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 ?
ERISA requires that all private employers offering pension plans adhere to federal requirements designed to ensure plan solvency and protect plan participants.
Of course, a governmental plan must still meet the definition for the type of plan it is, under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and ERISA, and, with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) having published a draft of possible future proposed regulations on the governmental plan definition, there could be future changes that affect whether some entities meet the definition or not.
A week ago, the Supreme Court held that ERISA does protect self-insured plans against conflicting state rules in a 6-2 decision on the Gobeille case.
persons," which mirror the parties-in-interest prohibitions in ERISA.
Interpretive Bulletin 2015-02 addresses certain specific program designs that are outside of the safe harbor, suggesting arguments that could be made against ERISA preemption challenges to state laws creating these programs.
in which the 2nd Circuit held that an ERISA litigant might be able to prove that it achieved "some success on the merits"where "judicial action in some way spurred one party to provide another party with relief, potentially amounting to success on the merits.
Michael Bartolic founded his firm in 2009, after he left a large, multinational law firm that practices ERISA litigation.
BASE ERISA Wrap allows employers to fulfill the DOL's SPD and Plan document mandates.
Service providers subject to the new disclosure requirement include ERISA fiduciary service providers, registered investment advisors, brokers, recordkeepers, platform providers, and third-party plan administrators.
Subject to limited exceptions, (7) ERISA regulates all employee benefit plans.
A dealer could use the business conduct standards rule to get information about an ERISA plan, and that information could give the dealer a harmful trading advantage over the ERISA plan or its investment managers, the council says.