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Resolutions introduced in Senate to undo ‘Secure Choice’ rules

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced resolutions Monday that would block Department of Labor safe-harbor rules for states' private-sector retirement savings programs. The House of Representatives approved similar measures Feb. 15.

More than 30 states have considered “Secure Choice” state legislation to create programs for private-sector employees without access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan, and eight have programs in development. In 2016, the Labor Department addressed concerns over possible federal pre-emption by issuing safe-harbor rules for states in August and for cities in December.

Mr. Hatch said in a statement that the DOL safe-harbor rules “are yet another example of the previous administration's preference for government solutions,” and called instead for voluntary, private-sector solutions. His committee approved a package of retirement savings reforms in the last congressional session that would expand the use of multiple-employer plans, and it is expected to revisit the reforms this session.