Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wooten on the History of ERISA, Continued

A Legislative and Political History of ERISA Preemption, Part 3, is a recently posted paper by James A. Wooten, University at Buffalo Law School that is also appearing in volume 15 (2008) of the Journal of Pension Benefits. Here is the abstract:
The preemption language in section 514(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is exceedingly broad. The preemption language in the law ERISA replaced - the Welfare and Pension Plans Disclosure Act of 1958 (WPPDA) - was exceedingly narrow. There were four stages in Congress's journey from the narrowly circumscribed preemption of state law under the WPPDA to the sweeping suppression of state law under ERISA. This article covers the first three stages, tracing the evolution of ERISA's preemption language from the enactment of the WPPDA to the end of the Ninety-Second Congress. The next article in this series will describe the legislative history of the preemption provision in the Ninety-Third Congress, which enacted ERISA.

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