What is ERISA?

Louisiana employers have a lot of discretion when it comes to deciding how much they will compensate their employees. These compensation benefits can include hourly wages, performance based bonuses, company sponsored pension plans and more.

If a company decides to start a pension plan, however, they are subject to federal rules and regulations defined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. According to the United States Department of Labor, ERISA, as it is known, defines how companies in the private sector must run pension plans. These rules dictate certain standards and create fiduciary duties for those running the employee pension plans.

Under ERISA, employers must notify employees about certain aspects of the plan and adhere to minimum requirements. They must, for example, adhere to minimum standards about how the pension is funded, how long the employee has to work before the interest in the plan become non-forfeitable and how much leave an employee can take before the employee's interest in the pension is changed.

Additionally, ERISA allows plan participants to sue the employer if the plan provider breaches its fiduciary duty. This means that employees may have the right to sue for a failure to pay benefits and other issues with the pension. In many cases, people come to rely on their pension in their retirement. When access to the pension is denied as a result of discrimination or retaliation, the money is mishandled or people lose their benefits they can be faced with severe financial difficulty. While this post cannot provide specific legal advice, an attorney can help those with pension issues. With the right help, people may be able to get the money they were counting on.