The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans.
ERISA requires plans to provide participants with plan information including important information about plan features and funding; sets minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual and funding; provides fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets; requires plans to establish a grievance and appeals process for participants to get benefits from their plans; gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty,
ERISA also regulates the responsibilities of plan fiduciaries and other issues regarding plan administration. ERISA contains various standards that a plan must meet in order to receive favorable tax treatment, and also governs plan termination.
In general, ERISA does not cover plans established or maintained by governmental entities, churches for their employees, or plans which are maintained solely to comply with applicable workers compensation, unemployment or disability laws. ERISA also does not cover plans maintained outside the United States primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens or unfunded excess benefit plans.
This page includes the principal materials directly relevant to ERISA.
On the left side of the page are the select ERISA Statutes and Rules.
The top right of the page, under Developments, are tools to keep Cabinet members current on regulatory developments: the Cabinet's regulatory news and links to the Cabinet Trackers for Change Management and for Rules in Transition, each of which can be filtered by agency. To see a calendar of events, go to the Calendar Page and select the ERISA Regulatory Calendar.