The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) was passed to ensure that pensions offered by private-industry employers met certain standards and were received by employees. ERISA does not require employers to offer pension programs. But ERISA does require that those who offer pension programs follow certain rules if they want favorable tax treatment for their contributions and employee’s deferral of income. ERISA’s four basic requirements cover participation, vesting, funding and fiduciary duties. For more information on ERISA, see DLC Courses 15, 42 and 74.

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