An EAP is necessary to have an SPD, if it is part of an ERISA Plan. The stipulations for an SPD are the same for an EAP, as they would be for other ERISA Benefits. If the EAP provides participants or beneficiaries with direct counseling services relating to their mental (or physical) health, such as in person visits or sessions with a counselor over the phone, then it is likely to be classified a “welfare benefit plan” and would be subject to ERISA compliance.
It could be considered a fringe benefit and exempt from ERISA, IF the EAP offers referral only services and is not providing direct mental health or medical services. The EAP section of the SPD references the program materials provided by the EAP insurer or program administrator.