While public sector employees in Washington, D.C. may have some degree of security when it comes to pensions, this isn't always true for private sector workers. This is why the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was passed in the early 1970s. Initially, the purpose of ERISA was to protect pensions for private sector employees in the United States. Today, the act has been expanded to cover many other types of employee benefits, including long-term care, various medical insurance plans, and dental, prescription, and vision plans.
ERISA protection applies to all types of employees, from individuals working for large private corporations and non-profits to people performing paid duties at small businesses and two-person set-ups. Even though this act provides comprehensive safeguards, there are still times when ERISA benefits claims appeals may need to be filed. Also, if benefits aren't provided by a private employer in a timely manner, an appeal must be filed within a specific period of time to make an attempt to receive those distributions.