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DOL Investigations

Led by Tess Ferrera, each of our partners have extensive experience over the last 20-plus years in representing employers, plan fiduciaries and plan providers in DOL investigations.  Before entering private practice, Tess was an ERISA trial attorney for the Department of Labor (DOL), and she has a unique understanding of the legal landscape in this highly concentrated field.  Our work in this area has included:

  • Representation of a Fortune 500 company, its plan committees and plan fiduciaries, in whether they breached fiduciary duties regarding the offering of employer stock in the 401(k) plan. DOL issued a “no action” letter at the completion of an extensive investigation.
  • Representation of sellers and ESOP fiduciaries in investigation whether ESOP paid more than fair market value for the sellers’ stock in a closely held company.
  • Representation of corporate manufacturing clients before the DOL in audits regarding issues involving improper administration of 401(k) plans and defined benefit plans
  • Representation of fiduciaries in DOL investigation and mediation involving claims of prohibited transactions, improper plan assets valuations in a ROBS transaction. Although the DOL was seeking millions of dollars in reimbursements and penalties, the case settled for a few thousands of dollars
  • Representation of plan sponsors and fiduciaries regarding health plan investigations regarding compliance issues with ACA and the Mental Health Parity Act.
  • Representation of plan sponsors and fiduciaries regarding retirement plan investigations concerning late contributions, allocation of forfeitures and other related issues.
Publications and Presentations
  • Robert Rachal author Chapter “Fiduciary Liability, DOL Audit, Fiduciary Insurance and Bonding,” in T. Rowe Price Fiduciary Source Guide (Dec. 2016).
  • Robert Rachal moderator of ABA JCEB October 2014 Webinar on “It’s a New World for ESOPS: The DOL/Great Banc Fiduciary Process Agreement and Recent Court Decisions.”