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Man with briefcase and law books While the regulatory burden in complying is significant, ERISA offers clear remedies and access to information for employees participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans and provides a safeguard against mismanagement.

To understand the scope and importance of ERISA, it is helpful to consider how private pension plans were regulated prior to its passage. Tax-favored status of employer-based retirement plans has deep roots. Early versions of the 1920s-era Revenue Acts permitted employers to deduct pension contributions from income and allowed the funds to grow tax-free.

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