Does ERISA Apply to You?

November 12, 2019 | J. Price McNamara
Does ERISA Apply to You? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which is commonly known as ERISA, is a federal statute which helps to ensure that employees receive the various pensions and other retirement benefits promised by their employers. In the event that an employer fails to manage these funds properly, the ERISA statute provides some remedies, including a funding source to pay these benefits to the employee when an employer does not do so.  Although the ERISA statute applies to some benefit plans, it does not apply to others. An experienced Texas ERISA lawyer at J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney can help you determine whether or not the ERISA statute applies to you and your particular benefits plan. Please contact us online today for more information and for a free legal consultation. 

Types of Employers that the ERISA Statute Covers

Generally speaking, the ERISA statute is applicable to companies doing business in the private sector and which offer their employees various pension plans. Those businesses include proprietorships, partnerships, C-corporations, S-corporations, and limited liability companies (LLC’s). Assuming any of these operates as a private entity, ERISA governs the business structure. The same is true for almost all charitable and non-profit organizations.  ERISA may also apply to a business structure with only one-to-two employees. In other words, in order for the ERISA statute to apply to a particular business structure, there is no minimum employee number for the business.  If you are an employee of one of these types of businesses, then ERISA may cover your benefits plan and offer you and your pension plan certain safeguards. A Texas ERISA attorney will be able to determine if the business that employs you is covered by ERISA. 

When the ERISA Statute Might not be Applicable

There are some situations where the ERISA statute might not apply to your particular pension plan or employer. Generally speaking, ERISA does not apply to churches, the majority of governmental employers, excess benefit plans which are not funded, benefit plans that support disability or workers’ compensation laws, and plans that are used for the benefit of non-resident aliens.  Even in cases where your particular employer (or your employer’s business) falls within the ambit of the ERISA statute, there are still some circumstances where ERISA does not apply to the specific benefits plan that you have. For example, ERISA typically applies to the following benefit plans:
  • Health reimbursement accounts
  • Insurance plans
  • Certain retirement funds
  • Flex spending accounts
  • Disability insurance plans
  • Dental insurance plans
  • Severance plans
  • Plans for unemployment benefits
  • Vacation plans
  • Housing assistance plans
  • Welfare benefit plans
  • Scholarship plans
However, plans for short-term disability and plans that offer sick pay may not be covered by the ERISA statute under certain circumstances, such as where employees do not make contributions to the plan. 

Speak with a Texas ERISA Lawyer Today

At J. Price McNamara ERISA Insurance Claim Attorney, we can help you determine if ERISA applies to your specific plan. To schedule a free legal consultation and case evaluation with a Texas ERISA lawyer, please contact us online today for more information. 
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J. Price McNamara


Losing my own brother, then my father and sister after long, disabling illnesses just a few months apart drove a career change for me. Before that experience, I never truly understood the place you’re in. I never understood the dramatic impact that receiving (or not receiving) the disability and life insurance benefits you paid for and counted on can have on your life especially when you need to focus on family and healing. What I experienced with my own family now drives the way I view my clients and my work, and I will never forget it!

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