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ERISA Pros and Wrangle 5500 Announce a Partnership

ERISA Pros and Wrangle 5500 announce the partnership of two premier firms. ERISA Pros will prepare ERISA Wrap Plans and SPDs and Wrangle will prepare Annual Form 5500s for the Plans.

Atlanta, GA—March 22, 2016

Recent developments in the Health and Welfare landscape have placed ERISA compliance at the forefront of your clients' minds. The DOL's vigorous enforcement efforts have left employers with little room to be non-compliant.

Over the past seven years, ERISA Pros has emerged as a premier professional services firm specializing in providing Welfare Benefit Compliance solutions, focusing on Wrap Plans and Wrap SPDs. During this time we have crafted, tailored and honed the delivery of these programs to agencies. The model has proven effective, and now it is even better.

The Annual Form 5500 is a financial summary of the Plan. There are natural synergies between the two documents. Information in one needs to be consistent with the other. What if ERISA Pros, the company that prepared the Wrap Plan Documents, could interface with the largest and best-known professional service provider of Form 5500s in the U.S.? That company is Wrangle, LLC.

ERISA Pros, LLC and Wrangle, LLC have formed a partnership. In this relationship, they will unify their efforts to deliver even more value in the solutions already provided by each company. The company that built the wrap plan can communicate with the company that files the report. The company that files the report can endorse a Plan Document solution consistent with the client's requirements through the natural synergies of the two. This ensures consistency across both platforms (Plan and Report) where in-depth industry knowledge is applied and extreme accuracy achieved.

Bernard Kearse, Principal of ERISA Pros said, "We are excited to have a partnership with such an outstanding company as Wrangle and believe our opportunities for assisting our broker/partners and their clients with innovative solutions has increased greatly by solidifying this relationship. We plan to work closely with Wrangle and seek innovative ways to enhance and expand our services for the benefit of our clients."

ERISAPros Recruits Evelyn King, J.D. and Carolyn Roddy, J.D. to its Professional Staff

Evelyn King, J.D. and Carolyn Roddy, J.D. join the professional staff of ERISAPros' Compliance Department. ERISAPros, LLC provides ERISA compliance services, e.g., wrap Plan Documents, Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing for Welfare Benefit Plans, such as employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

Atlanta, GA—March 01, 2015—ERISAPros is pleased to announce the addition of Evelyn King and Carolyn Roddy to the professional staff of its Compliance Department.

Evelyn King, J.D., Director of Compliance, graduated from The Ohio State University-Mortiz College of Law. Prior to joining ERISAPros, Evelyn gained over 15 years of experience working with several Fortune 500 companies as well as several privately held organizations, specifically in the area of corporate benefits. Her experiences range from benefit plan design, vendor management, administrative operations, plan compliance, audits, and strategic planning to drafting and modifying health and welfare plan documents. Evelyn enjoys making the complex area of ERISA into something that can be understood and administered by non-specialists. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking with her children, and going to the movies.

Carolyn Roddy, J.D., Compliance Specialist, graduated from the University of Georgia Law School and College of Journalism and Mass Communications. Prior to joining ERISAPros, she represented regulated utilities in municipal, state and federal administrative proceedings and in a variety of transactional, litigation, and corporate matters while in private practice and at a federal agency, Fortune 50 company, and Washington, DC-based trade association. She is a member of the Georgia and District of Columbia Bar Associations and is a registered mediator. In her spare time, she teaches Administrative Law as an Adjunct Professor at an Atlanta-based law school and is active in a number of state and local civic, service and political organizations.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA reporting and disclosure consulting and compliance services, such as Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, and prepares wrap Plan Documents and SPDs for Welfare Benefit Plans including employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

ERISAPros' proprietary Wrap-Tightsm compliance and document system allows employers to save money by preparing and adopting a single wrap plan that covers all of their benefit plans. This means that employers only need to file one Form 5500 and distribute a single SPD, Summary Annual Report (SAR), and Summary of Material Modifications (SMM). If amendments are required in response to legislative or regulatory changes, employers only need to make changes to one document, rather than for each separate component benefit plan. ERISAPros also sponsors the ERISA Wonk, a blog dedicated to ERISA and welfare benefit plans.

