Top of Mind

​Something New I Learned from the DOL

Even after 27 years in the retirement plan business, there is hardly a week that goes by where I don’t learn something new - and the past few weeks have been no exception!

Recently, Greg Needles of Morgan Lewis and I had the distinct pleasure of sharing a podium with Preston Rutledge, head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the Department of Labor, at the Georgetown Law CLE Tax-Exempt Organizations program.

While Preston touched on topics that are likely familiar to Top of Mind readers - such as missing participants, electronic communications delivery, and MEP guidance - he also shared an interesting fact, about which I was not previously aware.

Did you know that the EBSA has a help line? I knew that there is a number that participants can call to lodge a complaint about their plan. However, as Preston indicated, the number is also available for ERISA plan sponsors (and those who work with them) to ask questions about plan administration and compliance. It is nice to know that the EBSA will provide support to plan sponsors and advisors, in addition to participants. In fact, over 170,000 calls were fielded last year.

Of course, if your plan has an ERISA compliance issue that may require correction, you should contact outside benefits counsel well versed in these matters to determine the proper course of action. But if you simply have a question about a plan administrative issue, it is good to know that there is an avenue of assistance! The number is 1-866-444-EBSA. And for those of you who dislike phone calls, there is an Ask EBSA website, which also includes a nice FAQ section.

Do you have a retirement-related issue that you wish for me to tackle in Top of Mind? Feel free to let me know on LinkedIn, Twitter, or at!

Note: This feature is to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice, and cannot be used or substituted for legal or tax advice. Opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Cammack Retirement Group.

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