| Oregon small-business owner Saleem Noorani had worried for years about his employees’ lack of retirement savings. So when he learned about OregonSaves, the nation’s first suchstate-sponsored program to help workers build a nest egg, he jumped at the chance to sign on.
“This gives my workers a level of assurance that they’re saving something for retirement,’’ says Noorani, who employs about 15 workers ranging in age from 22 to 71 at three Cork & Bottle Shoppe liquor stores in Corvallis, Springfield and Albany.
An estimated 55 million employees in the U.S. do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. Many work for small businesses that don’t offer traditional retirement programs because of high costs and administrative burdens.
Washington state is planning to launch its Small Business Retirement Marketplace in late March. That service will feature a website aimed at small-business employees and designed to help them compare and enroll in low-cost retirement savings plans.
California, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland expect to phase in their own “Work and Save” programs over the next two years and several other states are considering efforts to stimulate retirement savings.
In New York, state legislators are considering a bill, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo supports, that would create a Secure Choice Savings Program. This effort could help millions of New York workers who have no access to an employer-sponsored pension or 401(k) retirement plan.