Summary plan description

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Summary plan description (SPD)

A document that explains the fundamental features of an employer's defined benefit or defined contribution plan, including eligibility requirements, contribution formulas, vesting schedules, benefit calculations, and distribution options. ERISA requires that the SPD be easy to understand and that each participant receive a copy within 90 days of joining the plan.

Summary Plan Description

A statement of the terms and conditions of a pension or other retirement account. It states all benefits, restrictions, and other relevant information. An employer must give a summary plan description to an employee before that employee enrolls in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
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A non-English language notice of assistance must be displayed prominently in the summary plan description (SPD) of any plan that:
That includes IRS determination letters, plan and trust documents, including all amendments, Forms 5500, summary plan descriptions and summary annual reports.
Prepare and furnish to participants an updated summary plan description or material modification summary.
A vague or imprecise summary plan description has often resulted in the payment of benefits not due under the terms of the plan document.
Reading the summary plan description, internal memorandums and union contracts.
Under ERISA, in addition to the duty of prudence, fiduciaries are required to follow the terms of all documents governing their plan, including the plan document itself, the summary plan description (SPD) and trust agreement.
Among them: (1) that Verizon violated ERISA Section 102(b) by not disclosing in its summary plan description that it retained the right to transfer its pension obligations to a life insurance company; (2) that Verizon breached its fiduciary duties, in violation of ERISA Section 404(a)(1); and that (3) Verizon violated ERISA Section 510 by discriminating against the group of affected retires to interfere with their rights under the plan.
Your Summary Plan Description (SPD) will address many of these issues in depth; however, most employees will not read a SPD.
The summary plan description (SPD) typically is silent with respect to the rights of ERISA fiduciaries in conversions.
The plan should have available (formerly, the description was required to be filed with the Department of Labor) a Summary Plan Description.
If the company does not make this simple statement, either in the summary plan description or elsewhere, it has ongoing liability as "co-fiduciary" for employee-directed investments.
ERISA requires that every health plan be established and maintained "pursuant to a written instrument" These instruments are the plan document and summary plan description (SPD) (a brief and easy-to-understand summary of the terms of the underlying plan).

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