Contact:
ERISAPros, LLC
5901C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 480
Atlanta, GA 30328

Toll Free: 1-866-488-6582
Local: 678-443-4003
Fax: 866-303-0833
Email: info@erisapros.com
http://www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros Recruits Lindsay Hudgins, J.D. and Lindsay Mahoney, J.D. to its Professional Staff

Lindsay Hudgins, J.D. and Lindsay Mahoney, J.D. join the professional staff of ERISA Pros' Compliance Department. ERISA Pros, LLC provides ERISA compliance services, e.g., wrap Plan Documents, Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing for Welfare Benefit Plans, such as employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

Atlanta, GA—July 16, 2014—ERISAPros is pleased to announce the addition of Lindsay Hudgins and Lindsay Mahoney to the professional staff of its Compliance Department.

Lindsay Hudgins, Compliance Specialist, graduated from Emory University and Georgia State University College of Law. While in law school, Lindsay served as the Social Chair of the Asian American Law Student Association and was active in several other organizations, such as the Association of Women Law Students, the Health Law Society, and the Public Interest Law Association. During her internship with the Health Law group at Smith Moore Leatherwood, LLP, she assisted in writing the Georgia Health Information Management Association Legal Handbook (2010 rev. ed.) and a chapter of the 6th Edition of the Georgia Hospital Law Manual (2010 rev. ed.) Lindsay is a member of the Georgia Bar. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, playing tennis, and cooking.

Lindsay Mahoney, Compliance Specialist, graduated from The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and the Georgia State University College of Law. During law school, Lindsay focused her internships on domestic litigation and personal injury law, both with a heavy emphasis on client contact. Prior to joining ERISAPros, Lindsay contracted with the Special Resources Department of Alston & Bird, LLP to review and analyze e-discovery for A&B's corporate clients. Lindsay is a member of the State Bar of Georgia. Her personal interests include reading, watching movies and spending time with her husband and daughter.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA reporting and disclosure consulting and compliance services, such as Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, and prepares wrap Plan Documents and SPDs for Welfare Benefit Plans including employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

ERISAPros' proprietary Wrap-Tightsm compliance and document system allows employers to save money by preparing and adopting a single wrap plan that covers all of their benefit plans. This means that employers only need to file one Form 5500 and distribute a single SPD, Summary Annual Report (SAR), and Summary of Material Modifications (SMM). If amendments are required in response to legislative or regulatory changes, employers only need to make changes to one document, rather than for each separate component benefit plan. ERISAPros also sponsors the ERISA Wonk, a blog dedicated to ERISA and welfare benefit plans.

Contact:
ERISAPros, LLC
5901C Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Suite 480
Atlanta, GA 30328

Toll Free: 1-866-488-6582
Local: 678-443-4003
Fax: 866-303-0833
Email: info@erisapros.com
http://www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros Introduces Wrap-Tightsm Online SPDs

ERISAPros launches Wrap-Tightsm, a convenient and economical web-based ERISA compliance system for Welfare Benefit Plans. It allows employers and insurance brokers to create and publish state-of-the-art customized wrap SPD documents at a fraction of the typical cost. Wrap-Tightsm is easy-to-use, intuitive, and provides online help guiding users as they input information. Wrap-Tightsm documents can updated at any time from any web browser.

The Wrap-Tightsm system is to be the 'gold standard' of compliance. If that's what our clients say about us, then we've done our job.

ERISA Essentials
The Wrap-Tightsm document suite includes these easy to produce documents:

  • Instructional Memo
  • Plan Document
  • Resolutions
  • Summary Plan Description (SPD)
  • Qualified Medical Child Support Order (QMCSO)
  • Electronic Distribution Package (Optional)

Wrap-Tightsm Compliance
ERISAPros periodically updates its documents to reflect changes in legislation, regulations, and court cases, and notifies customers of their availability. Also, employers frequently change carriers, coverage, and plan provisions. These changes require them to revise their ERISA documents. Wrap-Tightsm customers can just update and download current and compliant documents quickly and easily - as often as they need during the year from any web browser.

Electronic Distribution Package (optional)
With Wrap-Tightsm, employers can save time, effort, and postage by distributing their ERISA documents electronically instead of delivering paper SPDs to each participant. ERISAPros furnishes instructions and easy to use forms that satisfy the DOL's rigorous electronic disclosure requirements. They also provide a recordkeeping template to help customers keep track of fulfillment.

ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) is a set of federal laws and regulations that govern Welfare Benefit Plans and Qualified Retirement Plans. Under ERISA, employers must have a written Plan Document and are required to deliver a summary of it, a Summary Plan Description (SPD), to their Participants—regardless of how many employees participate. The SPD is the main vehicle for communicating Plan rights to Participants. Employers must also prepare and file a Form 5500 electronically for each Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and deliver a summary of it, a Summary Annual Report (SAR), to each Participant unless they meet the strict criteria for the Small Plan Exception. Almost every employer must comply with ERISA, regardless of its size or number of employees.

About ERISAPros
ERISAPros is a leading provider of ERISA reporting and disclosure consulting and compliance services, such as Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing and preparing wrap Plan Documents and Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) for Welfare Benefit Plans, e.g., employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans. ERISAPros also sponsors the ERISA Wonk blog for its followers interested in a deeper understanding of ERISA.


Contact:
Michael Eaton, V.P. of Sales at 678-443-4003 for a free demonstration or
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800
990 Hammond Dr.
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

Local: 678-443-4003
Toll Free: 866-488-6582
http:/www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros Launches ERISA Wonk Blog for ERISA Issues of Welfare Benefit Plans

Atlanta, GA September 20, 2011ERISAPros launches ERISA Wonk, a leading blog focusing on ERISA issues related solely to Welfare Benefit Plans. (The definition of wonk is: 1) an expert in a specialized and narrow field; 2) an excessively assiduous and thorough student of a subject or issue; 3) a person obsessively preoccupied with the arcane details of a field. Wonk is an anagram of "know.") Subject experts from around the country will submit blog posts focusing on ERISA issues related exclusively to Welfare Benefit Plans. The posts are moderated for originality, timeliness, and relevance.

A wonk is: 1) an expert in a specialized and narrow field; 2) an excessively assiduous and thorough student of a subject or issue; 3) a person obsessively preoccupied with the arcane details of a field. Wonk is an anagram of "know."

ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) is a set of federal laws and regulations that govern Welfare Benefit Plans and Qualified Retirement Plans. Under ERISA, employers must have a written Plan Document and are required to deliver a summary of it, a Summary Plan Description (SPD), to their Participants—regardless of how many employees participate. The SPD is the main vehicle for communicating Plan rights to Participants. Employers must also prepare and file a Form 5500 electronically for each Plan with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and deliver a summary of it, a Summary Annual Report (SAR), to each Participant—unless they meet the strict criteria for the Small Plan Exception. Almost every employer, regardless of its size or number of employees, must comply with ERISA.

A Welfare Benefit Plan is a program established by an employer to provide certain benefits to its employees. Examples of Welfare Benefit Plans covered by ERISA are medical, surgical, or hospital care or benefits, benefits in the event of sickness, accident, disability, death or unemployment, or vacation benefits, apprenticeship or other training programs, day care centers, scholarship funds, and prepaid legal services.

About ERISAPros
ERISAPros provides ERISA reporting and disclosure consulting and compliance services, such as Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, and it prepares documents, such as wrap Plan Documents and Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) for Welfare Benefit Plans, e.g., employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800
990 Hammond Dr.
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

Local: 678-443-4003
Toll Free: 866-488-6582
http:/www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros Adds Mary F. Barkley, JD to its Professional Staff

Mary F. Barkley, JD joins ERISAPros, LLC to become the third attorney on its professional staff. ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance services, e.g., SPDs and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, for Welfare Benefit Plans, such as employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

Atlanta, GAApril 14 , 2010 — ERISAPros is pleased to announce the addition of Mary F. Barkley as the third attorney on its professional staff. Mary has practiced with a national law firm in the employee benefits field. She also worked as tax counsel for a Fortune 500 company, specializing in employee benefits, fringe benefits and payroll taxes, and state and local income tax controversy and planning. Mary was formerly a Business Law Instructor with the Certified Employee Benefits Specialist ("CEBS") program.

She earned hear Juris Doctor from the University of Tennessee, with honors, in May, 1990. Mary was on the staff of the Tennessee Law Review, and won Am Jur Awards in Civil Procedure I and II.

Mary is an inactive member of the Texas Bar.

