Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)

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The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Labor. ERISA does not require employers to offer a pension plan. But it does require employers who do offer them to meet certain minimum standards.

ERISA is the U. S. federal law that sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry. It also has many rules on the federal income tax effects of transactions associated with employee benefit plans. ERISA was enacted to protect the interests of employee benefit plan participants and their beneficiaries. ERISA requires that plans disclose financial and other information about the plan; sets standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries; and provides for appropriate remedies and access to the federal courts.

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