What Does Erisa Stand For?According to the U.S. Department of Labor, ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and “is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.” Read on to learn more about the history of ERISA.
Why ERISA Was Developed
ERISA was officially launched in 1974 when it was discovered that there was a need to address public scrutiny regarding private pension plan funds mismanagement and abuse.
ERISA is the result of a long line of legislation concerning the labor and tax elements of employee benefit plans. Since 1974 when the legislation was officially put in place, there have been several amendments in order to fill the needs of the changing retirement and healthcare necessities of employees and their families.
Who Is In Charge of ERISA
ERISA administration is split between the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service of the Department of the Treasury (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
The U.S. Department of Labor is in charge of Title I, which incorporates the rules for reporting and disclosure, vesting, participation, funding, fiduciary conduct, and civil enforcement.
The IRS is in charge of Title II, which provided amendments to the Internal Revenue Code that mirrors several of the Title I rules.
The U.S. Department of Labor and the IRS work in conjunction with Title III, which concerns jurisdictional aspects and helps to coordinate enforcement and regulatory activities.
The PBGC administers Title IV, which concerns the insurance of defined benefit pension plans.
In 1978, ERISA was reorganized in order to maintain a better structure for the plans ahead. As a result, the U.S. Department of Labor is in charge of reporting, disclosure and fiduciary requirements.
Before ERISA came to be, the IRS was the prominent regulator of private pension plans. Prior to ERISA’s enactment, it was complicated and sometimes not possible for employees to receive the benefits they needed.
Between the years 1921 and 1962, there were many pieces of legislation designed to help employees gain financial transparency from employers. With financial transparency, the goal was to allow employees enough information to monitor their plans to defend against mismanagement and abuse of plan funds.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Title I of ERISA’s goal is to safeguard the principals of participants and their beneficiaries regarding employee benefit plans.
ERISA mandates that private employee benefit plan sponsors hand out enough information regarding plans to participants and beneficiaries. Additionally, those who manage plans are required to reach specific conduct standards that are brought about from the common law of trusts and are actionable to all fiduciaries.
There are also civil enforcement conditions provided to assure that plan funds are safeguarded and qualifying participants are able to collect their benefits.
What Does ERISA Cover?ERISA covers the following:
- Retirement plans
- This includes standard defined benefit pension plans as well as individual account plans, such as 401(k).
- Welfare benefit plans
- This includes employment-based medical and hospitalization benefits, apprenticeship plans, as well as others laid out in section 3(1) of Title I.
Contact Us Today To Get Started On Your Case
If you need help with a disability claim under ERISA, our attorneys at Delfino Green & Green can help. Our team has helped many other people receive the benefits they deserve, and we can help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.
Call Delfino Green & Green at 415-442-4646 today to speak with an accomplished attorney about your case.