The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 safeguards the benefits of millions of workers so that monies placed in their retirement plans during their tenure will still be there upon retirement. This federal law states pension plans must meet minimum standards in the private sector. If your employer establishes a pension plan, ERISA dictates when you are allowed to become a member as well as how long you can leave your job before it affects your benefits. ERISA even dictates whether your spouse has the right to a part of your pension after your death.
Keep in mind that ERISA doesn’t obligate your employer to have a pension plan, it just requires those companies with pension plans to meet certain minimal standards. This law doesn’t specify money amounts paid out to you as a benefit.
The ERISA law was implemented to do the following:
- Require a plan to provide you with information concerning your pension plan including funding and features. You must be furnished information about your plan automatically and at regular intervals.
- Minimum standards for vesting, participation and funding must be set. ERISA establishes how long you might be required to work before you are eligible to participate in the plan.
- The law requires liability of plan fiduciaries. It also gives you the right to sue for breaches and benefits of fiduciary duty.
- ERISA will guarantee payment of particular benefits if a plan is suddenly terminated.
The ERISA provision is both complex and complicated. This is why workers rely on our expert attorneys for aid in understanding this law. We deal with both long-term and short-term disabilities. For more information, please feel free to contact us.