WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that enforcements by its Employee Benefits Security Administration recovered more than $2.4 billion in direct payments to plans, participants and beneficiaries in fiscal year 2021.
In FY 2021, EBSA closed 1,072 civil investigations with 741 of those investigations resulting in monetary results for plans or other corrective actions. The investigations led to 16,024 terminated vested participants in defined benefit plans collecting benefits of $1.548 billion owed to them. Terminated vested results represent a combination of the present values of lifetime annuity payments made to defined benefits plan participants and beneficiaries, or lump sum balance payments, plus interest distributions paid as either retroactive lump sums or included in actuarially adjusted future annuity amounts.
EBSA’s Benefits Advisors closed more than 175,000 inquiries, many of which came through its toll-free number, 1-866-444-EBSA (3272), or the EBSA website. These inquiries recovered $499.5 million in benefits on behalf of workers and their families through informal resolution of individual complaints.
“The Employee Benefits Security Administration works diligently to ensure American workers, retirees and beneficiaries receive the benefits they have earned,” said Acting Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security Ali Khawar. “The results for fiscal year 2021 underscore our commitment to assuring the security of the retirement, health and other workplace related benefits of America’s workers and their families.”
EBSA’s oversight authority extends to nearly 734,000 retirement plans, approximately two million health plans, and 662,000 other welfare benefit plans, such as those providing life or disability insurance. These plans cover about 158 million workers and their dependents and include over $12.9 trillion in assets.