Employers that receive DOL audit letters may be surprised and overwhelmed by the number of documents requested by the DOL auditor. Typically, the audit letter will request that the documents be provided by a specific date. Although employers generally have no way of knowing whether they will be selected for a DOL audit, it is important to retain documents that will help them respond to a DOL audit request in the event this occurs. Inadequate responses to the DOL could trigger additional document requests, interviews, on-site visits and even DOL enforcement actions.
In light of these risks, employers should be prepared to demonstrate their compliance with the ACA by producing documents. Employers should, at a minimum, maintain and be able to produce:
- Records of the steps they have taken to comply with the ACA’s requirements, including plan participation information and communications with participants;
- Plan amendments or procedures that were adopted to comply with the ACA, as well as contracts or agreements with service providers, such as IROs and TPAs; and
- Notices that were provided under the ACA, such as the notice of grandfathered status and notice of enrollment for children up to age 26.
Also, if a plan’s ACA compliance documents are maintained by a service provider, the employer should make sure the service provider is retaining the necessary documents and will be able to produce them upon request.