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Basics of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act

California residents have plenty of financial burdens to worry about. Between bills, daily expenses, any debts, car maintenance and so on, it can be difficult for a person to remember that they need to plan ahead both for the future, and for any potential unexpected financial surprises, good or bad.

This is where the Employee Retirement Income Security Act comes in. Also known as ERISA, The Balance defines this act as being the minimal benefit standard for many different benefits. This can include:

  • Health insurance
  • Pension plans and retirement
  • Disability and life insurance

Though most private workers are covered by ERISA, there are some situations in which the protections may not apply. Generally speaking, these standards were set in order to protect both the employee from being cheated out of a safety net both on the job and in the future. However, it can also help employers by giving them a fair guideline to stick to. This will allow them to avoid accusations of unequal management.

The United States Department of Labor reiterates that ERISA is for private employees, however, and is also only applicable to plans that are maintained within the United States. It does not impact group health options such as government welfare or money that is pooled from a church, as those are public rather than private and follow a different set of guidelines to maintain fairness.

Planning ahead for all of life's expenses is next to impossible. That just makes it all the more important for acts like ERISA to exist, ensuring that employees will be given the extra financial help they need.

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