Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects your plan's assets by
requiring that those persons or entities who exercise discretionary control or
authority over plan management or plan assets, have discretionary authority or
responsibility for the administration of a plan, or provide investment advice
to a plan for compensation or have any authority or responsibility to do so are
subject to fiduciary responsibilities. Plan fiduciaries include, for example,
plan trustees, plan administrators, and members of a plan's investment
The primary responsibility of fiduciaries is to run the plan
solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive
purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses. Fiduciaries must act
prudently and must diversify the plan's investments in order to minimize the
risk of large losses. In addition, they must follow the terms of plan documents
to the extent that the plan terms are consistent with ERISA. They also must
avoid conflicts of interest. In other words, they may not engage in
transactions on behalf of the plan that benefit parties related to the plan,
such as other fiduciaries, services providers, or the plan sponsor.
Fiduciaries who do not follow these principles of conduct may be
personally liable to restore any losses to the plan, or to restore any profits
made through improper use of plan assets. Courts may take whatever action is
appropriate against fiduciaries who breach their duties under ERISA including
DOL Web Pages on This
Provides publications and other materials to assist employers
and employee benefit plan practitioners in understanding and complying with the
requirements of ERISA as it applies to the administration of employee pension
and welfare benefit plans.
Health Benefits Under the
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) (PDF)
workers and their family members who lose their health benefits in certain
circumstances the right to choose to continue group health benefits provided by
their health plan. This publication provides a detailed overview of the
Questions & Answers on
the HIPAA Nondiscrimination Requirements
Provides answers to frequently
asked questions on final/interim regulations and proposed regulations issued on
the nondiscrimination provisions under the Health Insurance Portability and
Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Provides information about major provisions of the
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the Newborns' and Mothers'
Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women's Health and
Cancer Rights Act.
& Answers: Women's Health & Cancer Rights Act
guidance about the Womens Health Act provisions that amend ERISA.
Frequently Asked Questions for
Plan Sponsors, Fiduciaries, and Service Providers Related to the Events of
Provides answers to some of the most frequently asked
questions by plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and service providers whose pension
and health plans were impacted by the events of September 11, 2001.
Frequently Asked Questions for
Plan Sponsors Related to Filing Relief
The Employee Benefits Security
Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty
Corporation have extended the deadline for filing the Form 5500s and Form
5500-EZs as a result of the events of September 11, 2001. These questions and
answers provide general information about the filing relief.