ERISA has extensive reporting and disclosure requirements for pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus plans, and most “welfare plans” (i.e., health care, life insurance, prepaid legal services, disability insurance). Forms and documents may have to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC). Others go directly to plan participants.
In general, ERISA “preempts” (i.e., overrides) state law. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. ERISA does not supersede state insurance laws, so group health and life insurance plans are subject to state insurance mandates. Self-insured plans are exempt from state regulation.
The DOL is authorized to grant partial and complete exemptions from ERISA's reporting and disclosure requirements. For example, welfare plans with fewer than 100 participants that are unfunded (paid out of general company funds and not a separate trust fund) or paid through insurance contracts are exempted from most filing and reporting requirements (but not the summary plan description (SPD) requirement) (