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Welfare and Pension Reports
National Summary
What do employers need to consider regarding welfare and pension reports? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) provides extensive reporting and disclosure and other administrative requirements for employee benefit plans. The law and regulations also provide for numerous exemptions from the various requirements. The most important ERISA disclosure requirement is the summary plan description (SPD), and the most important reporting requirement is the Form 5500 annual report.
Additional disclosure requirements apply to health plans. ERISA requires all employee benefit plans to include a claims procedure, and Department of Labor (DOL) regulations set out specific requirements for these provisions, including special requirements for health benefit plans. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added many additional reporting, disclosure, and notice requirements for health plans and insurers, including additional internal and external appeal requirements for health insurers and group health plans. ERISA also sets out claims procedures that employee benefit plans must adopt.
There are other laws that concern employers. They must also consider the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage provisions that impose reporting and disclosure requirements on health plans that cover Medicare-eligible individuals. Additionally, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) added new reporting and notice requirements, including the Annual Plan Funding Notice, electronic display of annual report information, notice of freedom to divest employer securities, enhanced benefit statements, and simplified annual reporting for pension benefit plans with fewer than 25 employees.
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