First things first, when we say "plan document," we mean your formal, ERISA-compliant wrap document. ERISAfire-prepared plan documents combine three benefits documents into one comprehensive risk management tool to protect employers and make administration easier:
ERISA plan document (aka wrap doc)
Wrap summary plan description (SPD)
Section 125 premium-only-plan (POP)
Whatever you call it, ERISAfire can help you prepare and update it.
When You Don't Need to Update Your Plan Document
In years where there are minor benefit changes—that is, changes to benefits that don't affect the legal terms and conditions of the document—your company can put off a plan document update for a year or so. Benefits changes that don't necessitate a plan document update (assuming ERISAfire prepared your prior plan document) include:
Change of carrier
Addition or dropping of an ancillary line of coverage
Change in employee contribution rate
Increase or decrease in participation
We do still want to know about changes to your benefits each year, so we can update your coverages in the compliance calendar app. That way you'll continue to receive only relevant compliance alerts. Pro Tip: Upload your new open enrollment guide in our in-app messenger (friendly little blue guy in the bottom right-hand corner of this screen), and we'll take it from there.
It's Time to Update Your Plan Document
It's time to update your plan document when your company has made significant benefit changes or in years where there have been legal developments necessitating plan language changes.
Significant benefits changes affecting your plan document include:
Participating employers or subsidiaries
Mid-year election change administration
Change in which benefits are pre-tax versus after-tax
ERISA plan year
Benefit funding mechanism (insured to self-insured or level-funded or vice versa)
In these cases, having ERISAfire update your plan document is best not only to ensure it's still accurate, but also so that it continues to be an effective tool for legal and compliance risk management. Updating may also be necessary because of legislative, regulatory or judicial developments.
Updating also comes with benefits—a compliance review of your open enrollment guide and other documentation provided, consultation with our ERISA attorneys during the project, as needed, and it renews the million-dollar warranty and audit defense guaranty.
Whereas some plan document outfits will charge annual upkeep fees no matter what changes are made, ERISAfire doesn't. ERISAfire's attorneys have written our plan document to be as flexible and set-it-and-forget-it as possible, but without sacrificing the quality of the document as a risk management tool custom-tailored for each employer.
Ready to update your plan document? Reach out via our in-app messenger (friendly little blue guy in the bottom right-hand corner of this screen), and one of our team members will assist you.