Not everyone who works in New York does so for the love of their career. Though some individuals may work because it brings them a sense of fulfillment or purpose, many work to support their loved ones and to save for their eventual retirements. Retirement, which the period of time after a person leaves their job and enjoys living for themselves, can be difficult on men and women who do not have enough money saved to support their ongoing needs.
Some employers and employment entities like labor unions support their workers or members through the establishment of retirement plans and services. These plans, though, are subject to strict laws regarding how they are administered and what they may do. One important federal law, called the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or ERISA, governs just how employers may run such plans and what information employees are entitled to through them.
The basics of ERISA
ERISA is a law of guidance, in that it provides covered entities with instructions on how to run or administer employee benefits’ programs for their workers. Like many federal laws, it was created to close gaps in prior legislation, and through ERISA covered workers are entitled to greater information about their plans and protections from wrongdoing by their plan fiduciaries.
However, also like other laws, ERISA is complex and can be confusing. Union leaders, though well-intentioned, may struggle to comply with the many mandates of the law as they work to offer benefits’ plans to their members.
Legal help is available for ERISA questions
Just as organizations, employers, and unions turn to legal professionals when they are preparing and negotiating contracts, they may also seek legal support when they have questions that arise under ERISA. Managing a plan under ERISA requires legal knowledge of employment and labor law, tax and securities law, and a host of other legal matters. On their own, union leaders may struggle to find answers to their difficult legal questions. With legal support, they can provide strong benefits for their members. This post is informational in content and should not be read as legal advice.