Her personal interests include letterboxing and geocaching with her two children. She also enjoys reading, vegetable gardening, needlework and soapmaking.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA reporting and disclosure consulting and compliance services, such as Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, and prepares documents, such as Plan Documents and SPDs, for Welfare Benefit Plans including employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800
990 Hammond Dr.
Atlanta, Georgia 30328

Local: 678-443-4003
Toll Free: 866-488-6582
http:/www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros’ Kearse Addresses Health Underwriters

Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, founder of ERISAPros LLC, addressed the Atlanta Association of Health Underwriters (AAHU) at its Annual Benefits Forum on February 18, 2010. His topic, "ERISA - Are Your Companies Compliant?" was timely in light of the current environment of increased Department of Labor (DOL) enforcement activities. Over 200 group health insurance agents, brokers, and employee benefit consultants from Atlanta and surrounding areas attended the Forum.

ERISA - Are Your Companies Compliant?

Atlanta, GA — February 24, 2010 — ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) is a Federal law which deals with employee benefit plans, both Qualified Retirement Plans (e.g., pension and profit sharing plans) and Health & Welfare Benefit Plans (e.g., group insurance and other fringe benefit plans). The goals of ERISA are to provide uniformity and protections to employees. ERISA compliance is enforced primarily by the DOL, which imposes certain reporting (to the DOL) and disclosure (to Plan Participants) requirements on employers. Failure to comply with ERISA can result in enforcement actions, penalties, and/or employee lawsuits.

ERISA enforcement produced $1.2 billion in 2008 for the U.S. government stemming from 175,000 individual complaints, 3,570 civil investigations, 205 cases referred for litigation, and 101 criminal indictments. In 2009, the DOL announced plans to hire 1,000 new employees, 670 of whom would be investigators. Looking ahead to 2010, employers that are required to file an annual Form 5500 must file it electronically.

Electronic filing of Form 5500 may make it easier and faster for some employers to file, but for others, it will create confusion and complication. It will also make it easier for the DOL to monitor compliance and enforce penalties. Rather than relying on random audits or participant complaints to initiate an investigation of an employer's compliance with ERISA, the DOL will be instantly alerted if numbers on a Form 5500 are inconsistent or if the form is incomplete or not prepared and filed at all. The DOL will also be able to perform additional checks on the Form 5500, such as the reasonableness and accuracy of information provided.

The penalties for missing a Form 5500 deadline are onerous – up to $1,100/day for each ERISA plan. These penalties are cumulative and have no statute of limitations. According to Kearse, “An employer with 100 employees that does not file a Form 5500, or files it late, risks $1,100 per day to save less than 2cents per day per employee. We were extremely surprised when our study indicated that as many as 55% of employers may be out of compliance for not filing Form 5500s for their Welfare Benefit Plans. Fortunately, the government has a voluntary compliance program for delinquent filing that can mitigate these significant penalties—if the employer voluntarily addresses this problem before the DOL discovers its failure.”

A low rate of compliance may be due in large part to a misunderstanding about who is responsible for preparing and filing Form 5500s. Most employers believe that their insurance broker, insurance carrier, accountant, or other advisor is taking care of this. However, ERISA compliance is solely the employer's responsibility. Yet, if an employer encounters DOL fines or employee lawsuits arising from noncompliance, Kearse observes that since the plans are often insured, the employer often faults its broker for not alerting it to this potential problem. Brokers who partner with ERISAPros and offer its SPD and Form 5500 preparation services will be projecting a professional, proactive, and out-of-the box interest in their clients, while protecting their client relationships from misunderstandings such as these.

At the Annual Benefits Forum, Kearse also discussed related topics such as: which employers are subject to ERISA, which benefits are ERISA Plans, what is a Plan Document, what information should a Summary Plan Description (SPD) contain, how must the SPD be delivered, who is required to file Form 5500, and why should an employer comply with ERISA. Of particular interest was ERISAPros’ proprietary Wrap-Tightsmsm compliance and document system. This allows employers to prepare and adopt a single Plan Document and deliver one SPD, rather than having to prepare them for each separate component benefit plan. Utilizing this approach, an employer only needs to file one Form 5500, avoiding the often significant costs of preparing separate Form 5500s for each plan.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance solutions for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans, including Plan Documents, wrap SPDs, and Form 5500 electronic filing services. Atlanta attorney, Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, founded ERISAPros to fill the need for high quality, yet affordable documents and services. For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, contact Bernard Kearse.

