insurance and benefits summaries fulfill the ERISA requirements for an SPD and Plan Document, but they don't include the required or recommended provisions that protect the plan, the employer and plan fiduciaries. BASE President, Terry Harrington adds, “This product allows us to provide our clients with the proper documentation to greatly reduce the exposure to an audit and risk of potential penalties, while meeting two important requirements.”

BASE ERISA Wrap allows employers to fulfill the DOL's SPD and Plan document mandates. Plus, anytime there is a change to ERISA or IRS requirements that could impact an employer’s plan, BASE provides updated documents. With the continuous changes surrounding the Affordable Care Act, this latest offering from BASE will only continue to keep employers compliant.

ERISA requires employers to give plan participants in writing the most important facts they need to know about their health benefit plans, including plan rules and documents on the operation and management of the plan. BASE now offers the solution to help keep employers ERISA compliant. Call 1-888-386-9680 for more information.
Anne Case