ERISA Summary Program Description Demands


The Staff Retirement Profits Security Act (ERISA), the federal legislation that governs private pension, group lifetime, and overall health programs, calls for that system participants obtain a doc recognized as a summary system description (“SPD”). Though the SPD should be drafted in accordance with two Office of Labor laws, it does not have to be identified as “The Summary System Description.”

What is Covered in the Summary System Description?

The SPD is a specific doc that informs prepare members about how the strategy operates and is managed. Amongst other points, the SPD need to plainly recognize in quickly understood language the pursuing things:

  • A description or summary of the rewards
  • The plan name, sponsor, and administrator
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Participation and qualification recommendations
  • Calculation methods for DC escort company and positive aspects
  • Profit vesting schedules
  • Benefit payment treatments and timing
  • Statements submission process
  • Claims attraction procedure
  • Handle for DC escort assistance of legal method
  • Situations that may consequence in ineligibility or a denial of added benefits
  • A assertion of participants’ ERISA rights and other technological notices

Inquiries that a participant may nonetheless have about the plan immediately after looking through the SPD can be answered by getting in touch with the system administrator.

When Will have to a Summary Prepare Description be Supplied?

Each individual program administrator need to provide a duplicate of the SPD to individuals in the pursuing instances:

  • When a new plan can take influence
  • When an staff becomes qualified to take part in a program
  • On created request of a system participant or beneficiary

Are There Any Exceptions to the Summary Program Description?

Employer-delivered daycare and welfare programs for administration and extremely compensated employees are exempt from the SPD requirement. There are no exemptions from the SPD prerequisite for compact options masking less than 100 participants.

How Frequently Ought to a Summary Approach Description be Current?

If a strategy is amended or modified within just a five 12 months period, a new SPD need to be dispersed to individuals. If there is no modify, the authentic SPD must be dispersed to prepare contributors each and every 10 a long time.

A “summary of material modifications” may well also be applied to notify strategy contributors of a considerable strategy transform.

What Are Frequent SPD Glitches that Can Outcome in ERISA Litigation?

Administration glitches or disputes that could final result in ERISA litigation consist of but are not constrained to:

  • Failure to stick to the techniques explained in the SPD
  • Conflicts amongst the SPD and any fundamental prepare doc which it describes or summarizes
  • Failure to obviously disclose situation that may possibly final result in benefits reduction, forfeitures, or exclusions
  • Failure to offer approach paperwork in a timely fashion

In general, ERISA gives clearly proscribed processes that ought to be closely adopted by system sponsors and administrators. Concerns about ERISA compliance ought to be directed to an legal professional professional in ERISA matters.


Supply by Mark Johnson, Ph.D., J.D.