Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News
December 2010

 
$10,560 Awarded to Employee for Late SPD
A court awarded the maximum penalty of $110/day to a participant who requested a copy of the Plan Document in writing three times. The employer had added a coverage option and provided the employee with a handbook, an announcement brochure, and an enrollment form that predated the new coverage option. The employer argued that it had 210 days to distribute a Summary of Material Modification (SMM). However, under ERISA, the requirement that an employer has 30 days after a Participant's request to provide current documents takes precedence. This should be a wake-up call to employers to update their SPD or SMM promptly when plans are amended. Kasireddy v. Bank of America Corp. Benefits Committee, 2010WL 4168512 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 13, 2010).
New Preventive Care Tool Available
This new online tool will help determine which preventive screenings and vaccinations are recommended for you, based on your age and gender. It also explains the purpose of the different tests and allows you to print and email your personal results. With preventive care being one of the major healthcare reform provisions, knowing and obtaining the appropriate screenings and immunizations will be of considerable value. 
SPD Electronic Distribution
Consider this scenario: an employer wishes to limit the costs a plan incurs with respect to the distribution of a paper Summary Plan Description (SPD) to the plan's participants and beneficiaries. The employer mails a letter or postcard alerting them that a new SPD is available and states that a participant may call a telephone number and request that a copy of the SPD be sent to the participant at no charge. All participants have access to a telephone. Does the ability of every participant to obtain a copy by calling the telephone number satisfy the electronic distribution rules? The DOL says "NO."
See Question 21

Save time, effort, postage, and trees by distributing your ERISA documents electronically instead of delivering paper documents to plan participants. ERISAPros offers an Electronic Distribution Package containing an instructional checklist and easy to use forms that satisfy the DOL's rigorous disclosure requirements. We also provide a recordkeeping template to help you keep track of fulfillment. You may use these forms again to distribute new documents for the same employer without additional cost.
 
 
movie link
 
 
 
 Wrap-TightSM
Plan Documents
 SPDs
Form 5500s
SARs
SMMs 
for
Health & Welfare
 Benefit Plans Only
 
 
       
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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"How ERISA Will Affect Your Group Insurance Clients in 2010"
 
 
© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.

 

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