An ERISA plan is a retirement plan for individuals in the private sector that meets the minimum requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, advises the U.S. Department of Labor. The law does not require employers to establish a retirement plan or pay retirement benefits.
If a retirement plan is available, the law requires that employees be able enroll in the plan when they are 21 years old and have worked for the company for one year, states the U.S. Department of Labor. Some plans may allow participation earlier. ERISA also requires employees to receive documentation of the plan's requirements and restrictions, and if the plan is mismanaged, employees have the right to sue for benefits.