An industry trade group has settled its lawsuit against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board – but the issue raised wouldn’t seem to be settled yet.
The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) had filed a lawsuit Oct. 12 against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board, saying that a provision of the state’s OregonSaves retirement program for private-sector employees obstructs ERISA, specifically the employer reporting requirement imposed by the program.
In its complaint, ERIC had argued that ERISA preempted the OregonSaves reporting requirements imposed on employers that already provide an ERISA retirement plan to their employees in Oregon.
The settlement doesn’t exactly resolve the issue – employers that offer an ERISA plan were, and still are, exempt from the OregonSaves program, though they are still expected to document that exemption. ERIC agreed to dismiss the suit in exchange for an agreement that ERIC members need only inform the State of Oregon, if it asks, that they are ERIC members, and then Oregon will verify their membership with ERIC to confirm their exemption from OregonSaves.
In the meantime, ERIC says it 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.
OregonSaves was the first of the state-run retirement IRA programs for private sector workers to come online. As of March 1, 362 employers had registered to facilitate OregonSaves for their employees, including 135 that have joined “early,” ahead of their scheduled wave, according to an update from the Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB). Wave 1 opened in October for employers with more than 100 employees, with the second wave slated to open in April for employers with 50-99 workers.