What is ERISA coverage?
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This coverage protects the insured from claims brought by his employees alleging a breach of obligation or duty with respects to any employee benefit plan or sponsored trust.
ERISA applies to two types of plans - "Employee Welfare Benefit Plans" and "Employee Pension Benefit Plans."
An "Employee Welfare Benefit Plan" [ERISA § 3(1); DOL Reg. § 2510.3-1] is
Any plan, fund, or program established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, which provides any of the following benefits, through insurance or otherwise
· health insurance
· group life insurance
· long-term disability income
· severance pay
· funded vacation benefits, apprenticeship or other training programs, or day care centers, scholarship funds, or prepaid legal services; and
· any benefit
described in section 302(c) of the Labor Management Relations Act (other than pensions on retirement or death)
"Payroll practices" (see ER3) and certain group or group-type insurance programs with minimal employer or employee organization involvement are not included.
An "Employee Pension Benefit Plan" [ERISA § 3(2); DOL Reg. § 2530.3-2] is
Any plan, fund, or program established or maintained by an employer or by an employee organization, or by both, which
· provides retirement income to employees, OR
· results in a deferral of income by employees for periods extending to the termination of covered employment or beyond
Employee Pension Benefit Plans include:
· Profit-sharing retirement plans
· Stock bonus plans
· Money purchase plans
· 401(k) plans
· Employee stock ownership plans
· Defined benefit retirement plansSource: www.answers.com