Your Insurance Contracts and Summaries of Benefits and Coverage are Not SPDs for Your Health or Other Welfare Benefits Plan
One common question asked by employers about providing a copy of their health or other welfare plan summary plan description, is whether providing a collection of insurance certificates and/or summaries of benefits and coverage is good enough. Although these documents offer important information, they are definitely not a substitute for an SPD. As part of the ongoing “Debunking SPD Myths” series, this white paper explains why these documents do not meet all of the elements necessary to constitute an SPD, and why employers should consider engaging a benefits attorney to draft an SPD and plan document.
Eric W. Gregory
Dickinson Wright PLLC
- Attorney in the Troy, Michigan office of Dickinson Wright PLLC
- Practice emphasizes all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation law, including qualified retirement plans, welfare plans, and nonqualified compensation programs
- Regularly provides strategic advice and analysis on approaches for employers obligated to contribute to multiemployer pension funds to mitigate withdrawal liability risk
- Conducts regular seminars and workshops on numerous employee benefits issues such as pension and withdrawal lability risk during mergers and acquisitions, avoiding litigation risk for sponsors of retirement plans, and employer fiduciary duties under ERISA
- Written several publications related to employee benefits such as Surviving an IRS or DOL Retirement Plan Audit: Failing to Prepare is Preparing to Fail; Here Comes the Department of Labor: Retirement Plan Audits Begin for Code Section 401(a)(9) Compliance; and Avoiding Payroll Tax Traps for Foreign Employees
- Past chair of State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section’s Employee Benefits Committee, and past chair of Oakland County Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee
- Taxation Council Member, State Bar of Michigan Taxation Section
- Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, 2020; Michigan Super Lawyers "Rising Star," 2016 – Present; Michigan Lawyers Weekly, Up & Coming Lawyers, Class of 2017; Business Magazine Top Lawyer, Employee Benefits Law, 2016 – Present
- LL.M. degree in taxation, Georgetown University Law Center; J.D. degree, Wayne State University; B.A. degree in political theory and constitutional democracy, Michigan State University, James Madison College; certificate in employee benefits law
- Can be contacted at 248-433-7669 or [email protected]
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