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ICI Applauds Senate Vote to Restore Consumer Protections for Retirement Savers

Washington, DC, May 3, 2017Investment Company Institute (ICI) President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens made the following statement applauding the US Senate passage of H.J. Res. 66, which will roll back a Department of Labor rule that would exempt state-run retirement savings programs for private-sector employees from the strong saver protections of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The House passed the legislation, introduced by Representative Tim Walberg (R-MI), on February 15. Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) championed companion legislation (S.J. Res. 32) in the Senate. A similar resolution signed into law by President Trump in April restored the same protections for those enrolled in city-run plans.

“The Senate has taken a positive step to ensure that savers in state-run retirement plans have the same strong consumer protections that workers with private-sector employer retirement plans have relied on for more than four decades.

“Today’s vote undoes a flawed Department of Labor decision to exempt state-run retirement plans from ERISA. ICI’s research shows that these plans rest on shaky economic foundations. Denying ERISA protections to workers—who are automatically enrolled—would limit their legal remedies to fight against high fees or mismanagement of the plans.

“ICI strongly supports efforts to further improve America’s retirement system and will continue working with Congress to advance national solutions to expand plan coverage, such as making available open multiple employer plans (open MEPs) and simpler plans with less burdensome administrative requirements.”

ICI sent letters on February 27 and April 25 to all senators urging support for H.J. Res 66.