Does ERISA Apply to Me?

As a dedicated worker, you count on your retirement benefits when it’s time for you to finally end your professional career. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is designed to protect hard-working people like you who are relying on retirement benefits and/or pensions promised by your employer. When your employer fails to deliver your retirement benefits, speak with a New Jersey employment lawyer who can help you obtain full and fair compensation.

What is ERISA?

Enacted in 1974, ERISA is a federal law sets minimum standards for pension plans in the private sector. It does not require companies to offer pension plans or benefits. It does, however, require companies who offer plans to provide adequate plan information to participants, set minimum standards for participation and vesting, require accountability of fiduciaries, and guarantee payment of certain benefits if a plan is terminated.

Who does ERISA apply to?

You may be protected by ERISA if:

  • You are employed by a private-sector company that offers employer-sponsored pensions, health insurance coverage, and/or other benefit plans. Private-sector companies include partnerships, proprietorships, LLCs, S-corporations, C-corporations; OR
  • You are employed by a nonprofit corporations that offers benefit plans; OR
  • You are employed by a small company of only a couple employees and offers benefit plans

The protective laws under ERISA only apply to private employers (non-government) that offer employer-sponsored health insurance coverage and other benefit plans to employees. ERISA does not require employers to offer plans; it only sets rules for benefits that an employer chooses to offer.

ERISA laws do not apply to privately purchased, individual insurance policies or benefits.

Exceptions to ERISA

ERISA most likely does not apply to you if:

  • You are a government employee
  • You are employed by a church
  • You are covered by a plan solely maintained for workers’ compensation disability
  • You are covered by a plan maintained outside of the United States

Does ERISA apply to my benefits?

As a general rule, ERISA applies to: insurance plans, defined benefit and defined contribution retirement funds, HRAs, flexible spending accounts, dental plans, disability insurance, and long-term care insurance plans. It may also cover severance plans, pre-paid legal service plans, vacation plans, housing assistance plans, unemployment benefit plans, scholarship plans, and training plans.

Have you been denied the benefits to which you are entitled? An NJ employment attorney at Aiello, Harris, Marth, Tunnero & Schiffman, P.C. can help. Call us today at (908) 561-5577 or contact us online.

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