Human Resources

Summary Annual Reports

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) requires plan administrators WHOI to provide plan participants in writing important information they need to know about certain benefit plans.  Some of this information must be provided to participants regularly and automatically by the plan administrator. Others are available upon request, free-of-charge or for copying fees and must be requested in writing. 

One of the most important documents participants are entitled to receive automatically when they become a participant of an ERISA covered benefit program is a summary of the plan, called the Summary Plan Description (SPD).  The SPD is an important document that tells participants what the plan provides and how it operates. It provides information on when an eligible employee can begin to participate in the plan, how service and benefits are calculated, when benefits becomes vested, when and in what form benefits are paid, and how to file a claim for benefits. If a plan is changed, participants must be informed, either through a revised SPD, or in a separate document, called a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM).

In addition to the SPD and SMM, WHOI automatically provide participants each year a copy of the plan's Summary Annual Report (SAR). This is a summary of the annual financial report that most plans must file with the Department of Labor. These reports are filed on government forms called the Form 5500. The SAR provide information on the plan assets.

If you would like additional information about our benefit programs, please contact Benefits at BenefitsQA@whoi.edu.  General plan information is found in the Benefits website or in hardcopy upon request if you do not have access to the Internet.

Last updated: October 23, 2017