Benefits of Electronically Distributing SPDs

A study from HighRoads shows that employers prefer online portals to print distribution when it comes to Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs). SPDs are documents that explain the fundamental features of an employer's defined benefit or defined contribution plan, while the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) describes the benefits and coverage under the applicable plan. Some employers are revising their SPDs to incorporate the SBCs, thereby reducing multiple distributions.

Key findings from the study show 81 percent of employers plan to update their SPDs for plan design and Affordable Care Act changes, and that 81 percent of employers will use electronic distribution. The study also shows that within the percentage of those who electronically distribute information, 88 percent of employers chose posting to a portal as the preferred method. By producing fewer, simpler documents and utilizing technology, the cost of managing, maintaining and distributing content is reduced. Through increased automation, companies can achieve and document their compliance while also reducing costs.