A lot of trends between generations in the workforce have emerged in the past few years: Baby Boomers are返回劳动力以获得再演职业while millennials continue to place emphasis on theircommitment to values above salary。Z世代将有更高的薪水期望than millennials and Gen X due to the difference in economies they grew up in. Despite all the differences in every generation, there’s one thing they all have in common: they will (one day) retire... and they’ll need some money put away when they do.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enacted the1974年《就业退休收入安全法》（ERISA）to protect the assets of Americans who have placed funds in retirement plans during their working lives. As a federal law, ERISA sets minimum standards for retirement plans in private industry. It’s intended to not only help protect retirement funds but also make them easily accessible to workers once they do retire.
Why does this matter for HR? Not only doesthe DOL continue to increase penaltiesfor noncompliance, but you may have also noticed more ERISA cases popping up in the news lately as the courts crack down on noncompliance. As an HR professional, you know the importance of compliance with federal regulations and the consequences for noncompliance. With complex laws like ERISA, oftentimes the noncompliance isn't intentional, but happens due to a lack of education and understanding. You想to provide the right benefits and retirement plans for your employees. In order to do so, you need to understand the laws around those plans too.
As noted earlier, ERISA exists to protect the assets of U.S. workers who place funds in retirements plans and to help them access those assets during retirement. In addition to retirement plans, ERISA also governs welfare benefit plans. Medical benefits, prepaid legal services, 401(k) plans, vacation benefits, and many other types of fringe benefit plans where the employer contributes to the cost of the plan are all subject to ERISA. Regardless of size, nearly all types of businesses— except churches and government entities— are subject to ERISA laws and compliance.
ERISA参与设定了最低标准、vesting, benefits accrual, and funding. Under the law, a person may need to meet certain requirements for plan participation and rights to benefits. ERISA establishes funding rules so plan sponsors provide adequate funding for plans, and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and “breaches of fiduciary duty.” Through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), ERISA guarantees payment of certain benefits if a defined plan is terminated.
Plan sponsors (employers) must provide participants (employees) with information about the plan along with any important information about the plan’s features and funding. Plan information should be furnished to employees regularly. Should the DOL request any plan documentation, the plan sponsor must be able to provide that information.
While a lot goes into ERISA compliance, there are three key things HR should be sure to have on their compliance checklist: Form 5500, SDP, and SAR.
It’s common for employers to think it’s up to the insurance company or 401(k) provider to handle these documents, but it’s ultimately up to the employer to manage compliance with ERISA. If you’re using a third party to handle any of your benefits plans, they may provide some documentation, but it’s up to the employer to ensure everything is filed and furnished appropriately according to ERISA.
Form 5500 must be filed on the last day of the seventh month following the close of the plan year. The reporting deadline for calendar year plans is July 31. If the deadline falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the form is due the following business day. If you need a little more time, you can request an extension with表格5558prior to the initial deadline for your plan.
ERISA requires employers to provide a Summary Plan Description (SPD) to each employee participating in the plan. The SPD should clearly list the benefits offered by the plan, rules for obtaining the benefits in the plan, and any guidelines for using those benefits, along with claims and repeals procedures. The SPD must also include a statement of ERISA rights.
A common misconception many employers and HR professionals believe is that the Evidence of Coverage or the Certificate of Insurance provided by the insurance company acts as the SPD for plan participants. These documents do not typically meet all the requirements of the SPD, so it’s best to provide a written SPD to all plan participants in addition to any evidence of coverage documents provided by the insurance company or benefits provider.
电磁脉冲loyers must furnish SPDs to plan participants under the following timeline: