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Delaware EARNS Board Votes to Move Forward with Interstate Collaboration

To ensure workers have the highest quality choice when it comes to retirement savings, the Office of State Treasurer will explore an interstate collaboration for the Delaware Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Savings (EARNS) Program.

The EARNS Program board, voting unanimously at its July 13 public meeting, authorized the Treasurer’s office to evaluate entry into an interstate partnership or multistate consortium to support the launch and future success of the retirement savings program.

“We’re thrilled with the strong support of the EARNS Program Board as we seek interstate cooperation to support this innovative retirement savings program for Delaware,” Treasurer Colleen Davis said. “Partnering with other programs would allow for collaborative decision making with industry leaders and benefit the program as it moves towards its launch.”

Signed into law by Governor Carney in 2022, Delaware EARNS will provide a convenient way for private-sector workers to save for retirement. Nearly 150,000 Delaware workers, many of them low- and middle-income, currently lack access to a workplace retirement savings plan. The EARNS program, which is expected to launch in 2025, will also help small businesses that lack the resources to offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan.

Treasurer Davis has consistently championed retirement savings for all Delawareans and was an outspoken advocate for passage of the legislation that created the EARNS program.

“Since coming into office, my priorities have been clear: bolster retirement security, create pathways to economic empowerment, and provide a culture of financial excellence,” Treasurer Davis said. “Delaware EARNS fits perfectly with those priorities.”

The Treasurer’s office, working with the firm AKF Consulting Group, determined that potential interstate cooperation could offer a range of benefits to Delaware:

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  • Lower start-up costs for the State
  • Faster time to launch
  • Lower initial fees for participant
  • Potential for accelerated fee decreases

“Delaware has proven success with such partnerships,” Davis said. “DEPENDABLE, Delaware’s ABLE Plan—a savings vehicle for people with disabilities—operates through a multistate consortium called the National ABLE Alliance.”
To keep the public informed about the potential interstate cooperation and the EARNS program’s overall progress, the Treasurer’s office will hold public meetings and make updates on its website. Additionally, anyone can register to receive updates on developments about DE EARNS.

States interested in partnering with Delaware can write to EARNS@delaware.gov attention Ted Griffith, EARNS program director. Members of the public can use the same e-mail address for any questions or comments about the program.

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