“The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension and health plans in private industry to provide protection for individuals in these plans” (U.S. Department of Labor, no page).
“…Employee benefit plans are subject to special rules in the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, they are generally also subject to the federal labor law known as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (‘ERISA’) whose purpose is to secure the benefits promised employees in employer-sponsored plans…Both statutes play a critical role in structuring the plans of employers who choose to do so” (Perun, 2002, p. 635).
“ERISA…establishes rules and requirements for private sector qualified plans to safeguard employee benefits” (Willett, 2005, p. 33).

U.S. Department of Labor. Employee Retirement Income Security Act - ERISA. Retrieved June 30, 2005, from Perun, P. (2002). Phased retirement programs for the twenty-first century workplace. John Marshall Law Review 35(4), 633 - 672. Willett, M. (2005, April). Early retirement and phased retirement programs for the public sector. Benefits and Compensation Digest, 42(4), 31 - 35.