COMPLIANCE QUICK CHECKLIST
The following checklist has been published by the U.S.
Department of Labor ("DOL") as a general guide to ERISA
compliance for retirement plans.
It is not intended to be comprehensive but does outline the
areas of major compliance concern to the DOL.
with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) begins with
knowing the rules. Plan
administrators and other plan officials can use this checklist as a
quick diagnostic tool for assessing a planís compliance with
certain important ERISA rules; it is not a complete description of
all ERISAís rules and it is not a substitute or a comprehensive
compliance review. Use
of this checklist is voluntary, and it should not be filed with your
you answer "No" to any of the questions below, you should review
your planís operations because you may not be in full compliance
with ERISAís requirements.
Have you provided plan participants with a summary plan
description, summaries of any material modifications of the plan,
and annual summary financial reports?
Do you maintain copies of plan documents at the principal
office of the plan administrator for examination by participants and
Do you respond to written participant inquiries for copies of
plan documents and information within 30 days?
Does your plan include written procedures for making benefit
claims and appealing denied claims, and are you complying with those
Is your plan covered by a fidelity bond against losses due to
fraud or dishonesty?
Are the planís investments diversified so as to minimize
the risk of large losses?
If the plan permits participants to select the investments in
their plan accounts, has the plan provided them with enough
information to make informed decisions?
Has a plan official determined that the investments are
prudent and solely in the interest of the planís participants and
beneficiaries, and evaluated the risks associated with plan
investments before making the investments?
Did the employer or other plan sponsor send participant
contributions to the plan on a timely basis?
Did the plan pay participant benefits on time and in the
you answer "Yes" to any of the questions below, you should
review your planís operations because you may not be in full
compliance with ERISAís requirements.
Has the plan engaged in any financial transactions with
persons related to the plan or any plan official, for example, has
the plan made a loan to or participated in an investment with the
Has the plan official used the assets of the plan for his/her
Have plan assets been used to pay expenses that were not
authorized in the plan document, were not necessary to the proper
administration of the plan, or were more than reasonable in amount?
you need help answering these questions or want additional guidance
about ERISA requirements, a plan official should contact the U.S.
Department of Labor Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration
office in your region or consult with the planís legal counsel or
professional employee benefit advisor.
Golan & Christie LLP
70 West Madison St.
Chicago, Illinois 60602