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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

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Question: What is the role of the U.S. Department of Labor in regulating pension plans?

Answer: The U.S. Department of Labor enforces Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which, in part, establishes participants' rights and fiduciaries' duties. However, certain plans are not covered by the protections of Title I.  They are:

  • Federal, state, or local government plans, including plans of certain international organizations.
  • Certain church or church association plans.
  • Plans maintained solely to comply with state workers' compensation, unemployment compensation or disability insurance laws.
  • Plans maintained outside the United States primarily for non-resident aliens.
  • Unfunded excess benefit plans - plans maintained solely to provide benefits or contributions in excess of those allowable for tax-qualified plans.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is the agency charged with enforcing the rules governing the conduct of plan managers, investment of plan assets, reporting and disclosure of plan information, enforcement of the fiduciary provisions of the law, and workers' benefit rights.