The biggest threat posed by state-run retirement plans to retirement savers was the lack of ERISA protection. In order to reduce costs to the states seeking to run these plans, the late Obama administration unilaterally decided to exempt state-run retirement plans for private employees from ERISA regulations. ERISA, as written, specifically exempted municipal retirement plans covering public employees. Nothing in the law removed ERISA protection for private employees.

Fortunately, Trump, the House, and the Senate, in one of the few actions they've been able to act in unison on, saw this danger and reinstated ERISA safeguards to these nascent plans.

Sure, Trump restored ERISA Protection, but, as Fi360's Senior Policy Analyst Duane Thompson recently told me, that wasn't the only problem with state-run retirement plans for private employees (see "Exclusive Interview with Duane Thompson: Expect the Fiduciary Rule to Go Live on June 9th,", May 16, 2017). There's an entire laundry list of problems, including a potential showstopper that won't stop the show until it's too late (for somebody).

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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 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 ( Twitter (