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Washington

Preston Rutledge to be nominated as EBSA chief

Preston Rutledge

President Donald Trump intends to nominate Preston Rutledge to serve as assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration, the White House confirmed late Thursday.

Mr. Rutledge has served as tax and benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee since 2011. Before joining the Republican staff, he worked with the Internal Revenue Service's tax exempt and government entities division in Washington. He has also worked in private practice as an employee benefits counselor and litigator.

The EBSA position has been vacant since the departure of Phyllis Borzi in January at the end of the Obama administration. Ms. Borzi oversaw development of the fiduciary rule currently under review by the Department of Labor, which has proposed to extend the transition period and reconsider other provisions.

The EBSA oversees 700,000 private-sector retirement plans, and nearly 2.5 million health plans and other welfare benefit plans.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement that Mr. Rutledge "has put forward innovative ideas to effectively tackle our nation's pension issues and worked to update the tax code to help ensure more Americans are financially equipped to pay for their healthcare or save for retirment. "President Trump couldn't have made a stronger pick to lead the Employee Benefits Security Administration," Mr. Hatch said.

Michael Kreps with Groom Law Group in Washington, who served as the top pension aide to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and worked with Mr. Rutledge on many issues, said: "I have known and worked with Preston for years, and he is a dedicated civil servant that cares a great deal about getting policy right. If he is nominated, I am confident the Senate will move swiftly to confirm him."