New White Paper from United Benefit Advisors Provides Employer Road Map to Department of Labor Audit Process
United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization, today announces the release of a new white paper, “Don’t Roll the Dice on Department of Labor Audits,” a resource guide meant to walk employers through the process of an audit from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The white paper includes valuable information about how to prepare for an audit, the best way to acclimate staff to the audit process, what the DOL wants, and the most important elements of complying with requests.
“When it comes to a DOL audit, prevention is certainly warranted, but it’s not a matter of ‘if’ you’re ever going to get audited, it’s a matter of ‘when,’” says Jeff Hadden, Partner at LHD Benefit Advisors, a UBA Partner Firm.
Hadden says that twelve of his clients received DOL audits of their group health plans in the past 20 years. Of those twelve, nine went through the audit process in the previous two years. “That’s a significant increase and a harbinger that more audits are likely to come from the DOL,” says Hadden.
“Regardless of how sound your company’s business practices may be, a DOL audit needs to be dealt with professionally and expediently,” says Les McPhearson, CEO of UBA. “Every organization should be prepared so that this potential disaster can be handled with confidence. A DOL audit is so significant that once a company is embroiled in the audit process, that should be their top priority. We cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared.”
Keys to Preparing for the Audit
According to Hadden, it takes approximately one to two weeks, depending on the size of the business and how well they are organized, to properly prepare for a DOL audit. Part of that preparation is building an audit binder with known documents. Contact a UBA Partner Firm for a generic list of most documents needed for a DOL audit.
Josie Martinez, Senior Partner and General Counsel at UBA Partner Firm EBS Capstone, says the following steps should be taken if you’ve been selected to be audited:
- Call the DOL Phone Number: Call the DOL phone number listed on the letter and request an extension. If granted, this additional time is vital and should be used to your advantage to help prepare.
- Get Specific Information About the Audit: Find out what the focus of the investigation will be. While it will usually review an organization’s entire history, there will often be one thing of particular focus (e.g. the claims and appeals process). Important questions to ask include: What are the time periods of the review? What are the names of any people who the auditor wants to interview? “You only want to provide exactly what the auditor wants and nothing more,” says Martinez.
- Call Your Attorney and Your Broker: “Last, but certainly not least,” says Deanna Johnson, Director of Compliance at UBA Partner Firm Benefit Insurance Marketing, “call your attorney and your broker’s office and give them a heads-up.”
By planning ahead, conducting a self-audit, educating appropriate staff, and resolving any issues, an employer should be able to face a DOL audit with absolute confidence. UBA’s white paper was written specifically to help employers prepare for a DOL audit.
Download the white paper, “Don’t Roll the Dice on Department of Labor Audits” now.
For additional resources and guidance, including a comprehensive DOL Audit Checklist, please contact your local UBA Partner Firm.
About United Benefit Advisors®
United Benefit Advisors is the nation's leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 200 offices throughout the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. As trusted and knowledgeable advisors, UBA Partners collaborate with more than 2,000 fellow professionals to deliver expertise, thought leadership and best-in-class solutions that positively impact employers and make a real difference in the lives of their employees and families. Employers, advisors and industry-related organizations interested in obtaining powerful results from the shared wisdom of our Partners should visit UBA online at www.UBAbenefits.com.