ERISA Litigation Roundup: Ninth Circuit Holds State IRA Plans Not Preempted by ERISA

In a matter of first impression, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that ERISA does not preempt a California law that created a state-managed retirement program for certain private employers. Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program, 2021 WL 1805758 (9th Cir. May 6, 2021).

The plaintiff, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA), argued that CalSavers, a state-administered IRA program intended to encourage retirement savings, was preempted by ERISA. The HJTA contended, among other things, that CalSavers was necessarily preempted because Congress repealed a Department of Labor (DOL) rule that exempted state-run IRA programs from ERISA in 2016.

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