Summary Plan Description Law and Legal Definition

Summary Plan Description refers to an outline of an employee benefit plan provided under Employment Retirement Income Security Act Plan (ERISA). It contains information such as the identity of the plan administrator, the requirements for eligibility and participation in the plan, circumstances that may result in disqualification or denial of benefits, and the identity of any insurers responsible for financing or administering the plan. 29 USCS § 1022 deals with Summary Plan Description. A summary plan description must generally be furnished to all employee-benefit-plan participants and beneficiaries

The relevant law as it appears in the Statute:

29 USCS § 1022. Summary plan description

(a) A summary plan description of any employee benefit plan shall be furnished to participants and beneficiaries as provided in section 104(b) [29 USCS § 1024(b)]. The summary plan description shall include the information described in subsection (b), shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant, and shall be sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to reasonably apprise such participants and beneficiaries of their rights and obligations under the plan. A summary of any material modification in the terms of the plan and any change in the information required under subsection (b) shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and shall be furnished in accordance with section 104(b)(1) [29 USCS § 1024(b)(1)].

(b) The summary plan description shall contain the following information: The name and type of administration of the plan; in the case of a group health plan (as defined in section 733(a)(1) [29 USCS § 1191b(a)(1)]), whether a health insurance issuer (as defined in section 733(b)(2) [29 USCS § 1191b(b)(2)]) is responsible for the financing or administration (including payment of claims) of the plan and (if so) the name and address of such issuer; the name and address of the person designated as agent for the service of legal process, if such person is not the administrator; the name and address of the administrator; names, titles and addresses of any trustee or trustees (if they are persons different from the administrator); a description of the relevant provisions of any applicable collective bargaining agreement; the plan's requirements respecting eligibility for participation and benefits; a description of the provisions providing for nonforfeitable pension benefits; circumstances which may result in disqualification, ineligibility, or denial or loss of benefits; the source of financing of the plan and the identity of any organization through which benefits are provided; the date of the end of the plan year and whether the records of the plan are kept on a calendar, policy, or fiscal year basis; the procedures to be followed in presenting claims for benefits under the plan including the office at the Department of Labor through which participants and beneficiaries may seek assistance or information regarding their rights under this Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 with respect to health benefits that are offered through a group health plan (as defined in section 733(a)(1) [29 USCS § 1191b(a)(1)]), the remedies available under the plan for the redress of claims which are denied in whole or in part (including procedures required under section 503 of this Act [29 USCS § 1133]), and if the employer so elects for purposes of complying with section 701(f)(3)(B)(i) [29 USCS § 1181(f)(3)(B)(i)], the model notice applicable to the State in which the participants and beneficiaries reside.