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ERIC Challenges Oregon Reporting Requirements for Retirement Plans

On October 12, 2017, McDermott Will & Emery filed a lawsuit filed on behalf of The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) challenging new reporting requirements under Oregon law as applicable to retirement plans subject to ERISA.

OregonSaves is the state of Oregon’s state-run retirement program that automatically enrolls employees of employers into individual retirement arrangements (IRAs). Unless an employee opts out of OregonSaves, a portion of each paycheck is added to an IRA account in the employee’s name. Oregon is the first state to establish an auto-enrollment IRA program.

An employer that offers a qualified plan is not required to participate in OregonSaves, but only if it has a valid and current certificate of exemption. Obtaining this exemption depends upon reporting to the state of Oregon regarding an employer’s qualified plan. For employers with 100 or more employees in Oregon, this filing is due by November 15, 2017. The ERIC lawsuit alleges that ERISA’s express preemption provision preempts this reporting requirement.

This is the latest action by a state to impose reporting requirements on ERISA covered plans. Previously the state of Vermont (and other states) sought to require ERISA medical benefit plans to report their claims experience for purposes of compiling a so-called All Payor Claims Database (APCD). In the 2016 case of Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, the US Supreme Court held that ERISA preempted Vermont’s APCD reporting requirement.

ERIC supports state auto-enrollment programs intended to increase access to retirement savings plans if such programs do not infringe on employers that already provide ERISA-governed retirement plans. Tracking and complying with additional reporting burdens imposed by state-run retirement plans on a state by state basis would be unduly burdensome for employers.

© 2020 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume VII, Number 286


About this Author

Andrew C. Liazos Executive Compensation Attorney McDermott Will Boston

Andrew C. Liazos is a partner in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP based in the Firm’s Boston office. Andrew heads the Firm's Executive Compensation Group and the Boston Employee Benefits Practice.

Andrew regularly represents Fortune 500 companies, public companies, large closely held businesses and compensation committees on all aspects of executive compensation, ERISA fiduciary matters, employee benefits in business transactions and bankruptcy, and employee stock ownership plans. He also counsels executives in employment agreement and joint...

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Sarah G. Raaii, McDermott Will Emery, Chicago, International Financial Services Lawyer, Regulation matters Attorney

Sarah G. Raaii is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery and is based in the Firm’s Chicago office. She focuses her practice on employee benefits matters.

Sarah previously worked full-time with in-house attorneys and federal and state lobbyists at an international financial services corporation. She was most recently selected as a National Economic Council legal intern at the White House, where she worked on benefits regulation and policy.

Sarah received her J.D. with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in May 2015. Her writing earned the best brief award, and her oral advocacy earned a semifinalist award in the 2015 Kaufman Memorial Securities Law Moot Court Competition. Sarah also served as a contributing editor for the Iowa Law Review, in which her legal scholarship was published. During law school, she received the Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence in Legislation.

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