Legal Memorandum: Duty of Disclosure and Reporting

Issue: What rights do the retirees have to obtain information regarding how the retirement fund is operated?

Area of Law: Employee Law
Keywords: Provision of information; Operation of a retirement fund
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: 29 U.S.C. § 1021, § 1024(b), §§ 1024(b)(3) and 1025(a) and (c), § 1022(a), (b), § 1024(b)(1)(B), § 1025(a), (b); 26 U.S.C. § 6057(a)(2). 29 U.S.C. §§ 1132(a)(4), 1025(c); 26 U.S.C. § 6057(a)(2)(A)—(E), § 6057(a)(2), (e); 29 U.S.C. § 1021, § 1024(b)(4); § 1132(c)(1); 29 U.S.C. § 1025(c); 26 U.S.C. § 6057(a)(2)
Date: 05/01/2007

ERISA sets forth various duties regarding the provision of information to plan participants and beneficiaries.  Section 1021, for instance, provides that the administrator of each employee benefit plan must, in accordance with § 1024(b), furnish to each participant (1) a summary plan description and (2) the information described in §§ 1024(b)(3) and 1025(a) and (c).  29 U.S.C. § 1021.  The summary plan description must be written in a manner understandable by the average plan participant, it must be sufficiently accurate and comprehensive to reasonably apprise the participants and beneficiaries of their rights under the plan, and it must include:

(1)        the name and type of administration of the plan;


(2)        the name and address of the person designated as the plan’s agent for service of process, if that person is not the administrator;


(3)        the name and address of the administrator;


(4)        the names, titles, and addresses of any trustee(s), if they are not the administrator;


(5)        a description of the relevant provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement;


(6)        the plan’s requirements for eligibility, participation, and benefits;


(7)        a description of the nonforfeiture provisions;


(8)        circumstances that may result in disqualification, ineligibility, or benefit denial or loss;


(9)        the source of financing;


(10)      […]


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