Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. ERISA does not require any employer to establish a pension plan. It only requires that those who establish plans must meet certain minimum standards. The law generally does not specify how much money a participant must be paid as a benefit. ERISA requires plans to regularly provide participants with information about the plan including information about plan features and funding; sets minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and funding; requires accountability of plan fiduciaries; and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.
ERISA also guarantees payment of certain benefits through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a federally chartered corporation, if a defined plan is terminated.
The Department of Labors (DOL) Employee Benefits Security
Administration (EBSA) enforces ERISA.
- elaws Health Benefits Advisor
- Helps workers and their families better understand employer and employee
organization (such as a union) provided group health benefits and the laws that
govern them, especially when they experience changes in their life and work
situations such as marriage, childbirth, job loss or retirement; also assists
employers in understanding their responsibilities under the applicable
elaws Small Business Retirement Savings Advisor - Provides information to help small business owners understand their retirement savings options and determine which program is most appropriate for their needs.
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) - Sets uniform minimum standards to ensure that employee benefit plans are established and maintained in a fair and financially sound manner. In addition, employers have an obligation to provide promised benefits and satisfy ERISA's requirements for managing and administering private pension and welfare plans.
- 29 CFR Parts 2509 to 2590 - EBSA (formerly known as the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration) regulations, including interpretive bulletins related to ERISA (29 CFR Part 2509).
- For questions on other DOL laws,
please call DOL's Toll-Free
Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL. Live assistance is available in English and
Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a
*Pursuant to the U.S. Department of Labor's Confidentiality Protocol
for Compliance Assistance Inquiries, information provided by a telephone caller
will be kept confidential within the bounds of the law. Compliance assistance
inquiries will not trigger an inspection, audit, investigation, etc.