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The Basics of Federal Law (ERISA): Who Is Covered and Who Is Not?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, is currently in a state of flux. US Department of Labor, in conjunction with federal law, is debating how the act can continue with the necessary sweeping economic changes coming from Washington. The basic idea and practice of ERISA is to establish a working standard for how much retired individuals are eligible for. This includes basic welfare, life insurance, disability, and a variety of other benefits relative to the 65+. The US Department of Labor maintains the bulk of ERISA and its specifics through its subdivision known as the Employee Benefits Security Administration.

The changes to the federal law (ERISA) will have an immediate impact on employers. Interestingly, ERISA only functions with non-government businesses or those in the private sector. Those impacted do not necessarily have to have certain coverages and benefits. ERISA is only concerned with the minimums they carry in each category of assistance, and not necessarily the matter of them carrying coverage in the first place.

This obviously brings out a common problem. Is an employee entitled to certain benefits when they retire from a firm? Was the firm actively participating in coverage, and did they meet the standards? Retired individuals commonly find that what they thought was legally entitled to them is not. It is true that federal law (ERISA) commonly changes, and that is something employees need to be aware of. But, it is hard to determine if a business is taking advantage of the retired by not offering essential benefits, or they are working within the law and just unfavourable to their retiring employees?

Rest assured that Dulaney, Lauer & Thomas LLP will get the truth out of the company. There are instances where the company is within the law with their lack of benefits. Unfortunately, they do not always make that clear to employees. This needs to be addressed. Other firms will try to shortcut minimum ERISA standards. A worker who puts in the time is entitled to particular federal benefits subjugated through the employer. Do not be an unexpected victim who is taken advantage of by a big machine and large system.

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