ERISA Summary Plan Description Requirements
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal law regulating private pension, group life, and health benefits, includes a document known as a summary plan outline to be obtained by plan participants (“SPD”). Although the SPD must be drafted in compliance with two regulations of the Department of Labor, it does not have to be named “The Summary Plan Description.” Disability Insurance Attorney offers excellent info on this.
What is protected in the definition of the Overview Plan?
The SPD is a systematic document informing members in the plan on how the plan works and is handled. The SPD must, among other things, clearly describe the following items in an easily understood language:
A definition or description of the advantages
The term, supporter, and administrator of the plan
Mechanisms to Finance
Guidelines on participation and qualifications
Service and benefits assessment approaches
Timetables of profit vesting
Procedures for payment of benefits and scheduling
Submission Procedure for Allegations
Appeal procedure for allegations
Address for Legal Process service
Circumstances which can lead to ineligibility or denial of advantages
A declaration of the ERISA rights of participants and other technical notices
Questions that a participant will still have about the plan can be addressed by contacting the plan administrator after reading the SPD.
When should a review of the Summary Plan be provided?
In the following circumstances, every plan administrator must provide participants with a copy of the SPD:
When a fresh strategy takes place
When a worker becomes qualified to take part in a programme
At the written request of the participant or beneficiary of the programme,
Are there any exceptions to the definition of the Summary Plan?
Employer-provided daycare and health plans are excluded from the SPD mandate for management and highly paid workers. For limited plans covering less than 100 participants, there are no exemptions from the SPD provision.