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ERISAPros Releases New Document Package to Meet Disclosure Compliance Requirements of ERISA

ERISAPros releases a new package of forms, instructions, and checklists to help employers comply with ERISA document Disclosure requirements relating to their Summary Plan Descriptions (SPD), Summary of Material Modifications (SMM), and Summary Annual Reports (SAR) to Plan Participants. Electronic communication is rapidly taking the place of paper; however, electronic document delivery requires several additional steps to be compliant under ERISA. ERISAPros’ new document package will alleviate confusion and make delivery of ERISA documents easy, efficient, and cost effective for employers—whether by paper or electronic means.

Our new package of forms, instructions, and checklists take the guesswork and hassle out for employers. ERISAPros makes electronic document delivery easy, efficient, and cost effective.

(Vocus/PRWEB ) January 28, 2010 -- ERISAPros, LLC, a leading vendor of ERISA compliance services for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans, announces the release of a new package of forms, instructions, and check lists for employers to easily, efficiently, and cost effectively comply with complicated Department of Labor (DOL) disclosure requirements. The DOL requires that employers disclose certain Plan information to Participants and Beneficiaries through various reports, such as SPDs, SARs, SMMs, and other ERISA documents. The DOL imposes strict requirements as to the content, as well as the timing, frequency, and method of delivery of these documents.

An employer may be fined up to $110 per day for each day that these documents are delivered after the deadline. This penalty applies for each Plan and is cumulative. According to Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, founder of ERISAPros, “Where an employer maintains separate life, health, dental and disability plans that are not part of a single wrap plan arrangement, the $110 a day penalty is applicable to each plan. If this employer delivers its SPDs just 30 days late, it can be fined up to $13,200! ERISAProsWrap-Tightsm” SPD approach reduces that employer’s exposure to only $3,300 for all four plans.”

Material that is required to be furnished to Participants must be delivered in a way reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt of the material. An employer may use paper and/or electronic delivery methods. However, merely placing a supply of documents in the employer’s break room, posting them on the company’s website, or instructing employees to pick up a copy from the HR department does not satisfy the DOL delivery requirements.

Electronic communication is rapidly taking the place of traditional paper correspondence sent through the mail. An employer can enjoy significant savings in printing costs, time, and labor by utilizing electronic delivery methods, such as email and posting the material on its website. However, electronic delivery methods require additional steps including delivering a “Notice and Disclosure Regarding Electronic Disclosure” to Participants and obtaining a “Consent to Receive Disclosures Electronically” from them prior to actual delivery of materials. Kearse adds, “Our new package of forms, instructions, and checklists take the guesswork and hassle out for employers. ERISAPros makes electronic document delivery easy, efficient, and cost effective.”

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance solutions for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans, including Plan Documents, wrap SPDs, and Form 5500 electronic preparation and electronic filing services. Atlanta attorney, Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, founded ERISAPros to fill the need for high quality, yet affordable documents and services. For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, contact Bernard Kearse.

Study Shows Majority of U.S. Employers Not in Compliance with ERISA

According to a recent study by ERISAPros, LLC, as much as 55% of U.S. employers with 100 or more employees may not be in compliance with the ERISA requirement to file an annual Form 5500 for their Health & Welfare Benefit Plans. These employers could face onerous government (DOL) penalties in the current environment of increased regulatory oversight.

December 22, 2009 -- According to a recent study by ERISAPros, LLC, the majority of U.S. employers with 100 or more employees do not comply with the ERISA requirement to file an annual Form 5500 for their Health & Welfare Benefit Plans. U.S. Census Bureau reports show that there are about 110,000 employers that employ 100 or more people. However, according to public records, some 60,000 of these employers have not filed a Form 5500 for a Welfare Benefit Plan -- a 55% rate of noncompliance.*

ERISA<em>Pros</em> Logo

ERISA is a federal law that regulates employer-sponsored benefit plans, such as 401(k), group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans. It imposes strict requirements on employers sponsoring these plans to report certain financial information to the Department of Labor annually on Form 5500, and to disclose benefit-related information to their Plan participants in a Summary Plan Description (SPD).

ERISA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which can penalize an employer up to $1,100 per day that its Form 5500 is filed late. This penalty is cumulative, applies separately to each benefit Plan, is not subject to a statute of limitations, and is not tax deductible to the employer. According to ERISAPros’ founder, Bernard Kearse, “An employer sponsoring life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plan that files its Form 5500s just 30 days late could be fined $132,000. If that employer earns 8% net after tax, it would have to generate $1,650,000 in sales revenue to pay for the government’s fine.”

