Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans. ERISA requires plans to provide participants with plan information, including information about plan features and funding; establishes fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets; requires plans to establish grievance and appeals procedures for participants; and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.


While private sector pension plans have been in existence since the latter part of the 19th century, their nature and regulation have changed. Their period of greatest growth occurred following the 1949 decision by the Supreme Court on ...

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