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Frequently Asked ERISA Questions Part 2

Frequently Asked ERISA Questions Part 2

If you are dealing with an ERISA case, then you personally know how complicated and challenging these cases can be.  That is why it is critical to have an experienced and qualified ERISA attorney like J. Price McNamara to assist you in resolving your case.  Here is part two of the most frequently asked questions compiled by the attorneys at our firm:

How can ERISA protect me and my retirement plan?

ERISA helps protect employee retirement plans by doing the following:
1) ERISA requires participants to receive information about important plan features and funding facts regularly and automatically so that participants know and understand what is going on with their plan.
2) Sets regulates participation, vesting issues, benefit accrual and funding aspects.

3) ERISA defines how long a person must work before becoming they can participate in a plan, start collecting benefits, or have a non-forfeitable right to benefits.

4) ERISA establishes rules that sponsors provide adequate funding for your retirement plan.

5) ERISA requires fiduciaries accountability. This means that anyone who exercises authority or control over your plan’s management or assets, has certain responsibilities.

6) ERISA lets participants sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

7) ERISA guarantees payment of certain benefits if a plan is terminated.  This is controlled by a federally chartered corporation, called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Who can participate in retirement plans?

This will depend on what type of retirement plan your employer offers. Employees should check with a plan administrator or review the plan booklet (called the Summary Plan Description) to learn more about a specific plan’s rules. Typically there is a specific time frame which must be accumulated before you can begin to accumulate benefits or earn the right to use them.

When can your participation begin?

Once you determine that you are covered under a specific plan, you will need to find out when you can begin to participate in such plan. Employees should be aware that federal law sets minimum requirements for these amounts. Most plans require employees be at least 21 years old and to have at least one year of service with the company before they can participate in a retirement plan. Employers do have some flexibility to require additional years of service prior to plan eligibility in certain circumstances.

Will I be notified of participation in a retirement plan?

Employees should be aware that some 401(k) and IRA plans do enroll employees automatically. This means that employees will automatically be enrolled in the company’s retirement plan unless they choose to specifically and expressly opt out of such benefits. If your employer has such an automatic enrollment for a retirement plan, you will receive some sort of notice describing the automatic contribution process, when your participation begins, your opportunity to opt out of the plan or change your contribution level, and where your automatic contributions are invested. Contact your HR department if you have further questions about what your company offers.

J. Price McNamara Can Provide Assistance For Your ERISA Case

Are you dealing with difficult ERISA questions?  Are you seeking an experienced ERISA attorney to help with your case?  If so, you need look no further than J. Price McNamara.  Only an attorney with knowledge of the appropriate ERISA laws can help you get you the outcome you deserve for your case. J. Price McNamara has been practicing law for many years and has handled many cases just like yours. The legal team at the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara is waiting to help you with your ERISA case. Call us today to schedule your free case review and get an experienced insurance attorney on your side.  We can’t wait to help you with your legal issues and get you started on the path to a successful ERISA case.  There is no better time then now to call us to get started on your case.

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