Employee Retirement Income Security Act - AutomatedPensions.com
Employee Retirement Income Security Act
Updated: 12/Feb/06 15:02:31 by Joe Friberg
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Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

This statute was a major overhaul of federal pension law intended to bring protections to workers' pensions. The problems it addressed related to benefit insecurity due both to underfunded benefits and to lack of portability of benefits. It consisted of four major sections:

Title I

Established new rules for participation, benefit accrual, and vesting in pension plans. Established minimum funding requirements (see IRC 412), and standards of fiduciary responsibility and conduct. It also placed numerous reporting and disclosure requirements on plans, both to government agencies and to the participants.

Plans not covered

It is important to note that certain plans are not covered by Title I of ERISA, and are therefore exempt from many statutory requirements aimed at protecting the rights of plan participants. Plans not covered include:

  • Governmental plans
  • Church plans
  • Plans maintained outside the US for nonresident aliens

Title II

Miscellaneous and transitional provisions.

Title III

Created the Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (JBEA), governed jointly by the Treasury Department and the Labor Department, and established the credential of Enrolled Actuary for the performance of actuarial certifications under ERISA.

Title IV

Established the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for the protection of workers' pensions when underfunded plans are terminated.

See also DOL information on ERISA