Does ERISA cover my retirement plan?

| Apr 1, 2021 | employee rights, retirement benefits |

Many California residents contribute to a retirement account that is prepared to fund their after-working lives. There are many different types of retirement accounts, including IRAs, pensions, and 401(k)s. To help ensure that workers’ retirement accounts stay safe, ERISA was enacted in 1974.

What is ERISA?

Employment law defines ERISA as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. This is a federal law that provides minimum standards for retirement accounts that are offered by employers. Under this federal act, employees are given many rights, like the right to sue for the breach of fiduciary duty. It also guarantees payment of benefits in the event that a defined retirement plan is terminated.

What does ERISA cover?

ERISA was enacted to protect the rights and benefits of employees who hold retirement accounts in employer-offered plans. These are referred to as defined-benefit and defined-contribution plans. Such plans include retirement accounts known as 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans, deferred-compensation plans, and pensions. Any retirement plans established by government entities and churches are not covered under ERISA.

ERISA is managed by the Employee Benefits Security Administration. This administration is a subset of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Representatives in their state field offices handle complaints regarding ERISA violations. If you believe that there has been an ERISA violation by your employer, then you can submit a claim at your local field office. This can be done by phone, online, or in person.

You work hard for your money, and making regular contributions to your retirement account helps to ensure your future financial stability. Unfortunately, sometimes employers don’t always act according to the law. When an ERISA violation occurs, it’s a good idea to contact an attorney to assist with your case. This professional can answer questions regarding your ERISA rights and follow up with the Employee Benefits Security Administration about your case.