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Courts

ERISA Industry Committee sues to stop OregonSaves reporting demands

The ERISA Industry Committee in Washington is seeking an injunction against new reporting requirements from the Oregon Retirement Savings Board in a complaint filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Salem, Ore.

The national association advocating for employer benefits issues argues in the complaint that OregonSaves, the state-run mandatory retirement plan for private-sector employees, has reporting requirements that are pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Oregon state law requires large employers who already provide a retirement plan to formally request an exemption from OregonSaves and file paperwork every three years to qualify for the exemption. The first reporting deadline is Nov. 15, as the program moves from pilot phase to full implementation.

Oregon's automatic Roth individual retirement account program for employers not offering retirement plans launched this year with two pilot programs. By next year, employers with 50 or more workers will be enrolled, and all workplaces will be in three years. By its 10th anniversary, it is projected to manage $5 billion in retirement savings for 500,000 participants.

"We fully support increasing access to retirement plans for individuals who are not provided a plan through their employer. However, we just don't support when they infringe on other ERISA plans," said Will Hansen, ERIC's senior vice president of retirement and compensation policy, in an interview.

Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read, who chairs the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, said his office is considering legal options before responding. "The lawsuit does not change the current trajectory for OregonSaves. We are on track to open the registration window on Oct. 15 for the first wave of employers," he said.