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RI Business Owners Support RISavers, a Low Cost Retirement Savings Program

Small business owners in Rhode Island support RISavers, a low cost, low risk retirement savings option for themselves and their employees. The program would be managed in a public–private partnership by the State of Rhode Island.

Key Findings

  • Close to three-quarters (72%) of Rhode Island small business owners support a privately managed, ready-to-go retirement savings option that would help small businesses offer employees a way to save for retirement.

  • Most (81%) agree that state lawmakers should support a bill to make it easier for small business owners to access a retirement savings option for their employees and themselves.

  • Most (76%) small business owners in Rhode Island agree that being able to offer a voluntary, portable, retirement savings program helps local small businesses attract and retain quality employees and stay competitive.

  • Among the nearly half (46%) of all small business owners who do not offer a retirement savings plan to their employees, most (71%) cite cost as a reason, followed by plan complexity (39%) or being too time consuming to operate (37%). 

  • Still, among those who currently do not offer a way to save for retirement to their employees, most (72%) would be likely to offer them access to a state retirement savings option if one were available. 

AARP is supporting states in their efforts to create and implement a state retirement savings option that would enable small business owners and their employees better prepare for retirement.  These public–private managed state programs would be easy for employers to set up with low costs and low risks to the employer and the state.


AARP commissioned this survey of 502 Rhode Island small business owners with 5–100 employees to gauge their support for a public–private retirement savings program. The survey was fielded from March through May 2022.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Sauer at For media inquiries, contact External Relations at

Suggested citation:

Sauer, Jennifer. Survey of Small Business Owners in Rhode Island on Retirement Savings. Washington, DC: AARP Research, July 2022.

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