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.


Employment Law.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
City National appealed the grant of summary judgment that found it liable, under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Section 406(b), for self-dealing and also the amount of damages and prejudgment interest.
The PPA makes comprehensive amendments to the Internal Revenue Code and to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended.
retirement security system since the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
The plaintiffs sought an injunction in district court alleging that El Paso had breached its labor agreements under the Labor-Management Relations Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The district court granted their request.
In this edition, which includes updates on regulations and IRS policies, specialists Howitt and Rosen overview ESOPs since the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is the milestone legislation which governs employee retirement plans and specifically defines the duties and responsibilities of fiduciaries.
TEI recommended that the definition of Eligible Retirement Benefit Plan follow the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by treating plans that are retirement plans under those statutes as retirement plans for Pennsylvania purposes.
Such benefit plans are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Richard Corlin, immediate past president of the American Medical Association applauded the ruling, stating that the court's decision "makes dear that patients' claims against HMOs and health insurance companies are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act." ERISA encourages employers to set up benefit plans under a federally uniform law that precludes employees from raising state law claims when benefits are denied.
Even though qualified retirement plans are subject to numerous pension law protections (namely, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, more commonly known as ERISA), individuals often prefer not to leave their retirement funds under the control of an organization where they no longer work.

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