What is a Summary Plan Document and where can I locate it?

Summary Plan Documents (SPDs) are crucial documents that provide employees with essential information about their employer-sponsored benefit plans. 

  • What is an SPD?

SPDs are comprehensive documents that outline the terms and conditions of an employer's benefit plans. They serve as a communication tool between the employer and employees, ensuring transparency and understanding of benefits.

SPDs play a crucial role in ensuring legal compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Failure to provide accurate and timely SPDs may lead to legal consequences.

  • What is included in an SPD?

SPDs must include specific information, such as plan eligibility criteria, benefits offered, and employee rights. Other mandatory elements include details about how the plan operates, funding mechanisms, and procedures for filing claims.

SPDs outline the rights and responsibilities of employees regarding benefit plans. Employees should carefully review their SPDs to understand how to access benefits, file claims, and appeal decisions.

  • Accessibility:

Employers are required to provide SPDs to employees within 90 days of joining a benefit plan.
SPDs should be easily accessible, typically distributed through printed copies, electronic formats, or company intranets. 

*All employees have a copy of their SPD uploaded to their document portal for their visibility. Employers also have a copy uploaded to their document portal*



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