SPD and Wrap Requirements
ERISA acts as a safeguard to assure that plan funds are protected and delivered in the best interest of plan members. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires plan administrators to give plan participants in writing the most important facts they need to know about their retirement and health benefit plans including plan rules, financial information, and documents on the operation and management of the plan. Some of these facts must be provided to participants regularly and automatically by the plan administrator. ERISA also prohibits discriminatory practices when granting plan benefits to qualified individuals. Others are available upon request, free-of-charge or for copying fees. The request should be made in writing.
A common approach is to combine all SPDs into one overall SPD Wrap Notice, tying in the required ERISA language and simplifying the SPD notice process. A customized SPD Wrap must include the name of the plan, plan sponsor, plan administrator, plan year, employer tax identification number, type of welfare plan, type of administration, a summary of the benefits, detailed description of plan benefits for group health plans, provider network availability for group health plans, procedures for Qualified Medical Child Support Orders (QMCCOS), COBRA rights, plan contributions, and claims procedures. A Statement of ERISA Rights is also required.
The SPD and Wrap must be distributed to newly- enrolled participants within 90 days of when coverage started or within 120 days of a new plan being established.