Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)

Also called the Pension Reform Act, this act regulates the majority of private pension and welfare group benefit plans in the U.S. . It sets forth requirements governing, among many areas, participation, crediting of service, vesting, communication and disclosure, funding, and fiduciary conduct. Key legislative battleground now, because ERISA exempts most large self-funded plans from State regulation and, hence, from any reform activities undertaken at state level–which is now the arena for much healthcare reform.