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Understanding Your Summary Plan Descriptions

OnDemand Webinar (87 minutes)

Gain a thorough understanding of the requirements of the summary plan description.

Employers who sponsor ERISA-covered health and welfare plans are required to communicate the terms of the plan to participants in a summary plan description. The SPD is an important disclosure document that describes, in understandable terms, the rights, benefits and responsibilities of participants and beneficiaries in ERISA-covered health and welfare benefit plans. The SPD must include important information regarding the plan, such as information on how the plan works, eligibility requirements, what benefits the plan provides and how those benefits may be obtained. The summary of material modification describes changes made to the plan and changes in the information in the SPD. This topic will help you understand what a summary plan description is, what ERISA requires to be included in the document and how to distribute the SPD. You will also discover what a summary annual report is, what is required under ERISA and the distribution requirements.


Jamie F. Gross, J.D., LL.M., Deloitte Tax, LLP Judith Mester, Deloitte Tax, LLP


Overview of the Summary Plan Description

• What Is a Summary Plan Description?

• Who Should Prepare Them?

• ERISA Requirements

What Should an SPD Contain?

• Requirements Under ERISA

• Important Things to Include

• Recordkeeping and Compliance Issues

Distribution of SPD

• How to Distribute

• When to Distribute

• Updating of SPD

• Role of the Department of Labor

Summary Annual Report

• What Is a Summary Annual Report?

• Who Should Prepare Them?

• Distribution of the Summary Annual Report