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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » DOL Final Rule Sanctions $1,100 Daily Penalty on Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans

DOL Final Rule Sanctions $1,100 Daily Penalty on Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans


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On February 26, 2010, the Department of Labor published a final rule that will allow the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,100 per day on multiemployer plans in endangered or critical funding status that fail to adopt funding improvement plans. The rule takes effect on March 29, 2010 for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2008. No changes were made from the proposed rule.

In assessing a penalty, DOL will consider the willfulness and severity of the violation. The department will notify the multiemployer plan sponsor of the penalty and give the reasons for the penalty. The department may then waive the penalty, if the plan is able to demonstrate compliance or mitigating circumstances to explain noncompliance. The plan sponsor may also request an administrative hearing to contest the penalty. The rule clarifies that liability is joint and several among the trustees, regardless of their role in the violation.