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Proposed regulations on state-based retirement plans for private-sector workers (January 2016)

Date Published: 
Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Pension Rights Center submitted comments on the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed regulations that would allow the creation of certain state-legislated retirement savings plans that would be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

The Center notes that “uncertainty about the effects and impacts of ERISA coverage, preemption, and regulatory effects on these initiatives has slowed their adoption and implementation.” The Department’s proposed regulations and new interpretative bulletin “provide essential guidance to state governments seeking to stimulate better retirement savings rates among their citizens. We believe that the regulations correctly and prudentially interpret ERISA and will provide a roadmap for states on how to structure new retirement initiatives in ways that promote retirement savings, provide meaningful consumer protections, and are consistent with the language and intent of ERISA. The regulations will foster a healthy federalism in which states and the federal government work collectively and in cooperation to address one of our nation’s most pressing social and economic problems, inadequate retirement financial security for working men and women.”