“At the risk of stating the obvious: People are much more likely to save for retirement when they can do it automatically at work. How much more likely? Ten times, according to a study released this week.

But someone apparently forgot to tell U.S. Congress and the White House, because both are moving to block millions of workers from getting that opportunity. Any day now, the Senate is expected to approve a resolution – already passed by the House – that throws a roadblock in front of states preparing to offer government-sponsored, low-cost retirement saving plans to people who do not have them at work.

President Donald Trump has pledged to sign the resolution – but the Senate could do something important for the future retirement security of millions by rejecting it. In fact, all it needs to do is – nothing.

If the Senate does not act, a ruling issued last year by the Department of Labor (DoL) goes forward. It makes it easier for states to launch programs that would require employers without their own plans to set up payroll deductions for automatic contributions to a publicly run IRA account. The rule exempts state plans from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) if they meet certain conditions. That provides important reassurance to employers participating in the plan, who worry about compliance cost and legal liability under ERISA.”

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