California’s Auto-Retirement Program Upheld by Federal Judge

March 29, 2019, 8:14 PM

California’s retirement program for employees who don’t have access to employer-sponsored benefits survived a legal challenge when a federal judge found the program isn’t barred by federal benefits law.

The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program—CalSavers—isn’t preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in Sacramento held March 29. Because the program only applies to employers without existing retirement plans, no ERISA plans are “interfered” with because of the law, the judge said.

“Eligible employers are not required to make any promises to employees—they simply remit payroll deducted payments to the Program and otherwise have no discretion ...

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