Employee Retirement Income Security Act Of 1974 (erisa)

Definition of "Employee retirement income security act of 1974 (erisa)"

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Law that established rules and regulations to govern private pension plans, including vesting requirements, funding mechanisms, and general plan design and descriptions. For example, three ways of vesting were established: full vesting after 10 years of service (Cliff Vesting); five to fifteen year rule (at least 25% of benefits vest at end of 5 years of service, 5% each year during the next 5 years, and 10% each year during the next 5 years); and Rule of 45 (when employee's age and years of service add up to 45), 50% of the benefits must be vested with 10% additional vesting each year thereafter. Under the tax reform act of 1986, vesting requirements were changed to 100% vesting after 5 years of service or 20% vesting after 3 years of service, 40% at the end of 4 years of service, 60% at the end of 5 years of service, 80% at the end of 6 years of service and 100% at the end of 7 years of service. (These vesting requirements are effective as of January 1, 1989.)

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