What does ERISA mean? The acronym is short for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and was passed in 1974 to protect pension plans in the private sector. According to the ERISA rules, an employer is not required by law to set up a pension plan for its employees. However, those that do must ensure minimum standards for their workers. When searching for good ERISA lawyers to help fight for your rights, here are four key facts you need to know about the act:
1. Defined benefit versus defined contribution
With a defined benefit plan, your employer pays into your retirement fund and you do not. Defined contribution plans do not require employers to provide any money for your retirement but relying only on the bits taken out of your paychecks. As such, the popular 401(k) and 403(b) plans are both defined contribution plans because you are paying into them bit by bit.
2. ERISA rules guarantee payment
As mentioned before, ERISA established a minimum standard for pension plans in the United States. It also guarantees that employees will receive certain benefits through the Pension Bereft Guranty Corporation, an organization with a federal charter. Say your plan is terminated by an employers. ERISA rules allow you to still receive certain benefits even given the end of your plan.
3. ERISA is federal
Since the ERISA rules were established by the federal government, they are are not affected by the regulations that vary from state to state. However, certain states have found loopholes in the ERISA rules allowing them to modify the code for their own purposes. ERISA also contains provisions that were originally rooted in the U.S. Tax Code and enforced by the Internal Revenue Service.
4. ERISA law
As expected, there are several lawyers who specialize in ERISA rules, regulations and law. These attorneys take up cases in order to fight for the right to these guaranteed benefits, many of which are specialized in work-related disability. If you think you have been denied your federally guaranteed rights, always seek legal counsel in order to see if you have a case. More.