If you are like a lot of people in California, you have a retirement fund that is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Since it was first enacted in 1974, this act has provided protection for countless employees by outlining the responsibilities of retirement plan administrators and sponsors. These responsibilities include communication with participants as well as the protection of assets. The law also identifies activities that may be deemed as civil violations.
According to the U.S Department of Labor, any retaliatory action taken against a person who has exercised their rights under ERISA is a violation that may lead to enforcement actions. The failure to properly assess assets as the current fair market value is another potential violation. Plan administrators and sponsors are required to act in the best interest of the participants and the failure do to so is a violation. As such, any use of plan assets to benefit a party other than a participant, such as a sponsor or an administrator, may be a violation.
Other violations include the lack of adherence to plan terms unless such a lack would be in violation of another element of ERISA and the failure to identify and monitor plan service providers in an appropriate manner.
If you would like to learn more about what ERISA protects and how to get help if you believe a violation of the act has occurred that impacts you or your retirement savings, please feel free to visit the ERISA page of our California insurance protection website.