law chapter preemption13

  1. Employe Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
    A federal la taht governs most employer-and labor union-sponsored benefit plans, including pensions, but not government employer plans or social insurance programs. 
  2. pension plan
    A benefit plan designed to provide returement income to employees or to otherwise defer income until after employment ends (e.g. defined befefit pension, 401(K) , ESOP, profit sharing.)
  3. welfare plan
    Any benefit plan covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ( ERISA) that is not a pension plan (e.g. health insurance, child-care subsidies, prepaid legal services.)
  4. preemption
    The rule of law that if the federal government, through Congress , has enacted legislation on a subject matter, it shall be controlling over state laws and/or preclude the state from enacting laws on the same subject.
  5. Summary Plan Description (SPD)
    A document required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to be provided to employees to inform them comprehensively and accurately about their rights and obligations under benefit plans
  6. abuse of discretion
    Standard often used by the courts in reviewing the decisions of benefit plan administrators in denial-of-benefits case under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)
  7. appeals procedure
    An internal administrative process for addressing employee grievances. ERISA requires that such a procedure be provided for review of benefit determinations.
  8. fiduciary
    Anyone who exercises disceretionary autority or control over the administration of a benefit plan or its funds. 
  9. fiduciary duty
    The responsibility of the people or entities (fiduciaries) who control and manage benefit plans to manage those plans solely in the interest of plan beneficiaries
  10. vesting
    An employee's achievement (based on years of service) of a onforfeitable right to receive a pension 
  11. participation
    The act of taking part in the enforcement of an antidiscrimination law (e.g. filing a charge, bringing a lawsuit, giving testimony, assisting in the investigation of a discrimination charge.)
  12. defined benefit plan
    A pension plan that promises a specific pension benefit to the employee upon retirement; in this plan, the employer maintains a pension fund separately from his other assets and pays benefits from this fund.
  13. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)
    An independent organizaiton established under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) that intervenes and provides at least partial retirement benefits to retirees and vested employee whose employers are unable to meet their pension obligations. 
  14. Pension Protection Act of 2006
    Legislation amending the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and aimed at remedying the underfunding of defined benefit pension plans, addressing the issues of inadequate diversification and contribution levels for defined contribution plans, and clarifying the legal status of cash balance plans.
  15. defined contribution plan
    A pension plan in which contributions are made into individual employee accounts and in which the pension benefit that an employeee recieves will depend on the amount in her individual account at the time of returement (e.g., 401 (K)s, profit-sharing plans, stock bonus plans, ESOPs).
  16. cash-banance plan
    A defined benefit pension plan that also includes some features of a defined contribution plan; often termed a hybrid plan.
  17. managed care
    A health-care systemm in which managed care organizations (MCOs) receive sums of money to provide for the health care of insured patiens and profit to the extent that costs can be minimized. 
  18. Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
    A law that requires employers who have group health insurance plans and at least twenty employees to offer contunuation coverage under certain curcumstances (qualifying events) in which employees and other beneficiaries would otherwise lose health insurance coverage.
  19. qualifying event
    A circumstanceunder whic eligible employees are entitled to take Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave (e.g. birth of a child.)
  20. preexisiting condition exclusion
    An exclusion commonly incorporated into health insurance plans that denies coverage for a specified period of time for the treatment of conditions that existed before an individual enrolled in the health plan
  21. Health  Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
    Greatly restricts but does not eliminate the use of preexisiting conditions exclusions by health plans.
  22. certificate of creditable coverage
    A certificate documenting prior coverage under a proup health insurance plan that must be privded automatically and free of charge to an employee who loses coverage or exhausts his Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconnciliation Act (COBRA) contunuation coverage; used for compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  23. Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
    An amendment to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that prvides protection of benefits for older workers. 
  24. domestic partner benefits
    Employee benefits that are offfered to same-sex partners and, in some instances, to unmarried opposite-sex-partners.
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law chapter preemption13
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