ERISA sits like an heirloom in your grandparents' musty basement. It reeks of the mold of over-regulation, but it has such powerful meaning, it's really hard to simply throw away. We can try some quick fix patches but, really, how many modifications can you make on a buggy whip so it remains useful in a universe of driverless cars? 

This cornerstone piece of legislation was created in an era when pensions dominated the retirement landscape. Today, pensions have been recognized for the folly that they are, but we've already covered that ground. They're rarely seen in the private arena, and then only as the benefits legacy of the largest and oldest corporations. Today, the 401(k) plan dominates the retirement benefit world, and ERISA needs to be fundamentally restructured to fit into this new world. Don't take my word for it, see what others say in "These Six Structural Changes to ERISA Can Improve Employee Retirement Readiness." 

When we put this all together and peer into the crystal ball, we see two possible paths for the future of ERISA. And, unlike Robert Frost's poem, we should be comforted to know as we approach this fork in the road, neither choice is less taken than the other.

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Christopher Carosa

Chris Carosa has been writing a weekly article and monthly column for BenefitsPRO online and BenefitsPRO Magazine since 2011 and is a nationally recognized award-winning writer, researcher and speaker. He’s written seven books, including From Cradle to Retire: The Child IRA; Hey! What’s My Number? – How to Increase the Odds You Will Retire in Comfort; A Pizza The Action: Everything I Ever Learned About Business I Learned By Working in a Pizza Stand at the Erie County Fair; and the widely acclaimed 401(k) Fiduciary Solutions. Carosa is also Chief Contributing Editor of the authoritative trade journal FiduciaryNews.com and publisher of the Mendon-Honeoye Falls-Lima Sentinel, a weekly community newspaper he founded in 1989. Currently serving as President of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and with more than 1,000 articles published in various publications, he appears regularly in the national media. A “parallel” entrepreneur, he actively runs a handful of businesses, including a small boutique investment adviser, providing hands-on experience for his writing. A trained astrophysicist, he also holds an MBA and has been designated a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor. Share your thoughts and story ideas with him through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/christophercarosa/)and Twitter (https://twitter.com/ChrisCarosa).