Beginning in 2010, employers must file all Plan Year 2009 and later Form 5500s electronically. ERISAPros will begin offering Form 5500 preparation & electronic online filing services for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans using the Department of Labor's (DOL) EFAST2 system. Electronic filing may make it easier and faster for some employers to file, but for others, it will create confusion and complication. It will also make it easier for the DOL to monitor compliance and enforce penalties. Rather than relying on random audits or participant complaints to initiate an investigation of an employer's compliance with ERISA, the DOL will be instantly alerted if numbers on a Form 5500 are inconsistent or if the form is incomplete or not prepared and filed at all. The DOL will also be able to perform additional checks on the Form 5500, such as the reasonableness and accuracy of information provided.

Many ERISA specialists believe that in the Welfare Benefit Plan arena, the rate of employer compliance with the requirement for proper preparation and delivery of Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) may be even lower than that of filing Form 5500s. In fact, Kearse continues, "None of ERISAPros' customers were in full compliance before becoming our client. Fortunately, the DOL does have a Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program that offers a reduced penalty, but this program cannot be used once the DOL finds the employer's error through an audit or investigation. The DOL is slated to hire 1,000 new employees, of which about 670 will be investigators. Employers should take steps now to get in compliance before the DOL knocks on their door."

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance solutions for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans, including Plan Documents, Summary Plan Descriptions (wrap SPDs), and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing services . Atlanta attorney, Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, founded ERISAPros to fill the need for high quality, yet affordable documents and services. For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, its “Wrap-Tightsm” sm wrap SPD, or Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, contact Bernard Kearse.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800; 990 Hammond Dr. NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30328
678-443-4003 (local)
866-488-6582 (toll-free)

*It is assumed that employers with 100 or more employees offer at least one Welfare Benefit Plan and are subject to ERISA Reporting and Disclosure requirements.

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ERISAPros to Offer Seminar Series on ERISA for Group Insurance Brokers and Employee Benefit Consultants

Atlanta, GA | November 16, 2009 -- ERISAPros has announced it will offer a new series of exclusive lunch & learn round table seminars for employee benefit consultants and insurance brokers who sell group insurance. The first seminar, "How ERISA Will Affect Your Group Insurance Clients in 2010," will be held on December 3, 2009. The founder of ERISAPros, Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, will lead the informal presentation and discussion.

In 2010, insurance brokers and employee benefits consultants will continue to be challenged to offer new value added services to their clients. Insurance brokers must go beyond the concept of traditional marketing to enhance existing relationships, protect their clientele from competition, and reach more high quality prospects. Offering ERISAPros' complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation is a unique approach that adds significant value to a broker's existing array of services in a very competitive environment.

Atlanta employee benefits and ERISA attorney, Bernard Kearse III, JD, LLM, founded ERISAPros to fill the need for high quality, yet affordable, SPDs for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans only. Kearse has focused on ERISA for over 25 years and has designed, drafted, and reviewed virtually every type of employee benefit plan. Over the years, he has represented public and private sector employers, a major insurance company, acted as Employee Benefits Counsel for a Fortune 200 company, and practiced law with two national firms.

According to Kearse, "ERISA compliance is solely the employer's responsibility; it is not the broker's. However, if an employer encounters DOL fines or employee lawsuits arising from noncompliance, the broker's head may roll for not alerting the employer to this potential problem. Brokers who partner with ERISAPros and offer our SPDs and 5500 preparation service will be projecting a professional, proactive, and out-of-the box interest in their clients, while protecting their client relationships from misunderstandings."

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance solutions for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans, including Plan Documents, Summary Plan Descriptions (wrap SPD), and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing services . For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, its Wrap-Tightsm wrap SPD, Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, or new Seminar Series, contact Bernard Kearse.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800; 990 Hammond Dr. NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30328
678-443-4003 (local)
866-488-6582 (toll-free)
www.erisapros.com

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ERISAPros to Prepare Wrap SPDs & File Form 5500 Electronically for Welfare Benefit Plans

ERISAPros will begin offering Form 5500 preparation & electronic online filing services for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans using the Department of Labor’s (DOL) EFAST2 system. Employers must file all Plan Year 2009 and later Form 5500 Annual Returns / Reports electronically. This new requirement will not only make it easier and faster for employers to file Form 5500, but also for the DOL to monitor compliance and enforce penalties. Employers can face DOL penalties of $1,100 per Plan for each day it files Form 5500 past the deadline.

