DOL Issues 2022 Adjusted Penalty Amounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced the 2022 annual adjustments to the maximum civil penalties employers face for violating a variety of federal laws that fall under their enforcement purview. Penalties may be assessed on employers for violations of a wide range of laws, including ERISA and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Employee benefit plans most commonly incur penalties related to failure to provide mandated disclosures and notices.

The 2022 adjustments are effective for penalties assessed after January 15, 2022.

These penalties cover a wide range of benefit plan compliance failures. The DOL has discretion to impose lower penalties in some instances—such as pursuant to programs designed to encourage Form 5500 filing—so not all violations will result in the maximum permitted penalty. And while relief granted in connection with the COVID-19 public health emergency allows more time to provide certain disclosures, penalties could potentially be triggered if the terms of that relief are not met.

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