Understanding Your SPD


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Get the Most from Your Summary Plan Description (SPD)

Your SPD helps your participants understand their benefits, reduces questions and confusion, and also protects you against liability.

What is an SPD?

Most Employers who offer certain benefits are required by Employee Retirement Income Securities Act of 1974 (ERISA), to distribute Summary Plan Descriptions to all benefit plan participants no more than 90 days after an employee becomes a participant or within 120 days of the plan becoming subject to ERISA. The SPD summarizes specific details of the plan, claim filing procedures, and information concerning plan sponsors and administration.

Employers or plans that are not covered by ERISA may still wish to offer an SPD or SPD-like document to participants to help their employees better understand their benefits. For example, Section 125 cafeteria plans, such as our BESTflex Plan, often contain a mix of ERISA and non-ERISA benefits. We offer an SPD for our BESTflex plan to help clarify all benefits offered through the cafeteria plan.


Which of our products include an SPD?

These Employee Benefits Corporation products include a written Summary Plan Description.

  • BESTFlex Plan
  • EBC HRA
  • CommuteEase (*While transportation benefits are not ERISA plans, we provide an SPD to employers to help participants understand their qualified transportation plan.)

Our Compliance Services team also produces Wrap Plan SPDs for clients who utilize our Compliance Services Wrap Plan Document Service.


What should I know about the SPDs for these products?

The Employee Benefits Corporation SPD is made up of two components:

  • Summary Plan Description document
  • The client-specific My Company Plan document

To meet the regulatory requirements of distributing an SPD, you must distribute both components to plan participants.

Plan SPD Content Access
Summary Plan Description Document Information about the plan and how it is administered My Account Administrator > Resources > Forms and Materials > Product
My Company Plan Document Details specific to your plan like plan dates, features, and plan limits My Account Administrator > Plan Information > Product > Plan Year

What are the options for distributing the SPD to my plan participants?

Regulations require employers to distribute Summary Plan Descriptions to all benefit plan participants no more than 90 days after an employee becomes a participant or within 120 days of the plan becoming subject to ERISA.

If you wish to distribute your SPDs to participants electronically, review the Guidelines for Digital Document Distribution prior to doing so. You may distribute SPDs to participants by printing both documents and delivering them to participants.


Digital Document Distribution Guide

If you wish to distribute your SPDs to participants electronically, review the Guidelines for Digital Document Distribution prior to doing so.

Download the Guide