The Simpler Way to Meet ERISA Requirements

Programs and Resources

Health and welfare benefit plans must meet and maintain specific requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). ERISA is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established retirement and health plans in private industry. The law was created to protect the individual participants of these plans. 

ERISA also protects your plan’s assets with fiduciary responsibilities. The security act requires persons with the authority of plan management, assets, administration, or those who provide investment advice to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries. 

Employers must comply with these ERISA requirements: 
  1. Employers must establish and maintain a written plan document for each benefit plan. 
  2. Employers must provide a summary plan description (SPD) explaining key terms and conditions of the plan document to each participant. 
  3. Employers must file a Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan) with the DOL and IRS for each benefit plan. 
Staying up to date with these requirements can be time-consuming and costly. Relatedly, non-compliance can result in penalties from the DOL, including a fine of $152 per day, failure-to-file penalties up to $2,140 per day, per plan, and additional penalties for failure of fiduciary responsibility. 

Skilled nursing and assisted living facilities are turning to wrap documents to simplify ERISA compliance. A wrap document is a shortened plan document. This summary plan description “wraps around” existing insurance policy and self-insured plan language. 
The wrap document incorporates all the required language to meet and exceed ERISA compliance. The most significant benefit to the wrap document is the combination of multiple plan documents for the entire benefit suite. This means only one summary plan description and form 5500 are required, no matter how many plans fall under the wrap document. 

Reach out to Nick Cianci with AHCANCAL Insurance Solutions at for more information on how you can implement a wrap document for your benefit solutions.