Michigan television service company to pay $60,000 over ERISA violations

Diving Brief:

  • A federal judge has ordered a Michigan television and video services company to pay more than $60,000 in pension contributions and penalties after violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the US Department of Work announced on February 1.
  • The DOL Employee Benefits Security Administration investigated Gibson Television Service Inc. and found that its president and director failed to “remit and/or forward employee contributions” to the company’s 401(k ) on time. These violations occurred between January 2016 and August 2019.
  • Gibson Television did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Overview of the dive:

According to the DOL, ERISA “is a federal statute that establishes minimum standards for most voluntary private sector retirement and health plans to ensure the protection of individuals in those plans.” Gibson Television violated ERISA when it failed to attend to employee dues on time.

“When trustees fail to meet their obligations to participants’ hard-earned retirement savings, it jeopardizes the future savings of hard-working employees and the viability of their retirement plan,” said the regional director of the Benefits Security Administration, L. Joe Rivers in DOL press release.

Orientation, DOL says that the primary responsibility of trustees is to administer pension plans “solely in the interests of the participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying the expenses of the plan.” The fiduciary duty is to act prudently and to diversify the plan’s investments to minimize the risk of significant losses.

In a previous interview with HR Dive, Jacob M. Mattinson pointed out that ERISA requirements rely heavily on process. The law exists to ensure that employers take the necessary steps to ensure compliance, even if they have made a mistake. It encourages employers to self-report any missteps.

Veronica J. Snell