IRS & DOL Investigations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) contains various rules as to fiduciaries with responsibility for employee benefit plans, or the assets of these plans. Among a fiduciary's responsibilities is the obligation to avoid causing a plan to engage in certain types of “prohibited transactions” with parties considered to have special relationships to the plan, including the fiduciary.

The Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) routinely open investigations of fiduciaries to plans covered by ERISA and service providers to those plans to determine whether any person "has violated or is about to violate" Title I of ERISA. Understanding the process can help reduce the administrative burden and cost as well as reduce stress associated with these types of investigations.

Throughout our long and established history serving as counsel to multiemployer funds and experience as professional trustees, we have developed an understanding and working relationship with the regulatory agencies who oversee these plans including the Department of Labor, Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. We have successfully handled multiple audits on behalf of our clients by the Employee Benefit Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor or the Internal Revenue Service. We have handled many matters which have revolved around an alleged breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions under ERISA, or operational or qualification failure under the Internal Revenue Code or related federal statute, such as HIPAA or the ACA. Many of the more serious matters and litigated matters have come through referral or our status as approved panel counsel for fiduciary liability carriers.