Only 35.7 percent of human resources professionals are fully confident that they are compliant with federal regulations, according to a new poll by Corporate Synergies Group, an employee benefits broker and consulting firm.

Despite this, 94.3 percent of respondents say being compliant is "important" or "extremely important," and 71.8 percent of respondents say it is "extremely important." Among the respondents, only 25.7 percent of respondents say they are "fairly confident" that they are in compliance while 8.6 percent of respondents say they are "unsure." Fewer than 2 percent of respondents say they "had never checked."

"Our experience shows that an alarming number of companies are not in compliance with federal regulations that apply to their health and welfare plans, and a significant portion of them are unaware of this potentially costly situation," says Benjamin Lupin, director of compliance at Corporate Synergies Group. "The costs to the organization can range from the discomfort of an audit, to substantial fines, to possible criminal penalties. Compliance is something we feel strongly that more organizations need to pay attention to."

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