The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sets forth the standards for certain retirement assets and how they’re managed. Entities that offer plans covered by this law must follow the specific regulations it sets out.
The misuse of funds is strictly prohibited by ERISA. There are also standards set for funding, vesting, participation and similar functions in the retirement plan.
ERISA covers more than just retirement plans
Another facet of ERISA is that it applies to employee health care plans that meet certain conditions. These include:
- Plans that are mandatory
- Plans that dictate how funds are administered
- Plans that come with employer contributions
Companies offering these plans must provide information that enables plan holders to make informed decisions about their health care coverage. Some of the details they must give include the specific benefits, eligibility for coverage, all costs that come with the coverage, how to make claims and network information.
Updates and statements must also be provided to plan members
This includes quarterly reports, annual fee disclosures, and updates when things change with the plan. Members can use this information to spot issues with how the plan is being administered.
All workers should remember that there are laws in place to protect them. ERISA is one that helps to ensure that retirement plans and specific other benefits remain in place and are properly managed. When there are issues with how the employer is handling these, legal action might be possible. Just remember, you’re fighting for what’s rightfully yours under ERISA law.