“Reporting and disclosure” is a key focus of Title I of ERISA. ERISA, ensures that each participant of a benefit plan is informed of information about their right and obligations under the plan. The SPD explains to employees what they have to do to receive benefits, the criterion by which they can receive or lose those benefits, how to file an appeal, claims for benefits and what happens when coverage terminates, as well as several other things.
SPD stands for Summary Plan Description, which is the vehicle used to explain the plan document to participants. ERISA states that the SPD must be written in language that is easy to understand and should not be include complex, or confusing sentences.
ERISA dictates what the plan participates must be told and how that information should be provided. Employees use the SPD to understand their plan and the benefits available to them.