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Journal

Pace Law Review

Retirement Security Law

Supervision

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A Failure To Supervise: How The Bureaucracy And The Courts Abandoned Their Intended Roles Under Erisa, Lauren R. Roth Jul 2014

A Failure To Supervise: How The Bureaucracy And The Courts Abandoned Their Intended Roles Under Erisa, Lauren R. Roth

Pace Law Review

This Article addresses how courts failed to adequately supervise employers administering pension plans before ERISA. Relying on a number of different legal theories—from an initial theory that pensions were gratuities offered by employers to the recognition that pension promises could create contractual rights—the courts repeatedly found ways to allow employers to promise much and provide little to workers expecting retirement security. In Section III, this Article addresses how Congress failed to create an effective structure for strong bureaucratic enforcement and the bureaucratic agencies with enforcement responsibilities failed to fulfill those functions. Finally, in Section IV, this Article discusses how the …