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Millions recovered by ERISA enforcement efforts

The Employee Benefits Security Administration, or EBSA, restored more than $1.1 billion in employee benefits in 2017. That money was put back into health, disability and retirement plans meant to benefit Pennsylvania residents and other American workers. Of the money restored to such plans, $326.7 million was for vested employees in defined benefit plans who had been let go by their employers. Overall, $682.3 million was recovered at the close of 1,114 civil investigations.

Money was also returned to employees who worked for companies that terminated their benefit plan. Through the Abandoned Plan Program, $27.9 million was returned to workers from 586 companies. Another $418.7 million was recovered through an informal complaint process. In addition to recovering money, the EBSA worked to indict 113 people in fiscal year 2017. Those individuals held a variety of roles such as plan administrators or service providers.

In addition to enforcing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, the EBSA takes steps to educate as well. A total of 1,816 events were aimed at helping employees and employers learn more about their rights and obligations under ERISA. These events were also aimed at keeping members of Congress informed about what the EBSA does. Individuals can learn more by reading the EBSA's publications or website.

In many industries, it's common for a company to offer an employee benefits package with a 401(k), health insurance coverage and other perks. If benefits have been denied after they have been earned, it may represent a violation of employee rights. Those who have been denied their benefits may wish to talk with an attorney about how to recover lost benefits or obtain compensation that equals the value of those lost benefits.

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