The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governs the administration ofand the rights of plan beneficiaries.
Like many other federal statutes, ERISA was reactionary: Congress passed the law in response to perceived abuses of retirement benefits by private-sector employers, with the goal of protecting employees against the loss of promised benefits.
While many tend to associate ERISA only with retirement benefits, the law covers many other areas:
- Medical, surgical or hospital care
- Benefits for sickness, accident, disability or death
- Vacation benefits
- Apprenticeship and training programs
- Day care centers
- Scholarship funds
- Prepaid legal services
- Holiday and severance pay
In light of the complex rules involved, complying with ERISA can be difficult. There are three components to compliance: reporting, disclosure and paying claims. Employers must submit certain reports to the IRS each...(register to read more)