Large employers and business groups have formed a new organization to protect provisions in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that limit states’ ability to regulate employee benefits.

The new National Coalition on Benefits, Washington, “is dedicated to working with Congress to maintain employers’ ability to provide uniform health and retirement benefits to employees and retirees across state and local lines, and to ensure that federal health reform initiatives preserve Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefits,” organizers say in a statement on the NCB Web site, at Document Link

“Don’t erode what works to fix what’s broken,” organizers declare.

The founding business groups include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington, and the National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, as well as benefits groups such as the American Benefits Council, Washington.

The founding employers include AT&T Corp., Bedminster, N.J.; General Motors Corp., Detroit; and United Parcel Services Inc., Atlanta.

The members of the NCB “all rely on the national preemption standard established by the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974, and we all understand how important it is to protect that standard from being weakened or eroded,” American Benefits Council President James Klein says about the launch of the coalition.