The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, also known as ERISA to Florida employers and included employees, was established to help protect contributions to retirement plans for those who work for companies that offer this benefit. It was initially enacted to protect private pension plans for employees of companies that offered the particular benefit because of recognized instances of mismanagement, but it was later extended to cover health insurance protection as well as time went on. Additionally, the act also covers several other employer benefits.
Health plans and retirement accounts
Health plan benefits have become a very important element of ERISA protections. Along with necessary medical procedures and treatment, it also covers temporary disability benefits when employees are unable to work due to a medical issue. It also requires employers to pay all retirement accounts in full based on both the employee contributions and the employer match contributions. This guarantees payment when funds are mismanaged.
While most covered employees understand the medical and retirement plan applications, many do not realize it is all-inclusive regarding other benefits. ERISA also covers benefits such as qualified vacation time and pay, funded apprenticeships, higher education compensation by employers who offer the benefit, and holiday pay schedules. Additionally, some employers also offer dependency care benefits that may be disputed by the employing company under certain circumstances when requested.
In addition to the standard protections provided by ERISA, extended protection is also provided beyond health care and 401 (k) retirement plans for payment regarding stock option programs, profit-sharing programs, and deferred compensation that may apply in certain situations for designated employees such as management personnel.