As directed by President Barack Obama, the Department of Labor filed Tuesday with the Office of Management and Budget its proposed rule designed to make it easier for states to offer their own retirement plans without running afoul of ERISA.
The action was noted in a filing on OMB’s website.
During the White House’s Conference on Aging, held in July, Obama directed Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to publish a proposed rule to “provide a clear path forward for the states to create retirement savings programs,” and to do so by year-end.
The rule, Obama said, should clarify how states can move forward with state-based plans, including with respect to requirements to automatically enroll employees and for employers to offer coverage.
Obama noted his disappointment in Congress’ failure to act in approving a national automatic IRA program for workers without access to workplace retirement plans. He noted that “the good news is that states are stepping up” and “we want to do everything we can to support these efforts.”
The president’s fiscal 2016 budget proposal set aside $6.5 million in funding for DOL, along with waiver authority, to support state efforts to implement state-based automatic enrollment IRAs or 401(k)-type programs, according to the National Association of Plan Advisors, a branch of the American Retirement Association.
DOL’s rule proposal filed at OMB is likely “to speed adoption of the state-based retirement initiatives underway in more than half the states, most of which have an explicit acknowledgement of the intent to avoid running afoul of ERISA’s pre-emption.”