What is a Summary Plan Description?

Summary Plan Description (SPD) definition

Summary plan descriptions (SPD) are standard documents that outline the main tenets of a defined benefit or defined contribution insurance plan, including eligibility criteria, the level of cover provided and how benefits and pay outs are calculated. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), providers must give all employees a copy of the summary plan description within 90 days of a policy being taken out and that the description must be easily understood and accessible.

A related term is Summary of material modifications.