What Is ERISA?

Take a Legal Stance Against Organizations That Don’t Want to Pay You Benefits

  • April 15 2024
  • |   ERISA

Many workers worry about saving enough for retirement when they start a new job. To help with this, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, was passed in the 1970s. ERISA is a federal law that monitors private companies’ insurance and welfare plans. Despite its name, ERISA isn’t just about retirement.

It also covers severance, disability, health coverage, and 401(k) plans. If your job gives you benefits, ERISA applies to you. However, some exceptions exist, like plans offered by government agencies or churches, and individual disability insurance plans bought outside of employer group plans are exempted.

ERISA provides a lot of protection for people in benefit plans. It ensures your employer tells you certain things and you follow specific steps for handling claims. It also says how your employer should handle and pay for your benefits. It guarantees you will still get your benefits even if your employer goes bankrupt. Also, if the plan administrator doesn’t do their job right, you can take them to federal court. ERISA also lets you get back the money you spent on lawyers and court costs if you win your case.

Furthermore, ERISA provides legal safeguards and advantages to insurance companies. It has strict deadlines and complicated rules about evidence. Sadly, because of these restrictions, many people struggle to get the full benefits they’re entitled to under ERISA. This is where our attorneys come in. When you hire our experienced attorneys, we will help you with your claims and protect your rights.

Why hire our ERISA attorneys?

Leverty & Associates Law has a team of attorneys who will represent, support, and give you the legal help you need. Our combined experience of 50 years has given us the skills and expertise to handle your case.

Our attorneys will dedicate their time, attention, and expertise to ensure you get a favorable outcome. We will make sure you receive your benefits without being underpaid. Your case is important to us, and we will work tirelessly to achieve success. Contact us today at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702) 507-0201 (Las Vegas) to learn more about our services.

We are fearless in challenging insurance companies and can help you get your due benefits.

Understanding ERISA

In 1974, the federal government created ERISA. This law ensures that people who manage retirement and health plans for employees are responsible for their decisions and actions. These plans include different types like retirement plans where the amount you get is already set (defined-benefit plans) or plans where the amount depends on how much you put in (defined-contribution plans) like 401(k)s. ERISA also looks after health plans like HMOs and insurance plans for things like disabilities and life.

Under ERISA, anyone who controls how a retirement plan is managed or where its money is invested is called a fiduciary. This includes people who advise on where to invest the money. Fiduciaries have to follow specific rules. If they don’t, they might have to pay back any money the retirement plan loses because of their actions. ERISA also has regulations to stop fiduciaries from misusing the retirement plan’s money.

The law sets minimum standards for things like who can join a retirement plan, how long they have to work before they can start getting benefits from the plan, and how much money they should have saved up that they can’t lose even if they leave their job. ERISA  also tells companies running these retirement plans how much money they need to put into the plan to ensure enough funds for everyone’s retirement. In simple terms, it’s about making sure people can join retirement plans reasonably and that there’s enough money saved up for them when they retire.

In addition to informing participants of their rights, ERISA also grants participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty. If something goes wrong, like if you don’t get the benefits you’re supposed to or if someone in charge of the plan doesn’t do their job correctly (a breach of fiduciary duty), you can take legal action to fix it.

Let’s say your company has a pension plan that promises to pay you a certain amount when you retire. If, for some reason, the company can’t keep that promise and the plan ends, ERISA ensures you still get some of the money you were promised. This is done through a particular government organization called the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). ERISA helps protect your retirement money and ensures you can get it even if something goes wrong with your company’s pension plan.

We have a successful track record and do all we can to help our clients.

When to hire an ERISA lawyer

ERISA lawyers help with various cases where people get only some of the benefits they were supposed to from their plans. You might need one if you’re in one of these situations:

  • If the insurance company misinterpreted your request for approval of retirement benefits
  • If the person in charge of your retirement plan didn’t handle it properly
  • If your claim for disability benefits was rejected
  • If your retirement savings took a big hit
  • If your employer offered you a severance package, and you’re worried it might affect other things you’re entitled to
  • If you need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to exercise your right to your ex-spouse’s retirement benefits
  • If your ERISA life insurance claim got turned down
  • If the calculations for your retirement benefits seem wrong
  • If your request for long-term care coverage was denied
  • If you’re confused about what you’re entitled to under your retirement plan.

Get help from Leverty & Associates Law

At Leverty & Associates Law, we have dedicated many years of experience and knowledge to clients. We have helped many clients achieve their legal goals, and the positive reviews we have received so far have helped us maintain a great relationship with the clients we’ve represented; we can help you, too. Contact us at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702)507-0201 (Las Vegas). We offer a free initial consultation.

Attorney Patrick Leverty

Attorney Patrick LevertyWith his master’s in insurance law, Patrick routinely helps individuals and businesses who are having issues with their insurance company. He also has extensive experience with personal injury actions, complex tort actions, product liability matters, and class actions. Patrick Leverty is rated AV by Martindale Hubbell (the highest rating) and has been granted membership in the Million Dollar Advocate Forum, and Multi-Million Dollar Advocate Forum. Patrick Leverty has been certified as a Personal Injury Specialist by the State Bar of Nevada. [ Attorney Bio ]