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Compliance Overview: ERISA Disclosures for Welfare Benefit Plans

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for welfare benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers. ERISA-covered welfare benefit plans must comply with certain ongoing reporting and disclosure requirements, such as Summary Plan Description (SPD), Summary of Material Modification (SMM), and Form 5500. Form descriptions along with the plans that they apply to are outlined in a table below the summary and highlights. Additionally, the table provides due dates for each type of form. Penalties may be triggered if an employer does not comply with ERISA’s reporting and disclosure requirements. Noncompliance may, also, put the employer at a disadvantage in the event that an employee dispute over benefits arises. The article describes these potential penalties for noncompliance for each form.

Contact your Cowden representative for more information on this or other compliance issues.

Read Compliance Overview PDF here