ERISA Summary Program Description Requirements

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the federal law that governs private pension, group life, and health plans, needs that strategy participants obtain a document known as a summary program description ("SPD"). Although the SPD has to be drafted in accordance with two Division of Labor regulations, it will not must be named "The Summary Strategy Description." Get much more details about


What is Covered inside the Summary Program Description?


The SPD can be a detailed document that informs strategy participants about how the program operates and is managed. Amongst other issues, the SPD should clearly recognize in effortlessly understood language the following things:


A description or summary in the benefits

The strategy name, sponsor, and administrator

Funding mechanisms

Participation and qualification guidelines

Calculation solutions for service and benefits

Advantage vesting schedules

Advantage payment procedures and timing

Claims submission process

Claims appeal process

Address for service of legal process

Circumstances that may result in ineligibility or possibly a denial of benefits

A statement of participants' ERISA rights along with other technical notices


Queries that a participant could possibly still have concerning the strategy following reading the SPD is often answered by contacting the program administrator.


When Need to a Summary Strategy Description be Offered?


Just about every program administrator ought to offer a copy from the SPD to participants within the following circumstances:


When a brand new program takes effect

When an employee becomes eligible to take part in a plan

Upon written request of a plan participant or beneficiary


Are There Any Exceptions to the Summary Plan Description?


Employer-provided daycare and welfare plans for management and hugely compensated employees are exempt in the SPD requirement. You'll find no exemptions from the SPD requirement for compact plans covering fewer than one hundred participants.


How Generally Must a Summary Strategy Description be Updated?


If a plan is amended or modified inside a five year period, a new SPD have to be distributed to participants. If there's no modify, the original SPD has to be distributed to strategy participants every single ten years.


A "summary of material modifications" may well also be used to notify plan participants of a substantial plan change.


What Are Common SPD Errors that may Result in ERISA Litigation?


Administration errors or disputes that may perhaps outcome in ERISA litigation incorporate but will not be restricted to:


Failure to follow the procedures described within the SPD

Conflicts among the SPD and any underlying program document which it describes or summarizes

Failure to clearly disclose situations that could result in benefits reduction, forfeitures, or exclusions

Failure to supply strategy documents in a timely manner


Overall, ERISA supplies clearly proscribed procedures that has to be closely followed by plan sponsors and administrators. Inquiries about ERISA compliance must be directed to an lawyer skilled in ERISA matters.

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