For Immediate Release
Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) applauds the Trump Administration for today’s executive order promoting programs that enhance retirement security and savings and addressing the high costs for employers to offer a retirement plan.
Representing exclusively large employers that both sponsor retirement plans and offer innovative financial wellbeing programs, ERIC looks forward to working with the Administration on policies that support the ability of employers to administer benefit plans uniformly, and without needless paperwork and administrative burdens.
Specifically, ERIC calls on the Administration to do all it can to strengthen the federal rules that allow employers to offer retirement plans, ERISA, calling out states and localities for attempts to regulate health and retirement plans. Earlier this month, ERIC filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle for mandating the level of health coverage an employer must provide to employees. ERIC previously sued the Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB) over the employer-reporting requirement imposed by Oregon’s state-run mandatory retirement plan, OregonSaves. ERIC and the ORSB settled in March of this year.
ERIC urges the Administration to facilitate the ability of employers to communicate with their plan participants electronically, rather than in paper form. Electronic delivery would allow employers to redirect substantial resources to other benefit programs and reduce fees charged to plan participants, as well as to improve the quality of communications with interactive explanatory features.
ERIC members provide health and retirement benefits to millions of workers and families across the country. Part of the administration of a retirement plan includes locating plan participants who are no longer employed by the company. ERIC ask that the Administration develop guidance related to the challenge of employers locating missing retirement plan participants. Employers engage in a multitude of search practices to locate missing participants without official guidance from federal agencies on the exact processes they should utilize. Such guidance will provide plan administrators with a roadmap to follow and will provide U.S. Labor Department investigators with appropriate guidelines on the applicable legal standards and factual assumptions.
“ERIC supports policies that increase access to and the affordability of retirement plans, and we are pleased that the Administration is taking important steps to ensure that employers are more easily able to provide the best benefits for their specific workforces,” said Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, ERIC. “While the Administration is working to expand access, we ask it to also protect ERISA preemption from states that are actively trying to impose burdens on employers as plan sponsors.”