March 29, 2018

An association of large employers settled their suit against the head of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board that alleged a state retirement program’s reporting requirements were preempted by federal law, agreeing to a system for handling how companies will confirm that they are exempt.

The ERISA Industry Committee, or ERIC, took issue with the state-run retirement plan program OregonSaves, which required employers to periodically file a certificate of exemption if they offered a retirement plan that let them out of the program. The October complaint against State Treasurer Tobias Read said Oregon can’t require employers to report plan activities as that is “governed exclusively by federal law.”

The agreement filed in Oregon federal court on Monday does not determine whether OregonSaves’ reporting requirement is preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Instead, it provides a means for exemption to be confirmed, according to the settlement.

The OregonSaves pilot program was established in 2017 and is aimed at providing workers who don’t have access to an employer retirement plan an option to save, according to Oregon state treasurer’s office.

“Everybody agrees that more savings by more people is a good thing, and OregonSaves is an important addition to the retirement savings arena,” State Treasurer Tobias Read said in a statement. “We applaud businesses that offer retirement plans to workers. They are part of a solution to the goal of more savings and we were pleased to work collaboratively to reach this settlement.”

Tobias Read is represented by Sarah Weston of the state attorney general's office and Karen L. Handorf and Julie Goldsmith Reiser of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The complete article can be accessed here.