Erisa Failures and the Erosion of Workers' Rights: The Urgent Need to Protect Private and Public Workers' Pensions and Benefits

34 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2012 Last revised: 15 Feb 2012

See all articles by James P. Allen

James P. Allen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Richard A. Bales

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law

Date Written: February 6, 2012

Abstract

On March 11, 2011, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin signed into law a bill that eliminated most collective bargaining rights for the state’s public-sector workers. Many other cash-strapped states followed Wisconsin’s lead and introduced or enacted similar restraints on the rights of their workers. Thousands of public workers, whose only means of protecting their rights rested in their ability to collectively bargain, suddenly found their retirement benefits in jeopardy. This truth highlighted the lack of protections for public worker benefits similar to those of the private sector. However, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, enacted for that purpose, has failed to secure these benefits. This article seeks to provide a broad overview of the crisis facing the pension and benefits system in the United States and offers some possible solutions. More importantly, the goal is to spur discourse on the urgent need to protect the benefits of all workers, public and private.

Keywords: erisa, pension, underfund, underfunded benefits, retirement

Suggested Citation

Allen, James P. and Bales, Richard A., Erisa Failures and the Erosion of Workers' Rights: The Urgent Need to Protect Private and Public Workers' Pensions and Benefits (February 6, 2012). Albany Law Review, Vol. 75, pp. 105-134, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2000182

James P. Allen

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Richard A. Bales (Contact Author)

Ohio Northern University - Pettit College of Law ( email )

525 South Main Street
Ada, OH 45810
United States
419-772-2205 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.onu.edu/node/3073

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