The Washington Post left a very important fact out of an article on Republican efforts to ban voluntary state sponsored retirement plans. The Republicans are trying to make such plans impractical by reversing a Labor Department ruling that exempted employers with workers contributing to the plans from being subject to ERISA provisions. The basis for the Labor Department ruling is that the employers are simply mailing in a check on a worker's behalf, not running a plan.
The Republicans in Congress who want to insist that ERISA rules apply to employers, making it a substantial burden on them, say that they are doing it to protect workers' savings. These are the same people who are trying to reverse the Fiduciary Rule, which requires investment advisers act in the best interest of their clients, and to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Anyhow, the Post neglected to mention the difference in fees between 401(k)s and the state-sponsored plans. The average fee on 401(k) is around 1.0 percent of the money in a worker's account. Many plans charge more than 1.5 percent. By contrast, state sponsored plans are likely to have fees in the range of 0.2–0.3 percent.
The difference can easily come to $30,000 over the course of a middle-income worker's career. This is money that is being transferred from workers to the financial industry. Most people would likely consider this a substantial sum of money. It should have been noted in this piece.