Benefits Connect

As an extension of Mayo Clinic Human Resources, Benefits Connect brings together benefits experts, plan members, and those who are curious about benefits to share their experiences and knowledge. Each new post is designed to go beyond simple resource information to practical advice on the best strategy to get the most out of the industry-leading benefits at Mayo Clinic. Join the conversation by commenting on posts and replying to comments.

Mar 30, 2018

Do you know what a Summary Plan Description is?

By Tony Lehrman, @lehrman

Notes Computer Resized

The Summary Plan Description, or “SPD” as it is often referred, is just what the name implies, that it is a summary of a particular benefit plan. Sound exciting? Maybe not, but SPDs can be useful documents to help you better understand your benefits at Mayo Clinic.


ERISA (The Employee Retirement Income Security Act) rules require that details of benefit plans be made available to participants. This information can be found in the SPD. Essentially, the SPD lays out how the plan works. Depending on the benefit, it includes details like:


  • Eligibility
  • When benefits begin and end
  • What is covered (and not covered)
  • Obtaining services
  • Vesting
  • Calculating benefits
  • Filing claims
  • Appealing claims


Mayo Clinic makes the SPDs easy to access whether at work or from home, simply by visiting the Summary Plan Descriptions and Legal Notices page on the Mayo Clinic Careers website.

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