Federal case law has provided plan sponsors of the

Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)

covered plans with the ability to insert plan provisions that are

more favorable to the plan sponsor rather than the plan

participant or beneficiary (so-called “protective plan provisions”).

This Article first examines what is the “plan document” for

purposes of ERISA and what protective plan provisions should

be considered for insertion into the plan document and its

related “instruments.”