A. ERISA specifies information that must be included in the Summary Plan Description (SPD). The summary plan description must accurately reflect the contents of the plans. The SPD is an important document that tells participants what the plan provides and how it operates. It provides information on when an employee can begin to participate in the plan, how service and benefits are calculated, when benefits becomes vested, when and in what form benefits are paid, and how to file a claim for benefits. If a plan is changed, participants must be informed, either through a revised summary plan description, or in a separate document, called a Summary of Material Modifications (SMM). SPDs and SMMs must be given to participants free of charge.