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Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Subsequent Amendments To Erisa

Since its enactment in 1974, ERISA has been amended many times to help meet the changing retirement and health care needs of employees and their families. The Retirement Equity Act of 1984 addressed a broad variety of women's issues. The act reduced the maximum age that an employer may require for participation in a pension plan from twenty-five to twenty-one; lengthened the period of time a participant could be absent from work without losing pension credits; and created spousal rights to pension benefits through a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) in the event of divorce, and through preretirement survivor annuities.

The Tax Reform Act of 1986 established faster minimum vesting schedules and mandated broader coverage of rank-and-file workers. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 amended the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to apply to employee benefits.

With respect to health care plans, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) added a new part 6 to Title I of ERISA that provides for the continuation of health care coverage for employees and their beneficiaries (for a limited period of time) if certain events would otherwise result in a reduction in benefits. More recently, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) added a new Part 7 to Title I of ERISA aimed at making health care coverage more portable and secure for employees.

Additional topics

Medicine EncyclopediaAging Healthy - Part 2Employee Retirement Income Security Act - History Leading Up To Erisa, Subsequent Amendments To Erisa, Types Of Erisa-covered Retirement Plans