The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (Pub. L. 93-406 codified as 29 USCS § 1002) was enacted on September 2, 1974. ERISA was enacted to protect the interests of employee benefit plan participants and their beneficiaries by:
- Requiring the disclosure of financial and other information concerning the plan to beneficiaries;
- Establishing standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries; and
- Providing for appropriate remedies and access to the federal courts.
When designed as a top hat plan, phantom stock plans are exempt from Parts 2, 3 and 4 of Title I of ERISA pertaining to participation, vesting, funding and fiduciary responsibilities.