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Crisis Will Only Get Worse if Not Addressed in Final 2017-18 Budget

ALBANY, N.Y. – Although over half of all private sector employees in New York – more than 3.5 million New Yorkers – lack access to a pension or 401(k) at work, Governor Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers have failed to include a state-facilitated workplace retirement savings option in their 2017-18 state budget proposals.

The Senate and Assembly released their “one-house” budget proposals this week; the Governor released his proposed budget in January.

AARP is urging that state leaders include in the final state budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1 Secure Choice, which would give employees who lack access to a workplace retirement savings plan the option to open a Roth IRA at work and contribute through payroll deduction.

The Secure Choice legislation has nearly 100 sponsors from both parties in both houses and would provide an effective way to save. Illinois, Oregon, California, Connecticut and Maryland have already enacted similar plans.

“Our leaders have failed to address a real and growing retirement savings crisis in this state, and that’s a shame,” said AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel. “Secure Choice would provide an effective helping hand to millions of middle class New Yorkers, and our leaders should work to ensure it’s included in the final state budget.

“Middle class New Yorkers will continue falling further behind until this is done. Anything short of including a simple option to help people save for their future in a final state budget would be shortsighted and unfortunate, and it would hurt millions of middle class families struggling to prepare for their futures.”

A recent AARP NY/Siena College poll found 82 percent of New York Generation Xers and Baby Boomers support a state-facilitated workplace retirement savings option for those who lack access, and a separate AARP survey revealed that 80 percent of the state’s small businesses think state lawmakers should support a plan to make it easier for small business owners to offer a way to save for retirement to their employees.

The Governor himself last year acknowledged the widespread lack of access to retirement plans.

Contact: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million that helps people turn their goals and dreams into ‘Real Possibilities’ by changing the way America defines aging. With staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and promote the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare security, financial security and personal fulfillment. AARP also advocates for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name.  As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation magazine, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and our CEO @JoAnn_Jenkins on Twitter.

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