Why do we need an SPD?

ERISA legally obligates the plan administrators to provide important facts regarding their retirement and health benefit plans. All participants are entitled to automatically receive an SPD, free of charge.

If a plan is changed, participants must be informed either through a revised summary plan description or in a separate document. This is called a summary of material modifications, which must also be given to participants free of charge.

The SPD tells participants:

  • What the plan provides and how it operates
  • Information on when an employee can begin to participate in the plan
  • How service and benefits are calculated
  • When benefits becomes vested
  • When and in what form benefits are paid, and how to file a claim for benefits

For more information please visit the Department of Labor's page on this topic. 


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