The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was passed by Congress to help protect workers. Many people don’t understand what this act means for them or even when it applies, however. There are a few specific points that you should know that might help you to understand the ERISA a bit better.
The main goal of the ERISA is to protect employee retirement accounts, which become important after the series of corporate bankruptcies in the 1970s that led to tens of thousands of workers losing pensions. The act was passed in 1974 and has been helping employees since.
Who is covered by ERISA?
ERISA terms cover employees of publicly traded and private employers. It doesn’t apply to churches or government entities. ERISA is one employment law that doesn’t have a minimum number of employees. A business can have a single employee and still have to follow the terms of ERISA. If the company has one or more employees, ERISA also covers the owners of the business.
What types of plans are covered?
ERISA covers traditional pension plans and 401k plans for private employers. It also covers health benefits, long-term care plans, disability benefits, accidental death and dismemberment benefits, and fringe benefit plans. It doesn’t cover things like individual retirement accounts, simplified employee pensions, and similar plans.
Because the ERISA is so complex, it’s easy to get confused about your rights. Any employee who has problems with anything covered in it should discuss the matter with an attorney. This can help them to learn their rights and options so they can make decisions about how to proceed with their claim.