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How to obtain and decode a Summary Plan Description
The key document for a US employee retirement or health plan is the legal Summary Plan Description (SPD). It includes plan details and an address at the employer for appeals. The current SPD takes precedence over any other written, online, or verbal information you may have been given -- but is still subject to change. The employer's plan administrator is required by law to provide the SPD upon request. Log into the plan administrator's website or call.
(Sep 1, 2023) Question? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is an SPD?
"Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs) describe key features of the benefits... also include a directory of benefit resources, information about what happens when you experience certain changes in your life, and information about your rights under the programs. In the event of any inconsistency between the SPDs and the terms of the plans or programs, the terms of the plans or programs will control." --HP Continuum site
Succinct article: What is in an SPD? How do SPDs work? Investopedia on SPDs
How to obtain SPDs.
HP (HP Inc.) Request copies:
- Healthplan SPDs from the Benefits Center: https://www.myhpbenefits.com.
- Pension and 401(k) SPDs from Fidelity: https://nb.fidelity.com/public/nb/hp/home.
If you are classified by HP as a U.S. retiree of HP Inc. -- regardless of how you left -- you should consider joining "HP Continuum" -- HPInc's official U.S. retiree social networking site. Includes material not available on MyHPBenefits, such as "What's Changing" summaries, directory of provider URLs and phone numbers, the legal Summary Plan Descriptions, and retiree discounts. Monthly email newsletter. https://www.hpalumni.org/Continuum
HPE (Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company)
- Directory of HPE SPDs on public Retiree Benefits Toolkit: https://myhperewards.com/retiree/index.html
- HPAA's copy of the HPE Retiree Medical Benefits SPD: https://www.hpalumni.org/hpe-spd-retiree-medical.pdf Document date Sep 2022. File date 8/4/22.
EDS (HP Inc is legal successor.)
- Request copy from Fidelity.
- The HPAA has some EDS SPD copies -- may not be current: https://www.hpalumni.org/edsPension
Much easier to use an SPD if you have an online copy.
Even if you have a paper copy, download a pdf copy and use Adobe Reader's search feature to find specific words or phrases. (Press "Ctrl" and "F" together on a PC -- or "Command" and "F" on a Mac.)
Start reading at the end.
There is usually a section -- located a page or two in from the last age -- entitled "Plan Administrative Information" that gives vital info:
- Formal plan name, Employer Identification Number, and plan number
- Plan type, plan year, and how the plan is funded and administered
- Legally-required postal addresses for claims, appeals, and the plan trustee.
Addresses in SPDs are often out of date.
1. HP or HPE postal addresses. Assume that any addresses given in an SPD are extinct. (Hanover Street, Pruneridge Ave, America Center Drive, Legacy Drive, etc.)
Use the current corporate headquarters address instead:
HP Inc headquarters Admin functions -- including HR, Benefits, and Payroll -- Energy Drive in Spring, TX. Legal headquarters -- Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, not Hanover Street as in old documents. (At a Post Office window, you can specify Certified Mail combined with Return Receipt.)
HPE headquarters (1701 E Mossy Oaks Rd, Spring, TX 77389. 1-678-259-9860. At a Post Office window, you can specify Certified Mail combined with Return Receipt.)
2. Administrator addresses.
Qualified Domestic Relations Order administrator: QDRO Consultants -- 1-800-527-8481. 3071 Pearl Road, Medina, OH 44256
HP or HPE Retirement Services Center (Fidelity) -- valid as of Feb 2022. PO Box 770003, Cincinnati, OH 45277-0070
ERISA disability claims address in San Marcos, TX is invalid. Contact the HP or HPE Benefits Center.
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