Labor and Employment Law
Retirement Planning
Keogh and Pension Plans

When an employer uses an ERISA plan to administer severance benefits for a large layoff are they permitted to deviate from the plan for exceptions and if so what are the acceptable exceptions?

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January 29, 2008 4:27PM

Under an ERISA plan, the terms of the plan supersede prior ad

hoc (as well as written severance policies) by preemption. The

benefits an ERISA plan include all terms being set forth in one

document, thereby increasing the liklihood that its terms are

applied--and administered--uniformly, which likely may benefit an

employer in the event that litigation arises. Further, the plan

administrator can decide eligibility and other plan questions

according to a broad standard of review. Employers should follow

the terms of the plan as appropriate. If you are an employer

seeking additional information: This is not

legal advice.

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