Atlanta, GA (Vocus/PRWEB ) October 7, 2009 -- ERISAPros, LLC has announced its plans to prepare and file annual Form 5500s electronically for its customers’ Health & Welfare Benefit Plans utilizing Department of Labor (DOL) approved software through the DOL’s EFAST2 system. Under the DOL’s Final Rule on Annual Reporting and Disclosure, all Plan Year 2009 and later Form 5500 Annual Returns / Reports must be filed electronically.

News Image

There are numerous types of ERISA Health & Welfare Employee Benefit Plans and other fringe benefits, and the list continues to grow. The most common ones are employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance policies; however many fringe benefit plans that do not utilize insurance products, such as Severance Pay Plans, are also subject to ERISA. Almost every employer, regardless of its size or number of employees, must comply with ERISA. The only exceptions are church and government plans.

One requirement of ERISA is for employers to report certain information concerning the financial condition and operations of their Plans annually to the DOL on Form 5500. Employers must also disclose a summary of their Form 5500 to their Plan Participants in a Summary Annual Report (SAR). There is a “small plan” exception to this requirement for employer sponsored Plans having fewer than 100 Participants on the first day of the Plan Year. Under certain circumstances, an unwary employer could lose its small plan exemption and be required to file a Form 5500. A more comprehensive explanation may be found at Form 5500 Annual Reporting Requirements.

The DOL’s new requirement that Form 5500s be filed electronically will not only make it easier and faster for employers to file, but also for the DOL to monitor compliance and enforce penalties. Rather than relying on random audits or participant complaints to initiate an investigation of an employer’s compliance with ERISA, the DOL will be instantly alerted if numbers on a Form 5500 are inconsistent or if the form is incomplete or not prepared and filed at all. The DOL will also be able to perform additional checks on the Form 5500, such as the reasonableness of information provided.

Employers can face a DOL penalty of $1,100 per day for filing its Form 5500 past the deadline and $110 per day penalty for delivering its SAR beyond its deadline. The deadline for a Plan’s Form 5500 is 7 months after the end of the Plan Year and 9 months for the SAR. According to ERISA attorney and founder of ERISAPros, Bernard Kearse, JD, LLM, “An employer sponsoring four separate Plans (e.g., a life, medical, dental, and disability plan) that files a Form 5500 for each Plan just 30 days late could face a DOL penalty of $132,000!” ERISAPros has prepared a short and humerous movie about DOL penalties, "The ERISA Force."

In 2008, enforcement of ERISA laws resulted in $1.2 billion. Hilda Solis, the new Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration, has stated that she is committed to protecting workers' benefits and expects to hire about 1,000 new employees, including 670 investigators. In addition to avoiding onerous penalties, an employer has many additional reasons to comply with ERISA.

Many of the nation's 5+ million employers are not in compliance with ERISA because they are not aware that their group insurance policies and other Welfare Benefit Plans are subject to ERISA, just as their 401(k) plans are. In addition to a general lack of awareness, a common misperception is who is responsible for preparing and filing Form 5500s. Most employers believe their insurance broker, insurance carrier, accountant, or legal advisor is taking care of this. However, ERISA compliance is solely the employer's responsibility. Misperceptions such as these can make for very unhappy employers if the DOL knocks on their door before their insurance broker or other advisors alert them to this potential problem. ERISAPros will partner with those advisors, helping advisors cement their relationship with clients, avert potential legal problems, and reduce competition from other advisors who provide ERISA compliance services.

ERISAPros plans to distinguish itself by providing proactive and ongoing compliance. Its experienced professionals will personally obtain the information to prepare documents for its client--rather than giving a blank template to an employer, which would likely be incomplete, completed incorrectly, or perhaps never completed. Additionally, ERISAPros will contact its customers annually to assess whether their SPDs are still in compliance, and, if not, prepare the necessary documents to help get them back into compliance.

