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Supreme Court agrees to hear case on church-affiliated defined benefit retirement plans ERISA responsibilities

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that they will take up a number of cases which challenge whether church-affiliated defined benefit plan sponsors must by covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The date for arguments has not been set as of Monday.

California and Illinois among states looking to make saving for retirement mandatory

Ben Steverman writes in Bloomberg that five states have plans over the next couple of years to introduce legislation which will require its citizens to save for retirement. He writes:

Now five states, where one in five Americans lives, are attempting a similar feat, this time with retirement. The goal in California, Oregon, Illinois, Maryland, and Connecticut over the next few years is to give nearly every worker the chance to save for retirement at work. Currently, 36 percent of U.S. private-sector workers don’t have access to a pension or 401(k)-style plan on the job, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts. Even those who have a plan at work don’t always find it easy to sign up. As a result, 55 percent of workers aren’t saving for retirement at work. Young workers and Latinos are the least likely to have access to workplace retirement options. The states are trying to get more workers saving for retirement by requiring employers either to offer a plan to workers or to connect them to a portable, state-run retirement option. “It is an ambitious step that is part of a growing national movement aimed at protecting millions of Americans who are on track to retire into poverty,” California State Controller Betty Yee said in a speech earlier this month.

No new SEC regulations expected before the Trump administration takes office

Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White stated in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee that she did not believe the SEC will attempt to rush through regulations before Donald Trump is inaugurated in January. Ms. White said: “I don’t see any last-minute rushes. I intend to carry out the agenda I released in February 2016 as much as I can. I don’t think there’s consensus to move forward on the current commission.” This means new rules on investment advice standards will have to wait until the new administration is in office.