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Q.17. What Does A Summary Plan Description Require ?

It is not uncommon for an employer to have a summary plan description that is inadequate, or even to not have a summary plan description at all. However, ERISA requires that every plan participant be furnished with a summary plan description, commonly referred to as an SPD. The SPD is intended to summarize the plan's benefits, rights and features in a manner calculated to be understandable by the average participant. Certain information must be included in the SPD, including: the plan name; the plan sponsor's name and address; the sponsor's employer identification number; the type of welfare benefit plan; the plan year; the plan administration method; the plan administrator's name, address and phone number; the agent for service of process; eligibility requirements to receive benefits; the method or source of contributions to the plan; the method of funding; an explanation of claims procedures and a statement of ERISA rights.

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