ERISA compliance

Employers face strict deadlines for disclosing Plan information to all eligible employees. And all Plan Sponsors and Plan Administrators with ERISA Plans must follow a strict fiduciary code of conduct.

You may be at risk and not even know it! Failure to comply with ERISA requirements can be extremely costly. Consequences for non-compliance may include government penalties, even employee lawsuits.


Ringo Financial provides solutions that take care of all the necessary communications, forms, and record keeping so employers don’t have to! We put our years of experience to work to help employers remain fully compliant with ERISA regulations, and we provide the defense employers need in the event of an audit by the Department of Labor.

ERISA Compliance Checklist

The following questions apply to employers who provide health and welfare benefits to one or more employees.

Health & Welfare plans: Medical, Dental, Vision, Life, 401k, Simple IRA, Wellness, LTD/STD, HRA, FSA, and/or Voluntary Benefits that are pre-taxed under a Section 125 plan

1] Do you have an ERISA plan document?
If Not, you are in violation of ERISA.

ERISA Title 1 requires that the Employer / Plan Sponsor must have a written plan document in place if they offer one or more benefits to one or more employees

2] Do you have a SPD (Summary Pan Description)?
If Not, you are in violation of ERISA.

ERISA requires that all employees receive a SPD. YOUR EMPLOYEES can be awarded $110 per day penalty assessment for each day he/she fails to receive a SPD after requesting one in writing.

3] If “Yes” to #2, have you distributed the SPD to each participant within 90 days of his/her first day of coverage?
If Not, you are in violation of ERISA.

Most employers assume that the EOC [Evidence of Coverage] and Certificates of Coverage from the insurance carriers meet these requirements. THEY DO NOT. A separate ERISA SPD must ‘wrap’ around the certificates to meet ERISA documentation requirements.

4] Have you ever amended your ERISA Plan Document or Summary Plan Description?
If Not, you may be in violation of ERISA.
5] If ‘Yes’ to #4, did you provide a SMM (Summary of Material Modification) to your employees?
If Not, you are in violation of ERISA.

ERISA requires that a SMM be distributed to all participants when there is a material change to to the benefits plans, such as carrier change, eligibility change, benefit structure change, etc.

6] If you have 100 or more employees in any benefit [eg: 80 on medical, 20 on dental], have you filed form 5500 with applicable schedules?
If Not, you are in violation.

ERISA imposes $1,100 per day penalty for each day this filing is late, up to a maximum penalty for large employers (over 100) of $30,000 annually

7] If ‘Yes’ to 6, have you ever completed and distributed a SAR (Summary Annual Report)?

If Not, you are in violation of ERISA

Audits can be triggered by other government agencies such as OSHA, IRS, etc. as well as disgruntled employees filing lawsuits or reporting.