Former Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)
Preston Rutledge is the the Founder and Principal of Rutledge Policy Group LLC, a government affairs consultancy focused on retirement savings and employee benefits policy. Prior to forming Rutledge Policy Group, Mr. Rutledge was the Assistant Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Mr. Rutledge, as the nation’s top pension regulator, oversaw an agency of over 800 employee benefits professionals in Washington, D.C. and thirteen regional offices throughout the United States. Mr. Rutledge led the drafting and publication of guidance to implement retirement, health and workplace benefits policies, including rules governing Association Retirement Plans, electronic disclosure, 401(k) auto-portability, 401(k) private equity investment, the fiduciary advice rule and exemption, ESG, proxy voting, Health Reimbursement Arrangements, medical price transparency, surprise billing, and Association Health Plans. He also led EBSA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In international affairs, Mr. Rutledge led the U.S Delegation on private pension policy at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, France, was a member of the OECD Insurance and Private Pensions Committee, served as Chair of the OECD Working Party on Private Pensions, and worked with the International Organization of Pension Supervisors (IOPS). He also led oversight of the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, the world’s largest defined contribution plan and represented the Secretary of Labor on the Boards of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds.
Before joining the Department of Labor, he served as senior tax and benefits counsel for Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) on the Majority Tax Staff of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee where his responsibilities included employee benefits, retirement, health and Affordable Care Act taxation, life insurance corporate and product taxation, Social Security, Medicare and Unemployment Insurance payroll taxes, executive compensation, worker classification, charities and tax-exempt organizations, and the DOL fiduciary rule. He drafted the Chairman’s primary retirement initiatives: the Secure Annuities for Employee (SAFE) Retirement Act and the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act (RESA). RESA became the SECURE Act, the most sweeping reform of retirement savings policy in over a decade.
Prior to joining the Finance Committee, Mr. Rutledge served as a senior tax law specialist on the Headquarters Staff of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service, and as a senior technical reviewer in the Qualified Pension Plans Branch of the IRS Office of Chief Counsel. Mr. Rutledge also served as a law clerk on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and worked in private law practice as an employee benefits counselor and ERISA litigator.
Mr. Rutledge earned a B.S. in business, cum laude, from the University of Idaho; J.D., with high honors, from the George Washington University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review, and an L.L.M. – taxation, with distinction, including a certificate in employee benefits law, from the Georgetown University Law Center. Prior to law school, Mr. Rutledge was a Naval Officer and served on the U.S.S. Bagley (FF-1069).