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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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