As previously mentioned, the plan document is the written instrument for administering the plan and for the payment of benefits. When a change to the plan is necessary, the plan must reflect the amendment accordingly.
Plan amendments generally require a designated officer of the company, or the board of directors to formally amend the written plan in writing, with a written document, signed and dated. That amendment should then be kept with the original plan document until the plan is restated and the amendment is reflected in the restated plan.
However, plan amendments do not amend the SPD. In order to amend the SPD, a summary of material modification is required (SMM). In other words, an SMM is the way to change the SPD, while an amendment is the way to change the plan. Conveniently, a single document can execute both changes, so long as the language clearly indicates what the change is, the effective date of the change, and who is impacted by said change.