- A federal judge ordered a Michigan TV and video service company to pay more than $60,000 in retirement contributions and penalties after violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Feb. 1.
- DOL's 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 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.
According to DOL, ERISA "is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans." Gibson Television violated ERISA when it failed to tend to employee contributions on time.
"When fiduciaries fail to act with integrity in their obligations to the hard-earned retirement savings of participants it puts the future savings of hard-working employees and the viability of their retirement plan in jeopardy," said Employee Benefits Security Administration Regional Director L. Joe Rivers in DOL's press release.
In guidance, DOL says that the primary responsibility of fiduciaries lies in running retirement plans "solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses." Fiduciary duty includes acting prudently and diversifying the plan's investment to minimize risk of large loss.
In a previous interview with HR Dive, Jacob M. Mattinson emphasized that ERISA's requirements lean heavily on process. The law exists to ensure employers take the necessary steps to ensure compliance, even if they've made a mistake. It encourages employers to self-report any missteps.