The ERISA Industry Committee Lauds Health Care and Retirement Benefits Provisions in Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023

WASHINGTON, DC – December 23, 2022 – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today hailed many health care and retirement benefits provisions included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 (also known as the “Omnibus”) passed today by the U.S. House of Representatives and earlier this week by the U.S. Senate.

“We are pleased that Congress has supported on a bipartisan basis many of ERIC’s commonsense recommendations, which together will enable employers to enhance health care and retirement benefit plans for millions of employees, retirees, and their families.  In particular, we are pleased that the legislation eases administrative burdens, reduces costs, improves access to quality health care, and supports increased retirement savings and support for student loans and emergency savings,” said James Gelfand, ERIC President.  “These health care provisions and SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 are significant wins for employers, employees, and retirees.”

Gelfand cited these provisions as particularly helpful to health care and retirement plan sponsors and the employees, retirees, and their dependents who count on those benefit plans:

Health Care

  • Telehealth 1st-Dollar Coverage
    • This allows employers the flexibility to offer telehealth services pre-deductible to families with a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account.
  • Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Wellbeing Act
    • This House Energy and Commerce bipartisan legislation aligns with many of the policies proposed in ERIC’s “Prioritizing Employee Mental Health: Solutions for Congress, and should improve access to quality mental health services.  The Omnibus includes an expansion of the collaborative care model, creation of a behavioral health crisis coordinating office, more focus on development and collection of quality and safety data on mental and behavioral health, creation of a center of excellence for eating disorders, improvements to opioid treatment policies, and cross-training for providers to enable more primary care sites to address mental health.

The  SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 measures included in the Omnibus reflect many ERIC recommendations outlined in an October 25 letter to congressional negotiators, such as to:

  • Support increased retirement savings by allowing employers to make matching contributions for employee student loan payments.  
  • Allow employers to facilitate emergency savings for working Americans. 
  • Continue to permit overfunded pension plans to use assets to fund retiree health care and life insurance benefits. 
  • End unnecessary annual increases in variable-rate Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums. 
  • Create a Retirement Savings Lost and Found Database to help retirees find pension benefits. 
  • Clarify the rules for recoupment of inadvertent retirement plan overpayments to innocent participants. 
  • Update the cap for transferring former employees’ retirement funds to an IRA from $5,000 to $7,000. 
  • Provide additional savings opportunities for retirement by increasing the “catch-up” contribution limits for workers close to retirement and relaxing the minimum distribution requirements from retirement plans.  
  • Ease administrative burdens on plan sponsors and provide them sufficient flexibility and realistic implementation timeframes to meet regulatory requirements. 

“The millions of workers, retirees, and families that receive benefits from ERIC’s large employer member companies will benefit from this legislation, and ERIC thanks the policymakers that championed these important reforms,” said Gelfand. “Because our member companies continue to design and provide innovative benefits tailored to meet the needs of their workforces, ERIC looks forward to working with the 118th Congress and federal regulators on additional measures that will improve access to high quality, affordable health care, no matter where someone lives or works, and to foster improved employee wellbeing and financial security.”


All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to

About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.