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 ?
On behalf of Tax Executives Institute, Inc., I am writing to comment on a proposed regulation issued by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), relating to the annual financial and actuarial reporting requirements imposed under section 4010 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
While the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 funding rules apply to most private sector pension plans, the nation's collectively bargained multiemployer plans have a unique structure intended to provide a certain level of plan stability and benefit portability while mitigating the risks to their insurer, PBGC.
The AICPA recently commented on the Department of Labor's request for information (RFI) concerning the advisability of amending Interpretive Bulletin 75-9 relating to guidelines on independence of accountants retained by employee benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The AICPA supported the DOL's efforts to modernize its rules, noting there have been significant changes in the audit profession and the employee benefit plan environment over the past 30 years since the DOL issued Interpretive Bulletin 75-9.
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. Designed primarily to close the $450 billion in funding shortfalls of the nation's defined-benefit pension system, the bill grants a seven-year window for most plans to become fully-funded.
412 (1)(7)(C)(ii) (and parallel Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 Section 302(d)(7)(C)(ii)) to determine current liability for participants and beneficiaries (other than disabled participants) of defined-benefit plans for plan years beginning in 2007.
A 401(k) plan is called a "qualified plan" because it qualifies for special tax breaks as a result of falling under the jurisdiction of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
VEBAs are subject to some Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) rules, but are not subject to the rules governing qualified plans.
525 would bring health plans offered by associations under a federal statute, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), allowing them to comply with one federal statute.
For example, while offering employees in individual subsidiaries different nonqualified benefits such as stock options is perfectly acceptable, offering them different qualified plans such as pension or profit-sharing vehicles subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 requires careful drafting.
When established for "select management or highly compensation employees," they are not subject to many of the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
(6)E.g., the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Family Medical Leave Act, and Title VII.

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