ERISA Wrap Document - Affordable and Headache Free ERISA Compliance.

Did you know that under ERISA employer-sponsored welfare benefit plans, such as group health plans, must be described in a plan document? In addition, employers must explain plan terms to workers in a summary plan description (SPD). Unfortunately, most insurance carrier certificates or benefit booklets do not satisfy ERISA’s content requirements. Failing to comply can be costly for employers - $156 per day fines, benefit lawsuits, and DOL investigations. Our ERISA Wrap Document provides employers with a low cost and headache free solution to ERISA Welfare Benefit compliance.

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If your organization offers any of these plans, then ERISA's plan document and SPD requirements likely apply to you:

Medical, dental, or vision insurance plans


Health flexible spending accounts


Health care reimbursement accounts


Prescription drug plans


Group term or voluntary term life insurance plans


Short-term or long-term disability plans


Employer-provided benefits, which are considered employee welfare benefit plans under ERISA include all of the above.

How It Works

Our simple two-step process works for virtually any health and welfare benefit programs offered by employers

ERISA Wrap Plan Frequently Asked Questions

ERISA is a federal law designed to protect employee benefit plan participants. ERISA covers U.S. retirement plans and welfare benefit plans. Among other things, ERISA requires plan sponsors to provide plan information to participants. ERISA also establishes standards of conduct for plan administrators and other fiduciaries. Most of America's workforce is protected by ERISA. About 54 percent of America’s workers earn retirement benefits on the job, and 59 percent earn health benefits.

If you offer any health or welfare benefits, like those listed above, you likely need a plan document. An employee welfare benefit plan under ERISA must have a written plan document. A written plan document contains all of the terms which govern the plan. An insurance contract generally does not contain all of the rules required by ERISA. An insurance contract is therefore not a plan document. A plan document typically specifies eligibility requirements, plan participation rules, and the length of coverage. It also contains important statements by the employer such as the employer’s right to amend or terminate the plan.

No. Employers are not exempt from ERISA Plan Documentation Requirements. Employers which sponsor welfare benefit plans, must have written plan documents. Failure to comply with ERISA Plan Documentation Requirements can result in large fines and penalties. Employers with fewer than 100 employees are exempt from ERISA Welfare Plan Reporting Requirements. This means that smaller employers do not need to prepare and file a Form 5500 for their welfare benefit plans.

Unfortunately for employers, failing to distribute an SPD to plan participants or to have an ERISA Plan Document can be significant. ERISA section 502(c)(6) provides a penalty for a failure to furnish information requested by the Secretary of Labor under ERISA § 104(a)(6). That penalty is up to $156 per day, not to exceed $1,566 per request. However, much more problematic for employers, ERISA section 502(c)(1) provides that a plan administrator may be personally liable for their failure to furnish certain documents, including the SPD, within 30 days of a written request by a participant or beneficiary. The amount of the liability is up to $110/day, in the court’s discretion. As an example, if an employer is in litigation with a disgruntled employee, and the employer failed to provide the employee with an SPD for 3-years after a request, the court may hold liable the employer for $120,450 = $110 liability x 365 days x 3 years.

An ERISA Wrap Document supplements existing documentation. More specifically, an ERISA Wrap Document provides required ERISA information by incorporating (or “wrapping” itself around) insurance policies, third-party contracts, or other governing core documents. When an ERISA Wrap Document is utilized, all governing core documents remain part of the plan document. That is, the ERISA Wrap Document and other governing core documents collectively comprise the complete plan document.

Insurance policies or contracts issued to employers rarely meet all ERISA Plan Document requirements. This is unsurprising. Insurance companies focus compliance efforts on state laws which regulate insurance. ERISA is a federal law. Even when insurers attempt to satisfy ERISA’s requirements, the resulting document is typically inadequate. Rarely does it contain all of the provisions to protect the plan, the plan administrator, and other plan fiduciaries. The use of a “wrap” plan document ensures ERISA compliance (through the “wrap” portion of the document) as well as an accurate insurer-provided benefit description (through the incorporation of the insurance policy or contract).

The ERISA Wrap Document is very flexible and accommodates a wide range of benefit programs. Specifically, the document can wrap around the below Health Benefit Programs and Fully Insured Benefit Programs. In addition, since the ERISA Wrap Document offers the flexibility to include "other health benefits" or "other fully insured benefits," the options are virtually limitless:

Health Benefit Programs

  • Medical
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Health Flexible Spending Arrangement
  • Health Reimbursement Arrangement
  • Prescription Drug Plan (if separate from Medical)

Fully Insured Benefit Programs

  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Group Term Life Insurance
  • Voluntary Term Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment

Other Benefit Programs

  • Other Health Benefit Programs
  • Other Fully Insured Benefit Programs

In less than 15 minutes, you can use Spectrum's ERISA Wrap Document Wizard to prepare an ERISA Wrap Document for your organization. Your ERISA Wrap Document Package includes a sample adopting resolution, adoption agreement, plan document, and summary plan description. We also provide you with ERISA Welfare Document Commentary. This commentary supports organizations with the documentation and administration of their welfare benefit plan. All of this is offered for only $495. During our special launch promotion, save over 20% and pay just $395 through September 30, 2019! We accept payment on any major credit card through PayPal.

No. Great news for employers -- Spectrum's ERISA Wrap Document is drafted to wrap around all of the health and welfare benefit programs offered by an empoloyer. As an example, if you offer both Group Healthcare Benefits and Group Dental Benefits, you only need to purchase one Spectrum ERISA Wrap Document. When using the ERISA Wrap Document Wizard, simply identify all the benefit programs offered, and provide the necessary information for each program. That's it! We have got you covered.

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