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The ESOP Association Welcomes Nomination of Preston Rutledge to Head EBSA

The ESOP Association is encouraged to learn that Preston Rutledge has been nominated as the Assistant Secretary for the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA).

If his nomination is approved, The Association is confident that Mr. Rutledge’s experience in public and private life will serve him well, and will result in fair treatment for ESOPs and employee owned companies. As the Senior Tax & Benefits Counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Rutledge is well acquainted with the staff and activities at EBSA. And as a practicing employee benefits litigator and counselor, he has seen first-hand how tax and benefit regulations are applied in the workplace.

Most importantly, if Mr. Rutledge’s nomination is approved, EBSA will be led by an individual familiar with the commitment of the Trump Administration to regulate business in a manner that is not burdensome to law-abiding corporations.

“We have always respected EBSA’s role in ensuring fairness and regulatory oversight for ESOPs, but over the years, EBSA has not always demonstrated a respect for ESOPs and the role they play in the American economy,” said ESOP Association President J. Michael Keeling. “Research shows that ESOPs are an exceptional vehicle for distributing wealth more fairly among those who help to create it, and for helping workers prepare for retirement—frequently with no out-of-pocket expense on their part.”

The Association is hopeful that Mr. Rutledge will also reflect the strong endorsement of ESOPs that was set forth in the 2016 National Republican Party Platform. Page eight of that platform states:

Republicans believe that the employer-employee relationship of the future will be built upon employee empowerment and workplace flexibility. We therefore endorse employee stock ownership plans that enable workers to become capitalists, expand the realm of private property, and energize a free enterprise economy.

“We are hopeful that Mr. Rutledge will be appointed quickly, and will provide a fair and balanced approach to ESOPs that has been missing for too long from EBSA’s dealings with ESOP companies, and that is consistent with the Republican Party Platform’s endorsement of ESOPs,” said Keeling.

About the ESOP Association

The ESOP Association is America’s largest employer-sponsored advocacy and education association focused on employee stock ownership plans. Founded in 1978, the Association seeks to enhance federal laws governing ESOPs, provide members with expert information, and fund research via the Employee Ownership Foundation (an affiliate).

The ESOP Association is a national non-profit organization with 18 local Chapters. Its members include ESOP companies, companies considering an ESOP, and service providers that assist in setting up and maintaining ESOPs.