A federal regulation enacted to protect participants and their beneficiaries. ERISA contains provisions that stand on their own and also added or amended provisions of the IRC. ERISA sets minimum standards that a plan must meet in order to receive favorable tax treatment. ERISA preempts a large part of state laws and provides an enforcement mechanism, mainly through the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), a division of the US Department of Labor (“DOL”). ERISA does not apply to state and local government plans, public school teachers and administrators, most church plans and plans covering federal government employees.