Hi, I am your Neighborhood Department of Labor (DOL) Guy!
When the DOL comes calling, there is no need to worry. Often times they mail you a letter, but occasionally they may reach out through a phone call or come to meet you in person. Most of the time they just want information. In any case, their inquiries need to be responded to in a timely manner. The DOL is the watchdog that makes sure that the employees under your plan are taken care of. That is a big responsibility; they are there to keep all of us on the straight and narrow, as it should be.
TMS has interacted with the DOL on behalf of plan sponsors on many different occasions. TMS has also cooperated with the DOL when they had specific and tough questions about our own operations. That’s okay. Their prying eyes keep everybody on their toes and striving for a perfect marriage between plan sponsors, employees, TPAs and Trustees. Be polite when a DOL investigator or auditor shows; there is no reason to be unfriendly. The DOL has a job to do and if you give them a bad time, well, being human, they aren’t going to give you a break either. Common courtesy is important. Being disrespectful to a government representative is never a smart idea. They can make extensive demands for documents as well as levy large financial penalties against you. There is no reason for you to make things more difficult for yourself. One thing is for sure, you don’t want to say something to the agent and have to retract it later because you didn’t understand what he or she was asking for. What you should tell the DOL is that you will have your representative call him or her, and give them whatever they are entitled to. As the DOL is usually looking for documentation, call your TPA, trustee, or attorney. Let the professionals that represent you handle these requests.
Please feel free to let Denise know if you have any questions that we can answer.
President and Trustee Representative
Trust Management Services