The Labor Department said Wednesday that it has moved two programs designed to facilitate and encourage fiduciary compliance under the purview of its Office of Compliance Initiatives, which the department launched in August.
Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration said in announcing the move that the OCI tools will help “employee benefit plans to self-correct violations,” and therefore protect employee benefits.
“EBSA’s goal is to help workers by restoring plan assets and securing the payment of promised benefits, and to help employee benefit officials understand the law.”
OCI is housed within Labor’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, which complements Labor’s enforcement efforts.
Allison Wielobob, counsel with Eversheds Sutherland in Washington, told ThinkAdvisor that Labor’s move “draws attention to the department’s interest in these programs.”
In part, she said, housing the programs under OCI “is probably intended to promote uniformity in voluntary compliance programs across the agency by centralizing oversight. It appears that the new office is at the DOL level, rather than under EBSA.”