While millennials feel the gutting of the social contract in their inability to buy homes, older Americans are feeling it in their inability to retire. You have probably heard the outdated slogan that to retire, you need Social Security, personal savings and a pension. But now, most workers in our country don’t have much in savings, and traditional pensions have disappeared.
Fewer than half of families have any kind of retirement plans. In Washington, that’s more than 2 million workers out of about 3.5 million. Fifty percent of workers aged 55 to 64 don’t have a retirement plan. About 3 out of 5 African-American workers don’t have a retirement plan.
As John Burbank of the Economic Opportunity Institute wrote in an opinion piece for The (Everett) Herald: "Pensions did not make retirees wealthy . . . but they did keep retirees economically secure."
AARP and the left-of-center Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle describe the program concept as an “easy to use retirement tool” for employers that will benefit workers, and they note 1.5 million Washington workers currently lack access to retirement plans through their employers. We hope lawmakers put money in the budget for this marketplace program, so it is not delayed past 2017. We also hope business owners give the program a fair try when it eventually comes on line.
The idea of small business retirement plans has been raised before in the Statehouse, but until now, the financial service industry opposed it as potential competition, because the state would have managed the program. Gary Burris, senior policy associate with the Economic Opportunity Institute, says the difference now is the industry has agreed to do it.
Olympia, WA | Governor Jay Inslee signed bipartisan legislation into law today that will make it easier for thousands of private-sector, small business workers to access retirement savings programs th…
A new government commission will look at whether the state should establish a system that allows employees of small businesses to establish individual retirement accounts through the state government. A number of other states also are considering establishing a Universal Voluntary Retirement Account system, according to the Economic Opportunity Institute.
It can be easier to save money if it's deducted directly from your paycheck, but three out of four Washington workers in small businesses don't have that option. This week, the state Senate is debating the idea of creating simple retirement savings accounts for small companies that would be "portable" from one job to the next.
A proposal making its way through the California Legislature has people talking about whether the state can make putting aside retirement money more palatable.
Washington residents have enthusiastically embraced a state-sponsored college savings program. In less than a decade, parents have set up 70,000 accounts worth more than $800 million, money that will help future students pay for their education. Now, AARP Washington and the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute hope to work the same magic with retirement planning.
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