Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Written By:
Paul Tracy
Updated September 30, 2020

What is the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)?

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is the branch of the United States Department of Labor responsible for overseeing the administration and planning of employee pension funds by company investment managers.

How Does the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Work?

The United States Department of Labor ensures that the American workforce is treated fairly and is compensated in accordance with the law.

Since the introduction of employee savings plans in the early 1980s, plans such as the 401(k) and the 403(b) enable American workers to save a tax-exempt portion of their pay toward their retirement by way of a managed investment account. However, such plans have also opened up a new avenue for potential mismanagement and embezzlement of employee assets.

EBSA functions as the regulating body that ensures that embezzlement and mismanagement of assets does not take place. EBSA sets regulations concerning how plan funds may be invested and reported for taxation and compliance.

Employee assets under management, for example, must be periodically reported to EBSA to ensure compliance. Each company must submit all relevant information on employees' savings accounts to demonstrate that all transactions and withholdings are being administered according to EBSA regulations.

Why Does the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Matter?

Those who manage the assets associated with employee savings and retirement accounts typically manage many millions of dollars in assets and there is high potential for fraud. EBSA deters investment managers from engaging in such activity and ensures that employee assets are managed effectively.