One of the very first things we are asked upon speaking with a potential client is:
What is ERISA?
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), was passed on September 2, 1974 and went into effect January 1, 1976. The act applies to retirement and welfare plans.
ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Along with EBSA several groups have the statutory and regulatory authority to enforce the provisions of ERISA, specifically the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
ERISA guarantees that employee benefit plans are established and maintained in a reasonable and financially sound matter, by setting uniform minimum standards. Most private-sector employee benefit plans are covered by the provisions of Title I of ERISA.
What is a “benefit plan”?
A definition for what constitutes a “plan” for purposes of Title I have not been provided by Title I of ELISA, or the regulations. Commonly a plan must cover at least one employee and must be established or maintained by an employer or employee organization. Welfare plans are classified as plans, funds, or programs that are established for the intention of providing medical, health, accident, disability, death, unemployment, vacation benefits, daycare centers, apprentice/training programs, scholarship funds, prepaid legal services, or any benefit described in the Labor Management Relations act. As previously described some of these benefits may be excluded.
We have plenty of other information to share with you; please visit our “Need to Know”, “Q&A”, “Extended Benefits”, and “Document Distribution” section of our website to learn more.