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Importance of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

What is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and how does it affect my Georgia office?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is the federal law that is responsible for setting the very minimum standards of protection for individuals that have established voluntary pension or health plans in private industries. Because ERISA is a federal law, it not only applies to employees in your Georgia office, but it also applies to employees in offices in states across the country.

In general, ERISA is in place in order to protect the rights of employees when it comes to waiving their pension or health plans. The goal of ERISA is to ensure that employees have had all of the information they need in order to make decisions that are based on their best interest and that those employees were not pressured to surrender their pension or health plans.

ERISA requires that employers provide their employees with information about their pension or health plans, including information about who controls the assets, features of the plans, funding for the plans, and management of the plans. ERISA also makes sure that employees have the right to sue in the event that they do not receive the full benefits that should be provided to them.

Since ERISA was put into place, there have been some well-known amendments to it, including COBRA, which stands for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA.) COBRA is in place to provide workers with continuing coverage of their health insurance policies after they change jobs or after their health coverage has been stopped.

HIPAA is another well-known amendment to ERISA. HIPAA is the acronym for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is in place to help provide medical coverage to workers and their families that have preexisting medical conditions.

Other amendments to ERISA that you might recognize include the following federal Acts: The newborns and Mothers Health Protection Act, the Mental Health Parity Act, and the Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act. CB

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2007 at 11:50 pm and is filed under
Compensation, Employment Training, Hiring and Staffing, Human Resources Management, Labor Laws, Workplace Health & Safety.
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