DOL Releases Inflation Adjusted Penalties for 2019

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The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published the Final Rule regarding the DOL Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Annual Adjustments for 2019 setting forth the inflation-adjusted civil monetary penalties for violations pertaining to health and welfare benefit plans and pension and retirement plans. The 2019 adjustments are effective for penalties assessed after January 23, 2019, with respect to violations occurring after November 2, 2015.

Some of the more notable changes for employers sponsoring health and welfare plans are as follows:

Description of Violation

New Penalty

Old Penalty

Failure or refusal to file a Form 5500

$2,194 per day

$2,140 per day

Failure to provide documents and information requested by the DOL

$156 per day

$152 per day

Failure to provide reports to certain former participants and beneficiaries and failure to maintain records

$30 per day

$29 per day

Failure by an employer to inform employees of CHIP coverage opportunities

$117 per day per employee


$114 per day per employee


Violations of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), such as establishing eligibility rules based on genetic information or requesting genetic information for underwriting purposes

$117 per participant per day

$114 per participant per day

Failure to provide annual Summary of Benefits Coverage (SBC)

$1,156 per failure

$1,128 per failure

Employers should review the Final Rule carefully and ensure that they are meeting DOL requirements in order to avoid any potential penalties related to their plans. Although the adjustments for inflation reflect the maximum penalties that the DOL can impose and lower penalties may be assessed, failure to comply with DOL requirements can still prove extremely costly for employers.

Categories: Benefits in General, Compliance | Tags: DOL , Penalty , 2019 , Inflation adjusted | Return