Congress rejects Labor Dept. rule for state retirement plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has voted to overturn an Obama-era rule aimed at helping states create retirement savings programs for low-income workers.

With millions lacking access to retirement savings plans at their jobs, some states have been working to fill the void.

The states are requiring employers to automatically enroll workers in individual retirement accounts sponsored by the state and managed by investment professionals. An Obama-era Labor Department regulation gave states the green light.

The Senate voted 50 to 49 on Wednesday to reject the rule, sending the measure to the president.

Republicans complain that the state plans would be exempt from federal protections that apply to private plans and that automatic enrollment gives state-run accounts an unfair competitive advantage.

Democrats say the GOP-led measure jeopardizes states’ efforts to help workers.