What labor laws play a significant role in the administration of employee benefit plans?

A number of labor laws affect the administration of employee benefit plans and have the effect of protecting the employee's accumulation of wealth under retirement plans. These laws must be observed when adopting and maintaining an employee benefit plan. The most significant of these labor laws are as follows:

  1. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This law generally applies to all types of plans maintained by employers;

  2. The labor laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of age and gender; and

  3. The labor laws that apply to veterans.

Two other relevant labor laws apply primarily to larger employers:

  1. Worker Readjustment and Retraining Act (WARN). This law applies when plants are shut down.

  2. Taft-Hartley Act. This law applies when plans are established as a result of the collective bargaining process.