09.06.22

Murray Marks ERISA Anniversary, Calls for Congress to Confirm Lisa Gomez to Key Role Protecting Families’ Employer-Sponsored Health and Retirement Benefits

The number of participants in employer-sponsored benefit plans covered by ERISA protections has tripled since it was first signed into law

 

Senator Murray: “Employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits are a financial cornerstone for over a hundred million families across our country, and at a time when so many people are already struggling with higher costs for so many essentials, we owe it to them to make sure our employee benefits agency is fully staffed.”

  

(Washington, D.C.) –Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), introduced a resolution commemorating the 48th anniversary of the signing into law of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)—a landmark law which protects the interests of people who participate in employer-sponsored benefit plans, like health care plans or retirement plans. Senator Murray also called for the Senate to finally confirm Lisa Gomez as the head of the Employee Benefits Security Administration, which plays a key role enforcing ERISA protections.  

 

“On the 48th anniversary of this law, it is as critical as ever we have a strong leader interpreting and enforcing the ERISA protections that have for decades helped workers and retirees get the benefits they are entitled to. Employer-sponsored health and retirement benefits are a financial cornerstone for over a hundred million families across our country, and at a time when so many people are already struggling with higher costs for so many essentials, we owe it to them to make sure our employee benefits agency is fully staffed. That’s why on this anniversary of ERISA, I’m pushing to confirm Lisa Gomez, a strong and abundantly qualified candidate, to lead the Employee Benefits Security Administration,” said Senator Murray.

 

 

Full text of the resolution below and PDF available HERE.

 

Commemorating the 48th anniversary of the signing into law of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, recognizing the importance it plays in protecting the interest of participants in employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries, and recognizing the need to encourage more workers to participate in such plans to save for their retirement.

 

Whereas September 2, 2022, marks the 48th anniversary of the signing into law of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., referred to in this preamble as “ERISA”);

 

Whereas the purpose of ERISA is to protect the interests of participants in employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries;

 

Whereas, since ERISA become law, the number of employee benefit plans has nearly tripled from approximately 300,000 in 1974 to 730,000 in 2019;

 

Whereas, since that same time period, the number of participants in employee benefit plans has increased over 200 percent from approximately 45 million in 1974 to 142 million in 2019;

 

Whereas, employee benefit plans under ERISA continue to be an important factor affecting the stability of employment and the well-being and financial security of millions of employees and their dependents;

 

Whereas, despite the enormous growth in employee benefit plans, only 56 percent of workers participate in such plans;

 

Whereas, Congress is working to pass comprehensive retirement legislation to encourage more employers to offer robust employee benefit plans and help more employees to participate in such plans;

 

Whereas, ERISA will play a critical role in protecting these additional participants and their beneficiaries: Now, therefore, be it

 

Resolved, That the Senate—

 

(1) recognizes the importance the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., referred to in this resolution as “ERISA”) plays in protecting the interests of participants in employee benefit plans and their beneficiaries; and

 

(2) recognizes the work that still remains to be done to encourage more workers to participate in such plans to save for their retirement.

 

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