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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.

Understanding Your Employee Benefits Program: The Role of SPD

An SPD (Summary Plan Description) acts much like a syllabus for a course, providing a detailed outline of your employee benefits program. It explains what benefits employees are entitled to, the guidelines governing these benefits, and how employees can make the most of them.

Compliance and Clarity: The Core of an SPD

Crucial for both informing staff and meeting the standards of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a well-crafted SPD ensures legal compliance and educates employees on their benefits.

Regular Updates: A Legal Necessity

Adherence to ERISA mandates regular updates to the SPD—every five years when significant changes occur or every decade if updates are minimal. Any amendments should also be shared with employees via a summary of material modifications (SMM).

What to Do Now

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.


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.