Employer-provided benefits represent a significant portion of your overall compensation package and help ensure you and your family are provided for in the future or in case of unexpected events. You depend on these benefits to be there when you need them, so it can come as a shock when they are denied, delayed, or disputed. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is a complex federal law that helps to protect your rights in this situation. Our Skokie ERISA lawyer explains more about this law and whether all employers in Illinois are required to comply.
The U.S. Department of Labor lists a variety of common employer-provided benefits. While covered under both state and federal law, ERISA trumps them all. Established in 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sets minimum standards regarding employer-provided benefits and how they are administered. Common types of benefits covered under ERISA include:
In addition to governing how these benefits are administered, ERISA also protects the rights of employees in obtaining copies of all policy-related documents and dictates procedures that must be followed in appealing denied claims.
Under the U.S. Code, ERISA generally applies to all private employers who offer retirement and pension plans to their employees. This includes:
While ERISA applies broadly in a variety of situations, there are some businesses that may be exempt. This includes government agencies, churches, synagogues, and other places of worship, businesses with benefits plans maintained primarily to comply with workers’ comp or unemployment laws, and businesses that provide pension plans outside the U.S. and primarily for the benefit of non-residents.
Outside of these situations, most private employers are covered and must comply with the terms of ERISA. Failure to do so could result in fines and other civil penalties, as well as potential criminal charges.
ERISA helps to ensure that employer-provided pension plans and other benefits are administered properly. It also protects your rights to obtain copies of all policy-related documents and governs the appeals process for denied or disputed benefit claims. In most cases, all private employers are covered.
If you have questions about your benefits, how ERISA may apply, or about appealing a denied claim, reach out to Bartolic Law. Our experienced Skokie ERISA lawyer provides the experienced, knowledgeable legal representation needed to protect your rights. To request a consultation, call or contact our office online today.