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ERIC settles with Oregon, drops lawsuit on reporting demands

The ERISA Industry Committee has settled and dismissed its lawsuit against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, which oversees the state's new Roth IRA program for employees of private companies that do not offer retirement plans.

ERIC had sued the board in U.S. District Court in Portland seeking an injunction preventing the board from requiring Oregon-based companies that already offer a retirement plan to file certificates of exemption to avoid having to register to administer the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, according to the complaint filed in October. ERIC argued the reporting requirements are pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Under the terms of the settlement, ERIC members may inform the state, if asked, that they are ERIC members and Oregon officials will verify their membership with ERIC to confirm their exemption from OregonSaves, the name of Oregon's new plan, according to an ERIC news release.

"In the meantime, ERIC will continue to work with the appropriate federal regulatory agencies to seek changes to existing reporting forms required under ERISA that can provide Oregon and other states the information they desire," the release states.

Oregon Treasurer Tobias Read, who serves as chairman of the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, said in a separate release: "We applaud businesses that offer retirement plans to workers. They are part of the solution to the goal of more saving, and we were pleased to work collaboratively to reach this settlement."

OregonSaves completed a pilot phase in 2017 and began rolling out statewide in January with workers in the program contributing a total of $2 million. The plan will be rolled out over three years, with rolling deadlines based on employer size. Eligible companies can sign up earlier.