On March 29, 2012, the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital hosted an Employee Benefits in an Era of Retrenchment Conference addressing issues that promise to be a dominant concern of business and labor leaders, legislators and policymakers, benefits practitioners and the courts, over the coming decade. Political and economic forces are aligned to make the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 enormously inconsequential, even though the general public is unaware that ERISA is operating in the background to shape the terms and implementation of their employer-sponsored benefit programs, and few lawyers understand it. Seven of the papers which were presented at the conference appear in Volume 28, Issue 1, of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law.