There is a “retirement crisis” in America. Contributing to

this crisis is the fact that millions of Americans do not have

access to a retirement savings plan through their employers.

States, concerned with the economic stability of their citizens,

have created laws that require private sector employers to

implement state-administered payroll deduction IRA programs

in their workplaces. Even though many states are currently

debating whether to adopt state payroll deduction programs,

this Article will focus on Oregon, Illinois, and California, which

have enacted laws along those lines.

One obstruction to wider adoption of such state measures

has been uncertainty about the effect of the Employee

Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) broad preemption of

state laws that “relate to” private sector employee benefit plans

and its prohibition on requiring employers to offer ERISA plans.

To remedy this problem, the Department of Labor (DOL) has

published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which

would make it clear that state payroll deduction savings

programs with automatic enrollment conforming to the safe

harbor in this proposal do not establish ERISA plans.