Last night, the U. S. House of Representatives passed two resolutions that will make it harder for states to help workers save for retirement. These resolutions repeal a Department of Labor rule that gave states the go ahead to create public private partnerships to provide workplace retirement savings plans for workers that don’t have them. These are similar to the Secure Savings Plan proposed by the Bell.
Saving a little out of each pay check is the best way to save for retirement. However, almost half of all Colorado private sector workers in their prime working years do not have any retirement savings plan at work. Helping them get access to these low-cost plans will them save for retirement and address their number one financial concern - not having enough money in retirement.
Five other states have enacted legislation to create these plans and Oregon is planning to begin enrolling workers in their plan starting in July.
While opposed by Wall Street, these plans have the backing of numerous state officials. According to the Hill newspaper 15 state treasurers including Republicans in Indiana, Idaho, Louisiana and Utah wrote Congress opposing the effort to roll back this rule saying it, “provides important flexibility to states and large municipalities as they seek to address the growing retirement crisis facing this country”
The National Conference of State Legislatures also urged Congress to keep the rule place, according to the Hill.
Governor Jerry Brown of California, whose Secure Choice Program is planning to enroll workers starting in 2018, asked the California delegation to oppose the repeal pointing out that Wall Street opposes these plans. “They think the dollars that move into Secure Choice should instead flow into their own products. I consider this a feature, not a defect of Secure Choice.”
Joint Resolutions 66 and 67. Please oppose these resolutions if they are brought for a vote! That could happen as soon as this week.
Who to call:
Senator Michael Bennet (202) 224-5852
Senator Cory Gardner (202) 224-5941
What to say:
Hello, this is [NAME]. I’m calling from [HOME TOWN].
I’m calling to urge you to oppose House Joint Resolution 66 and 67. They revoke a rule and guidance providing states and cities with the flexibility to set up retirement savings options for small businesses and their employees.
House Joint Resolutions 66 and 67 represent the kind of federal overreach we expect [SENATOR ] to oppose.
I urge [SENATOR ] to protect state flexibility on retirement savings programs by asking leadership not to take up Joint Resolutions 66 and 67, and oppose the resolutions if they are brought to a vote.
- 55 million working Americans do not have a way to save for retirement out of their regular paycheck because their employer does not offer a retirement plan. Yet employees are 15 times more likely to save if they have a payroll deduction savings plan at work.
- In Colorado, 753,972 private-sector workers currently do not have any type of retirement program.
- Nearly half of Baby Boomers and Gen-Xers will lack the income to meet the basic retirement expenses and health care costs.
- The typical working-age household has only $2,500 in retirement assets and households nearing retirement only have $14,500.
- A 2016 Department of Labor rule provides guidance on how states can do this through public-private partnerships. The rule is clear: states have the flexibility they need to implement innovative retirement solutions. Small business owners have no operational burden for these plans. Their only interaction with a Work and Save plan is to facilitate payroll deductions for these individual savings plans.
- Two Congressional Review Act resolutions – H.J. Res. 66 and 67 – to overturn this rulemaking are expected to be voted on in Congress this week. This represents significant overreach by the federal government. Congress should not block states from enacting public-private partnerships to address the retirement needs of millions of workers if they want to.
- A recent survey found that voters overwhelmingly support letting states lead the way on retirement security. Over three in four (77%) political conservatives support a state-facilitated retirement savings plan, and (76%) agree elected officials should do more to make it easier for small business to provide retirement savings options to their employees. (2017 AARP Retirement Security National Survey of Employed Adults Ages 18-64, January)