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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > DOL

DOL Unit Recovered $2.4B for Retirement Plans, Savers in 2021

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What You Need to Know

  • In fiscal 2021, EBSA closed 1,072 civil investigations, with 741 of them resulting in monetary penalties.
  • EBSA recovered more than $2.4 billion in fiscal 2021.
  • EBSA oversees nearly 734,000 retirement plans, which include over $12.9 trillion in assets.

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration recovered more than $2.4 billion for plans, participants and beneficiaries in fiscal 2021, a drop from a record $3.1 billion recovered in fiscal 2020.

According to EBSA’s recently released fact sheet, in fiscal 2021, EBSA closed 1,072 civil investigations, with 741 of those investigations resulting in monetary penalties for plans or other corrective action.

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 explained.

EBSA benefit advisors closed more than 175,000 inquiries, which resulted in recovering $499.5 million in benefits on behalf of workers and their families through informal resolution of individual complaints.

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EBSA oversees nearly 734,000 retirement plans, approximately 2 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 more than $12.9 trillion in assets.

Abandoned Plans

EBSA’s Abandoned Plan Program facilitates the termination of and distribution of benefits from individual account pension plans abandoned by their sponsoring employers.

In fiscal 2021, EBSA received 1,770 applications from qualified termination administrators and closed 923 applications with terminations approved. In total, the program resulted in direct distributions of $50.8 million to plan participants.