The meaning of words is often at the center of any employee benefit related law suit. The plaintiff will argue “that is not what you said” and the defendant will argue “but that is what I meant”. It pays to try to reduce potential legal fees as well as the time spent in preparing a defense by having clear, consistent employee communications. Easier said than done especially when there may be numerous parties involved.
The purpose of this review is to determine consistency in the documents that govern the operation of the plan (plan document, administrative forms and manuals) and information that is communicated to participants (summary plan descriptions, other communication material). Employers with multiple service providers, employers with decentralized administration or employers who have merger and acquisition activity, find this type of review helpful.