HR and Benefits Acronyms

The following acronyms and abbreviations are often used by employers, benefits and compensation professionals, human resources personnel, consultants, attorneys, advisors, accountants, third-party administrators, brokers and insurance carriers. They are presented here, along with their descriptions, for easy reference.

AAP – Affirmative Action Plan

AARP – American Association of Retired Persons

ACRS – Accelerated Recovery Cost System

AD&D – Accidental Death & Dismemberment

ADA – The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990

ADEA – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967

AFL-CIO – American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations

AICPA – American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

APR – Annual Percentage Rate

ARM – Adjustable Rate Mortgage

ASO – Administrative Services Only

CCRS – Capital Cost Recovery System

CD – Certificate of Deposit

CERCLA – Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act

CFR – Code of Federal Regulations

CHAMPUS – Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services

COBRA – Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA)

CODA – Cash or Deferred Arrangement

COLA – Cost-of-living adjustment

COLI – Corporate Owned Life Insurance

CPI – Consumer Price Index

CPT – Current Procedural Terminology

CRA – Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) (

DOJ – U.S. Department of Justice (

DOL – U.S. Department of Labor (

DOMA – Defense of Marriage Act
See also: Benefits for Same-Sex Couples; U.S. v. Windsor, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013)

DOT – U.S. Department of the Treasury

DRA – Deficit Reduction Act of 1984

DRG – Diagnostic-related group

E&P – Earnings and Profits

EAP – Employee Assistance Programs

ECU – European Currency Unit

EDGAR – Electronic data gathering, analysis and retrieval

EDP – Electronic data processing

EEO – Equal Employment Opportunity (see Affirmative Action)

EEOC – Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

EFTA – Electronic Fund Transfer Act (1978)

EFTS – Electronic funds transfer system

EPA – Environmental Protection Agency

ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act

ERTA – Economic Recovery Tax Act (1981)

ESOP – Employee Stock Ownership Plans

FASB – Financial Accounting Standards Board

FCRA – Fair Credit Reporting Act

FICA – Federal Insurance Contributions Act (Social Security and Medicare)

FLSA – The Fair Labor Standards Act

FMLA – The Family and Medical Leave Act

FUTA – Federal Unemployment Tax Act (unemployment insurance)

GAAP – Generally accepted accounting principles

GAAS – Generally accepted auditing standards

GAO – General Accounting Office

GIC – guaranteed interest contract

HCFA – Health Care Financing Administration

HHS – Department of Health and Human Services (

HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996

HMO – Health Maintenance Organization

HR – Human Resources

INS – Immigration and Naturalization Service, a unit of the Department of Justice

IRA – Individual Retirement Accounts

IRC – Internal Revenue Code

IRS – Internal Revenue Service

ISO – incentive stock option

LAN – Local Area Network

LTC – Long-Term Care

LTD – Lond-Term Disability

MEPPAA – Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (1980)

MEWA – Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangement

MHPA – The Mental Health Parity Act

MSAs (see Medical Savings Accounts)

NASDAQ – Nat’l Ass’n of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation

NLRB – National Labor Relations Board

NMHPA – The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996

NOL – Net operating loss

OASDI – old-age, survivors and disability income

OSH Act – Occupational Safety and Health Act

OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

PBGC – Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

PBM – Pharmacy Benefit Manager

P/E – price/earnings (as in P/E ratio)

PIN – personal identification number

POS – Point of Service health plan

PPO – Preferred Provider Organization

PPS – professional practices section

PWBA – Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration

QTIP – qualified terminable interest property

RBRVS – resource-based relative values scale

RFP – request for proposal

RICO – Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (1970)

ROA – return on assets

ROE – return on equity

ROI – return on investment

SBA – Small Business Administration (

SBIC – small business investment corporation

SBU – strategic business unit

SEP – Simplified Employee Pension plan

SEPPAA – Single-Employer Pension Plan Amendments Act (1986)

SIC – Standard Industrial Classification

SIMPLE – Simplified Employee Pension Plan

SIP – supplemental income plan

SMSA – standard metropolitan statistical area

SPD – Summary Plan Description

SSA – Social Security Administration (

SSI – Supplemental Security Income

STD – Short-Term Disability

TAMRA – Technical and Miscellaneous Revenue Act

TEFRA – Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (1982)

TIN – taxpayer identification number

Title VII – Civil Rights Act of 1964

TNC – transnational corporation

TPA – Third Party Administrator

TRA ’86 – Tax Reform Act of 1986

USC – United States Code

USERRA – Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994

VA – Veterans Administration

VAT – value-added tax

VEBA – Voluntary Employee’s Beneficiary Association

VRM – variable rate mortgage

WHCRA – The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 – The Business Tools you need. Developed by leading HR experts.