Summary Plan Description
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires employer-provided group health plans to provide plan participants with a written summary plan description (SPD) describing participants’ rights, benefits, and responsibilities under the plan.
Summary Plan Description Details:
- When an employee can begin to participate in the plan.
- How service and benefits are calculated.
- When benefits become vested.
- When and in what form benefits are paid.
- How to file a claim for benefits.
Summary Plan Description Timeline:
Plan administrators must give each participant an SPD within 90 days after he or she becomes covered by the plan or within 120 days after the plan is first subject to the reporting and disclosure provisions of ERISA. If there are material changes to the plan, the plan administrator must give participants a summary of material modifications within 210 days from the end of the plan year in which the changes were made.
However, if the change is a material reduction in covered services or benefits, the summary must be furnished within 60 days after the reduction is adopted. Moreover, participants or beneficiaries may request a copy of the SPD and any summaries of material modifications at any time, which must be provided within 30 days of a written request.