U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
makes available through its Public Disclosure Room certain employee
benefit plan documents and other materials required by the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA is a Federal law
that is designed to protect the rights of millions of American workers and
beneficiaries in private-sector pension plans, group health plans, and
certain other employee benefit plans.
Visitors may view and copy the following ERISA-required
documents or submit written requests and have the documents copied.
Disclosure Room hours, copying charges and additional resources are
listed at the end of this document.
Annual Report Form 5500. This report is required
to be submitted annually by many ERISA-covered plans. It contains various
schedules with information on the financial condition and operation of the
plan. Certain entities in which plans invest or participate also file
annual reports with the Department of Labor. These entities, called Direct
Filing Entities or “DFEs,” include banks, common or collective trusts,
insurance company pooled separate accounts, master trusts, group insurance
arrangements and entities covered by Department of Labor regulation 29 CFR
2520.103-12. These reports include financial information regarding the DFE
and a list of the investing or participating plans. Generally, the six
most recent reports filed by employers or plan administrators are
available. (Note: electronic copies of the data contained on all of the
Forms 5500 and schedules filed each year are available for a fee by
submitting a Freedom of Information Act request.)
Form M-1, Annual Reports for Multiple Employer
Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exception (ECEs).
Generally MEWAs are arrangements which offer medical benefits to the
employees of two or more employers, or to their beneficiaries. An
administrator of a MEWA generally files the one-page Form M-1 once a year.
The form is generally due March 1 each year, but administrators can
request an automatic 60-day extension to May 1.
Form M-1 first became effective with the 1999 plan
year. The form contains general registration information including the
states in which the entity operates and responses to questions regarding
compliance with Part 7 of ERISA, including the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, the Mental Health Parity Act
of 1996, the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996, and
the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998.
Plan administrators of MEWAs must file the required
form for every year that the MEWA offers benefits for medical care for the
employees of two or more employers. MEWAs that are insurance companies are
exempt from the filing requirement.
Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) and Summary of
Material Modifications (SMMs). SPDs are important disclosure documents
prepared by the plan that describe, in understandable terms, the rights,
benefits, and responsibilities of participants and beneficiaries in ERISA
covered pension, health and other employee benefit plans. The SPD must
include important information regarding the plan, such as information on
how the plan works, eligibility requirements, what benefits the plan
provides, and how those benefits may be obtained. SMMs describe changes
made to the plan and changes in the information in the SPD.
Plan sponsors are required to automatically provide
copies of these documents to plan participants upon enrollment and upon
written request of a plan participant or beneficiary. ERISA also gives the
Department of Labor the authority to request copies of these documents
from plan administrators/employers on behalf of participants and
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 eliminates the
requirement of plans to file SPDs and SMMs with EBSA. SPDs and SMMs filed
with the agency before that date may be on file and are available upon
request if they are maintained. If a plan participant or beneficiary
wishes a more recent copy of the SPD or SMM, the agency will request a
copy from the plan administrator.
Top Hat Plan Statements. This is a statement
that an employer maintains a plan (or plans) primarily for the purpose of
providing deferred compensation for a select group of management or highly
Advisory Opinion Letters. These interpret and
apply ERISA to specific factual situations and are issued by PWBA in
response to written requests for opinions by their assigned number.
Comment Letters. These present views from the
public on ERISA regulations and exemptions from the prohibited transaction
provisions proposed by the Department.
Announcements and Transcripts. These cover
hearings held on ERISA regulations and for meetings of the Advisory
Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans.
Apprenticeship and Other Training Plan Notices.
This brief notice identifies the name and place where employees can get
information about courses offered the by plan.
The following EBSA documents are also available in the
Public Disclosure Room:
Advisory Opinion Letters
Comment Letters submitted in
response to EBSA requests for information
Announcements and transcripts of
Investment Adviser Filings
The Form M-1, Annual Reports for Multiple Employee
Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) and Certain Entities Claiming Exceptions (ECEs),
is available online at askebsa.dol.gov/epds/. Users can search by plan name,
sponsor name, employer identification number, or the state where the MEWA is
headquartered or where the MEWA offers coverage. Copies are available by
using the process that follows.
You may call, write or visit the EBSA Public Disclosure
Room for copies of the documents mentioned. Generally, requests made in
person may be picked up on the same day.
To help locate your plan documents, please provide enough
information to assist EBSA in identifying the document, such as the name of
the plan and the city and state in which it is located, the name of the
multiple employer welfare arrangement, the approximate date of the hearing,
etc., as relevant to the document.(1)
Written and phone requests are generally filled within 5
working days. Requests for documents related to more than five plans may
take more time to process. SPD requests that require contact with the plan
to obtain a copy may take 30 to 60 days.
The copying charge is 15 cents per page. Do not
send advance payment or postage stamps with your request. We will mail an
invoice with the materials. Visitors can pay in cash, by check or money
Upon request, we can certify the authenticity of the
documents requested. If the documents are not on file, a certificate to that
effect can also be made available. (Note: Same day service is generally not
available for this service.)
U.S. Department of Labor
Employee Benefits Security Administration
EBSA Public Disclosure Room
200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Room N-1513
Washington, DC 20210
8:30 am - 4:30 pm weekdays (except Federal holidays)
The information we need to identify
a plan, such as plan name and EIN, is an information collection
request approved under Office of Management and Budget control number
1225-0059. You are not required to respond to an information
collection request unless it displays a currently valid OMB control
number. Providing this information is entirely voluntary. The time
needed to provide the information is expected to average about 30