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[Video] Your Guide to an Effective Summary Plan Description (SPD)

November 17th, 2023 | 1 min. read

By Jack Wang

Your Guide to an Effective Summary Plan Description (SPD)


Watch this 2-minute video

Understanding and managing employee benefits can be complex, but with a well-crafted Summary Plan Description (SPD), it becomes much more manageable. Our latest video blog explores the SPD's role as a crucial tool in simplifying the employee benefits landscape.

An SPD is akin to a course syllabus, offering a clear outline of your employee benefits program. It details what employees can expect, the rules in place, and how to maximize their benefits. This document is essential for both informing employees and ensuring compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulations.

A comprehensive SPD not only meets legal requirements but also empowers your employees to fully understand and utilize their benefits.

Staying current is crucial. ERISA requires updates to the SPD every five years for significant changes, or every ten years if changes are minimal. Any modifications should also be communicated to employees through a summary of material modifications.

For more detailed guidance on creating an SPD, our article "What is a Summary Plan Description" offers an in-depth look at assembling a compliant and thorough SPD.

Drafting an SPD can be daunting, but it's a critical step in managing your employee benefits program effectively. If you're feeling overwhelmed, we're here to help.

Schedule a meeting with our benefits experts to discuss crafting a custom, compliant SPD for your company. Let us assist you in laying a strong foundation for your employee benefits success.


This video is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Viewers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.


The video is hosted by Robin, an Account Executive for Combined, who has over 15 years of experience in risk mitigation. he explains that compliance simply means following the rules, and that when businesses are out of compliance, they can face costly repercussions.