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Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Description: Due to the recent economic decline and the desire to enact large-scale health reform, the current federal regulation of pension plans, health plans, and other employee benefit plans has received considerable congressional attention. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by private-sector employers. ERISA contains various provisions intended to protect the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans. This report provides background on the pension laws prior to ERISA, discusses various types of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA, provides an overview of ERISA’s requirements, and includes a glossary of commonly used terms.
Date: May 19, 2009
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Summary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

Description: The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) provides a comprehensive federal scheme for the regulation of employee pension and welfare benefit plans offered by employers. ERISA contains various provisions intended to protect the rights of plan participants and beneficiaries in employee benefit plans. These protections include requirements relating to reporting and disclosure, participation, vesting, and benefit accrual, as well as plan funding. 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. This report provides background on the pension laws prior to ERISA, discusses various types of employee benefit plans governed by ERISA, provides an overview of ERISA’s requirements, and includes a glossary of commonly used terms.
Date: April 10, 2008
Creator: Purcell, Patrick & Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pension Sponsorship and Participation: Summary of Recent Trends

Description: According to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), the number of private-sector workers between the ages of 25 and 64 whose employer sponsored a retirement plan fell from 53.1 million in 2004 to 52.5 million in 2005. This report analyzes the Current Population Survey and describes several elements, including: 1) the percentage of workers whose employer sponsored a retirement plan; 2) the percentage of workers who participated in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; 3) the likelihood of black, Hispanic, and other non-white workers to participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan; and 4) the percentage of part-year or part-time workers in the private sector whose employer sponsored a retirement plan.
Date: August 31, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cash Balance Pension Plans: Selected Legal Issues

Description: Over the past few years, cash balance pension plans have received significant attention. In particular, three issues have been controversial: the negative effect of a plan conversion on older employees due to wear-away, the whipsaw effect that may occur when computing a lump-sum payment of benefits prior to normal retirement age, and the claim that these plans violate federal laws prohibiting age discrimination. This report discusses the wear-away and whipsaw issues, a proposal by the Treasury Department that addresses them, and relevant legislation introduced in the 109th Congress (H.R. 2830 and S. 1304).
Date: July 29, 2005
Creator: Lunder, Erika & Staman, Jennifer
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Pension Funds Investing in Hedge Funds

Description: The proportion of U.S. corporate-defined benefit pension funds investing in hedge funds has increased to 24% in 2006, up from 19% in 2004 and 12% in 2000. Although statistics vary, total corporate pension fund assets allocated to hedge funds in 2006 was 2.1%. Because of hedge funds’ risky nature, rapid growth, lack of oversight, and recent losses, some wonder if they are appropriate investments for workers’ retirement funds. This report discusses concerns regarding hedge funds and examines possible policy options.
Date: June 15, 2007
Creator: Klunk, William
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

S. 1783: The Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005

Description: On September 28, the Senate Finance Committee and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions announced that they had reached a compromise on a pension reform bill for consideration by the full Senate. The compromise bill has been introduced as S. 1783, “The Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005.” S. 1783 combines provisions of S. 219, “The National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act,” reported by the Finance Committee, and “The Defined Benefit Security Act,” reported by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. This report summarizes the major provisions of the compromise bill, as announced by the chairmen and ranking members of the two committees.
Date: October 3, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

S. 219: The National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act

Description: On July 26, 2005, the Senate Finance Committee approved S. 219, the “National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee (NESTEG) Act of 2005,” a bill to reform federal pension laws. This report summarizes the major provisions of the bill, as approved by the Committee.
Date: August 12, 2005
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Defined Benefit Pension Reform for Single-Employer Plans

Description: This report includes quantitative analysis based on regulatory filings by pension plans for 2001 and 2002 to provide an assessment of the number of plans that might be affected by certain elements of the Administration proposal. It also summarizes the reaction to the Administration proposal by business and labor. The report also includes an illustration of the effect on a hypothetical plan sponsor’s plan contribution and funded ratio of the credit balance approach used in current law versus the Administration proposal. This report focuses on single-employer plans.
Date: July 14, 2005
Creator: Ranade, Neela K. & Graney, Paul J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

H.R. 4: The Pension Protection Act

Description: This report discusses the Pension Protection Act (PPA) reforms and the funding rules for defined benefit pensions; requires employers to disclose more information about pension funding; restricts benefit payments and accruals in underfunded plans; and clarifies, prospectively, that cash balance pension plans do not violate legal prohibitions on age discrimination in employee benefits.
Date: September 27, 2006
Creator: Purcell, Patrick
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multiemployer Defined Benefit (DB) Pension Plans: A Primer and Analysis of Policy Options

Description: This report discusses the nature of multiemployer defined benefit (DB) pension plans, and issues regarding their financial solvency. DB pension plans are sponsored by more than one employer and maintained as part of a collective bargaining agreement.
Date: July 24, 2015
Creator: Topoleski, John J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Employer Stock in Retirement Plans: Investment Risk and Retirement Security

Description: This CRS Report begins by describing the shift from traditional defined benefit pensions to defined contribution plans – like the 401(k) – that has occurred over the last 20 to 25 years. It then summarizes recent research findings on the extent to which employees’ retirement savings are invested in employer stock. The third section of the report outlines the provisions of federal law that define an employer’s duty to manage its retirement plan in the best interest of the plan’s participants. The report concludes with a summary of pension reform legislation passed by the House of Representatives in April 2002 and a description of several pension reform bills that have been introduced in the Senate in 2002.
Date: January 28, 2003
Creator: Purcell, Patrick J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department