Employee Retirement Income Security Act


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Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The law that regulates the operation of private pensions and benefit plans.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

Legislation in the United States, passed in 1974, that established a number of regulations to ensure that employers and other involved parties do not misuse the funds entrusted to them in retirement accounts. Among other provisions, the Act requires retirement account managers to provide information to account holders on a regular basis. It also sets standards for managers' use of discretionary authority and allows account holders to sue their pensions for unpaid benefits.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

A 1974 act that protects the retirement income of pension fund participants by setting standards for eligibility, performance, investment selection, funding, and vesting. The Act was designed to curb abuses by pension fund managers so as to ensure that retirement funds would actually be available at the time of the workers' retirement.

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

This comprehensive law, best known by the acronym ERISA, governs qualified retirement plans, including most private-company defined benefit and defined contribution plans, and protects the rights of the employees who participate in the plans.

ERISA also established individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), made it easier for self-employed people to set up retirement plans, and made employee stock ownership plans part of the tax code.

Among ERISA requirements are that plan participants receive a detailed document that explains how their plan operates, what employee rights are -- including qualifying to participate and uniform vesting schedules -- and what the grievance and appeals process is.

In addition, ERISA assigns fiduciary responsibility to those who sponsor, manage, and control plan assets. This means they must act in the best interests of the plan participants. ERISA rules do not apply to plans provided by federal, state, or local governments, church plans, or certain other plans.

ERISA has been amended several times since it was passed in 1974, making some provisions more flexible and others more restrictive. Among the changes were the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), which provides continuing access to coverage, for a fee, when an employee leaves an employer who offers health insurance, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which protects access to health insurance coverage for employees and their families with pre-existing medical conditions when the employee leaves a job that provided coverage and moves to a new job where coverage is also offered.

References in periodicals archive ?
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered the opinion of the High Court that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act requires both a procedure for amending a benefit plan and a procedure for identifying the persons having the authority to make such amendments.
Traditional tort suits against managed care entities, based on direct liability for acts or omissions in utilization management or vicarious liability for the acts of physicians in its provider network, have been limited in the past by the protection of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the federal law also known as ``Erisa'' which regulates traditional pensions and 401(k)-type retirement plans, companies are given broad protections from employee suits about investment returns if the investment choices in the plans are diversified.
CTNA's violation of those agreements is actionable under the Labor Management Relations Act ("LMRA) and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA").
Enforces the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which governs many employee-benefit plans, as well as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which changed continuation coverage rules under COBRA.
Shumate, 504 US 753 (1992), the Supreme Court determined that an anti-alienation clause required for compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and tax qualification, and contained in the debtor's plan, was a restriction on transfer enforceable under "nonbankruptcy law" within the meaning of Section 541(c)(2).
This is because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 established that a taxpayer has a zero basis in a traditional IRA because no taxes were previously paid on either the contributions or earnings.
Given the complexities of the law, and the varying kinds of benefit plans and employment policies that firms and other companies have, it's wise to check with an Employee Retirement Income Security Act authority or legal expert to be sure that any specific actions your firm or client takes are in compliance with USERRA.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), once a sacred cow, is now under intense scrutiny.
Specifically, the GGRA argues that the City's ordinance conflicts with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which sets national standards for pension and health plans in private industry.
VEBAs are subject to some Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) rules, but are not subject to the rules governing qualified plans.
In the 1980s, HMOs gained attention when Congress attached an HMO provision under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

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