Labor Dept. plan to encourage small employers to offer their workers pensions looks like a bust. In April, the department offered to free companies with fewer than 100 employees from complex rules barring pension discrimination against low-paid workers. In exchange, the companies would promise to contribute 2% of an employee's salary, up to $2,000 a year, to a retirement plan. Small-business groups say Labor should have consulted them before promoting the plan. The 2% requirement, they complain, is more onerous to them than complying with the nondiscrimination rules.

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