ERISAPros' proprietary Wrap-Tightsm SPD allows all of an employer's ERISA Plans to be consolidated into a single Plan. A wrap SPD saves an employer the time and expense of preparing an SPD and a Form 5500 for each separate Plan.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros provides ERISA compliance solutions for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans, including Plan Documents, Summary Plan Descriptions (wrap SPD), and Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing services . For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, its Wrap-Tightsm SPD, or Form 5500 preparation and electronic filing, contact Bernard Kearse.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
Suite 800; 990 Hammond Dr. NE
Atlanta, Ga. 30328
678-443-4003 (local)
866-488-6582 (toll-free)

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ERISAPros Launches Wrap SPD, Form 5500 Preparation, & Compliance Services for Welfare Benefit Plans

ERISAPros launches compliance services for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans. The company's products and services feature its proprietary Wrap-Tightsm Plan Documents, SPDs (Summary Plan Description), SMMs (Summary of Material Modification), and SARs (Summary Annual Report), Form 5500 Preparation, and compliance consulting.

Atlanta, Georgia (PRWEB) August 20, 2009ERISAPros released its proprietary Wrap-Tightsm Plan Documents, SPDs (Summary Plan Description), Form 5500 Preparation, and Compliance Services for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans. Atlanta attorney, Bernard Kearse JD, LLM, founded ERISAPros to fill the need for high quality, yet affordable ERISA SPDs dedicated to the Welfare Benefit Plans, such as employer sponsored group life, medical, dental, and disability insurance plans.

According to Kearse, "Many of the nation's 5+ million employers are not in compliance because they are not aware that their group insurance policies and other Welfare Benefit Plans are subject to ERISA, just as their 401(k) plans are." Almost every employer, regardless of its size or number of employees, must comply with ERISA. The only exceptions are church and government plans. Most employee benefit plans are subject to ERISA's requirements--whether they are insured or self-insured. There are very few exceptions to ERISA's applicability.

In addition to a general lack of awareness, the rate of compliance is low due to several common misconceptions. One common misperception held by even experienced insurance brokers, consultants, Human Resources and Benefits personnel, accountants, and attorneys is that an insurance company's group insurance policy or Certificate of Insurance is an SPD. However, Certificates of Insurance are not SPDs because they rarely contain all of the required ERISA language. An employer must prepare an ERISA "wrapper." Together, the wrapper and the Certificate of Insurance constitute an SPD. Another common misperception is who is responsible for preparing, filing, and delivering SPDs and Form 5500s. Most employers believe their insurance broker, insurance carrier, accountant, or perhaps even their lawyer is taking care of this. However, ERISA compliance is solely the employer's responsibility.

Employers can face a Department of Labor penalty of up to $1,100 per day for not being in compliance. In 2008, enforcement of ERISA laws resulted in $1.2 billion. Hilda Solis, the new Secretary of Labor in the Obama Administration, is committed to protecting workers' benefits. This year, the DOL expects to hire about 1,000 new employees, including 670 investigators.

An employer must be in compliance before a problem arises. By the time the DOL knocks on its door or an employee lawsuit surfaces, it is too late. Failure to comply with ERISA can result in an unnecessary, time consuming, and expensive DOL ERISA penalty and employee lawsuit.

ERISA is a complicated and confusing area of the law. ERISAPros produced a humorous short movie, "The ERISA Force," to demonstrate the consequences of an unannounced DOL audit on an employer. The movie can be viewed on the company's website.

Until now, employers had to either engage an attorney to draft a custom SPD or fill in a template. A custom drafted SPD is typically quite expensive, and a template is often not in full compliance with ERISA. Either way, an employer's documents can become out of compliance without periodic monitoring because of changes in an employer's benefits or in the law.

ERISAPros plans to distinguish itself through proactive, ongoing compliance. Its experienced professionals will personally obtain the information to prepare documents for its client--rather than giving a blank template to an employer, which would likely be incomplete, completed incorrectly, or never completed. ERISAPros' proprietary Wrap-Tightsm SPD consolidates all of an employer's ERISA Plans into a single Plan. Employers utilizing this approach save the time and expense of preparing an SPD and a Form 5500 for each Plan. ERISAPros will contact its customers annually to assess whether their SPDs are still in compliance.

About ERISAPros:
ERISAPros is a Third Party Administrator (TPA) providing ERISA compliant documents and services related to Health & Welfare Benefit Plans. For a complimentary ERISA compliance evaluation or for additional information on ERISAPros, its wrap SPD, or Form 5500 preparation, contact Bernard Kearse.

Contact:
Bernard V. Kearse, III, JD, LLM
ERISAPros, LLC
678-443-4003 (local) or 866-488-6582 (toll-free)

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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.