Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) Claims
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) protects emplpyees in health and pension plans. This Federal law regulates the establishment and maintenance of health and plans by setting minimum standards that all private employers must meet when providing these plans.
Under ERISA, employers and plan administrators must:
- Refrain from conflict-of-interest transactions and manage plans solely for the benefit of participants;
- Fund benefits in accordance with the law and plan rules; and
- Report on and disclose information on the plan and its financial conditions to the government and plan participants.
Subsequent to the enactment of ERISA, several amendments were added to further protect participants in, and beneficiaries of, health benefit plans. The Consolidated Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) amended ERISA to give certain employees the right to extend their health care coverage for a limited period of time after losing their jobs. In 2009, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) amended ERISA to reduce employees’ COBRA premiums in some instances. This reduction is available to individuals who have experienced a “qualifying event” and who were involuntarily terminated between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009.
It is an employer’s fiduciary duty to satisfy ERISA’s requirements and furnish promised benefits to employees. If your employer fails to do so, you may have the right to sue for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty. ERISA and its amendments are complex. If you are experiencing problems with respect to your employer’s administration of ERISA plans, contact Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., for a free consultation.