Employee Retirement Income Security Act

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Employee Retirement Income Security Act

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C.A. § 1001 et seq. (1974), is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established Pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals enrolled in these plans. ERISA regulates the financing, vesting, and administration of pension plans for workers in private business and industry. The 1974 enactment of ERISA by Congress was intended to preserve and protect the rights of employees to their pensions upon retirement by establishing statutory requirements that govern such matters.

ERISA requires retirement plans to provide participants with information including important details about plan features and funding. ERISA also describes fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets, requires plans to establish a grievance and appeals process for participants seeking benefits from their plans, and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty. A number of amendments to ERISA expand the protections that are available to health-benefit-plan participants and beneficiaries. One important amendment, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1161–1168 (1994), provides some workers and their families with the right to continue their health coverage for a limited time after certain life events, such as the loss of a job. Another amendment to ERISA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1181–1182, provides important new protection for working Americans and their families who have preexisting medical conditions or who might otherwise suffer discrimination in health coverage based on factors related to health. Other important amendments include the Newborns' and Mothers' Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act. In general, ERISA does not cover group health plans established or maintained by government entities, churches, or plans that are maintained solely to comply with applicable workers compensation, unemployment, or disability laws. ERISA also does not cover plans maintained outside the United States primarily for the benefit of non-resident Aliens or unfunded excess benefit plans.

Cross-references

Employment Law.

References in periodicals archive ?
The court first looked at whether FB had discretionary authority or control over plan administration as a fiduciary, under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) Section 1002(21)(A).
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 provides that retirement plan fiduciaries who make investment decisions are subject to a "prudent expert" standard of care and must act solely in the interest of the plan's participants.
Small-business owners who offer their employees a pension plan, medical insurance or life insurance may face personal liability if they breach any of their fiduciary responsibilities, obligations or duties as defined by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, a typical nonqualified plan may be offered only to a "select group of management or highly compensated employees" (often referred to as the top-hat or select group).
Ever since the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and subsequent tax laws limited tax-qualified retirement income, companies have struggled to put together benefit packages that would keep executives' post-retirement income at least on par with the benefits of lower-paid employees.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently held that the federal courts have jurisdiction, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.
Then there is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which must be considered when life insurance or annuities are included in a qualified plan.
The sheer complexity of qualifying under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), as amended, and IRC administrative requirements greatly increases the burden of maintaining qualified plans, especially for small employers.
Many provisions of benefit plans are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which protects the interest of employees in different types of benefit plans via rules and regulations governing reporting, participation and vesting.
Shumate, 504 US 753 (1992), the Supreme Court determined that an anti-alienation clause required for compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and tax qualification, and contained in the debtor's plan, was a restriction on transfer enforceable under "nonbankruptcy law" within the meaning of Section 541(c)(2).

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