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AARP AARP States New York Advocacy

Blog: Step Up For New Yorkers; Pass Secure Choice

Is this your retirement savings plan-

It's crunch time for a pivotal decision in Albany that could make a real difference for New Yorkers’ futures – and pocketbooks.

With just days remaining in the 2016 state legislative session, passing “Secure Choice” would open an effective path for millions of working New Yorkers to save money for retirement - or for whatever endeavor they may choose later in life.

New Yorkers whose employers no longer offer them a pension or 401(k) would be able to start putting money away through simple payroll deduction.

The state would set up the plan, select a vendor to pool and manage investments, then get out of the way. Employees could opt out, but Americans are 15 times likelier to save if they can do so through simple payroll deduction.

More than half of all private sector employees in New York - over 3.5 million people - now lack access to workplace retirement savings plans, and as fewer companies offer such options that number is growing.

Secure Choice would give employees the option – while also helping small business owners. Many would like to provide retirement savings plans for their employees but simply can’t afford to do so.

Just ask Mark Soukop, who owns a small business in Connecticut. When his state legislature passed a similar bill, he said it would “help business owners like me meet the needs of my employees in a cost-effective and straightforward manner.” He added, “I would like to offer a retirement savings benefit, but I’ve struggled to find an option that would work for my team.”

Republican Maryland Governor Larry Hogan just signed such a bill into law in his state – with support from the  business and  financial communities.

Illinois and Oregon have passed similar laws as well, and legislation has been introduced in over 20 other states.

With 86 co-sponsors of both parties in the 150-member State Assembly, New York’s bill has more than enough votes to pass.

But there are no guarantees, and this legislation will not automatically go to the floor for a vote by the full house - a pre-requisite to becoming law.

It should. And now is the time for our legislators to step up for New Yorkers and their futures.

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