Making Government Work

1 in 4 Can’t Retire Through Their Employer in Connecticut. Now the State Is Changing That.

June 10, 2014
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1 in 4 Can’t Retire Through Their Employer in Connecticut. Now the State Is Changing That.
Only 18 percent of Americans feel secure in their retirement, according to a recent report. Getty Images
Lawmakers explore ways to assist with private-sector employees' savings.

As America prepares for the baby boomers to enter their golden years, it’s disturbing to hear that only 18 percent of Americans feel secure in their retirement, according to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Enter Connecticut and its plan to research ways to help create a comfortable retirement for its private-sector employees. State lawmakers recently dedicated $400,000 toward the exploration of a potential private-sector retirement plan. Why is the government so interested in these employees? Perhaps it is because 740,000 of the state’s residents currently are not able to have a retirement plan through their company. The goal of the research is to develop a plan that would set up retirement accounts for the private-sector employees, which would be filled with money automatically deducted from their paychecks. For a small fee, these accounts would be monitored — and there would be an assured rate of return. However, not all of Connecticut’s lawmakers are in support of the plan. Opponents argue that this would interfere with the functioning of Social Security and other federal laws, or it would put more of a burden on taxpayers. These concerns are all things that need to be considered and addressed during the research. Connecticut may be the first state to commit money to the project, but it is not the first to toy with the notion. In 2012, California passed legislation to establish a similar program, but they are still in the process of raising funds. The hope is that by 2016, 7.4 million people will be served by a plan. Additionally, Illinois, Maryland, and Washington all looked into the option, but have not developed anything. While Connecticut is only committing itself to research, this is still a step forward and may encourage other states to follow suit.

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