Confident hardware store ownerA new survey of small business owners in Connecticut shows significant support for a public retirement savings plan that would encourage more people to save for their future and give small businesses a competitive edge in the marketplace.

“Connecticut is leading the nation in efforts to improve the financial security of its residents by creating an affordable, accessible retirement savings plan that would make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement accounts to their employees,” said AARP state director Nora Duncan. “Small businesses in Connecticut support this effort because they know it will help improve the financial security of their employees — and their bottom line.”

Retirement Savings Crisis

The expectation of a comfortable retirement is no longer a reality for too many Nutmeggers. With fewer jobs offering pensions, and the median retirement account balance only $3000, thousands face the risk of running out of savings after they retire.

  • The average Social Security benefit in Connecticut is only $1372 a month.
  • Social Security is the only source of income for 28% of Connecticut residents age 65+.
  • Over 600,000 Connecticut residents, mostly small business workers, don’t have a retirement savings plan through their job.

That’s why AARP supports the work of the Connecticut Retirement Security Board to create a secure future for all Connecticut families. Research shows individuals are a staggering 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they can do so through their job.

Key Survey Findings

AARP recently commissioned a survey of more than 450 small business owners in Connecticut with 5-50 employees to solicit their opinions related to retirement savings issues.  The business owners were a mix of ideology (29% conservative, 40% moderate, 17% liberal), gender, age, tenure and more.

More than 60% said they support a Connecticut retirement savings plan, and nearly 80% agreed that Connecticut should be doing more to encourage residents to save for retirement. Those surveyed said they favor low-cost, voluntary plans that would follow employees from job to job, offering flexibility and security for the future.

The survey found that two in five small business owners do not provide a retirement savings plan to their employees, and about one in five do not even have a retirement plan for themselves. The most common reason cited was cost (49%). However, 64% of those who do not currently offer a retirement plan said they would use the public plan if it was offered.

“The retirement plan would be a win-win for small business owners and employees,” continued Duncan.  “Employees would get an easy, convenient way to save on the job, and owners would get a turnkey solution to offer retirement benefits to their employees. It would give their business a competitive edge in the marketplace and help with employee recruitment and retention.”

A Promising Solution

The Connecticut Retirement Security Board was created  in 2014 as a result of Public Act 14-217. The Board is charged with conducting a market feasibility study to implement a public retirement plan and must develop and submit a comprehensive proposal to implement the plan by April 1, 2016.

AARP Connecticut will keep fighting to promote financial freedom and help workers grow the savings they need to live a secure and independent future. To keep up with our efforts, visit aarp.org/getinvolved to become an AARP advocate. You’ll receive periodic e-mail action alerts on the issues you care about, as well as the latest news from Hartford and Congress.

To view the full survey, please visit: www.aarp.org/CTWorkandSave

To learn more about the work of the Connecticut Retirement Security Board, go to: www.osc.ct.gov/crsb