ERISA Archives

Civil ERISA violations

If you are like a lot of people in California, you have a retirement fund that is governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Since it was first enacted in 1974, this act has provided protection for countless employees by outlining the responsibilities of retirement plan administrators and sponsors. These responsibilities include communication with participants as well as protection of assets. The law also identifies activities that may be deemed as civil violations.

Supreme Court asked to weigh in on forum selection clauses

Among the many benefits offered to employees by companies in California is the ability to participate in a retirement plan such as a 401K. These are often governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. What many employees may not be aware of is that if they ever disagree with the benefits they are to receive under an ERISA plan, their employer might be able to dictate the court that would have jurisdiction over the matter with no regard whatsoever to the where the employee works or lives.

What is ERISA, and what does it do?

Even if you enjoy your job in California, you probably do not want to do it forever. Like many employees, you probably have aspirations of retiring someday. To that end, you may participate in a pension plan that provides benefits when you stop working, but you may have doubts or fears about your ability to access that money when the time comes.

Know the traps of ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) has been a headache for many people who have been hurt on the job since it was passed by U.S. Congress in 1974. Before the law was passed, many employees would try to file long-term disability claims from companies who promised them rock solid insurance policies and benefits, only to find out the company that owed them money was bankrupt or out of business. 

Lifetime Disability Benefits

Some insurance companies offer lifetime disability benefits.  They usually come at an additional fee (or premium) and are attached to the policy as an "endorsement" or "rider" to the policy.  But not all lifetime coverage is created equal.  Some policies - usually those that were issued in the 1980's or 1990's - merely continue your benefits for life without any restrictions or limitations.  Benefits under these policies can even increase over time pursuant to a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) provision.  These policies offer the broadest possible coverage.  Other policies are not so generous.  Their coverage may be contingent on when you become disabled or the type of disability that you are suffering from.  For instance, some policies provide reduced benefits if you are disabled after age 60.  Others provide for reduced benefits if you are disabled as a result of a sickness rather than an injury.  The point: it pays to read your policy and know your rights.   

Three tips for your ERISA disability claim

Many workers will have their disability insurance policies governed by ERISA. ERISA is extremely complicated and there are several things that must be done in order for the claims to be approved. Frequently, these claims are denied, leaving workers in a terrible position. This posting discusses some of the things that you should do to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps with your ERISA disability coverage claim.

Understanding ERISA disability claims

When you're a worker for a company who has offered you disability insurance, you may not be aware of ERISA, or the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Why would a retirement act impact your disability claim? And how could it possibly cause a denial of that claim? You need to know how the insurance system works so that you can recover from an ERISA disability claim denial. 

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