Today, a secure retirement is out of reach for millions of Americans, especially those who work for themselves or for small businesses.
Woefully low retirement savings
Nearly half (55 million) of American workers have no access to a retirement savings plan through their employers. The average household only has $2,500 saved for retirement and the average household that is near retirement has only $14,500 in savings. The problem is especially acute with small businesses where many owners don’t feel comfortable taking on the added responsibility of setting up a retirement savings plan for their employees.
That is why AARP is pushing for easier ways for small businesses to offer workers the ability to save for retirement through automatic payroll deductions, proven to be the most effective way to save.
This year, AARP advocates worked with the North Carolina General Assembly to help pass a study bill that will provide a pathway for workers to save for retirement out of their regular paycheck and grow the additional savings they will need so they can take control of their future.
NC General Assembly responds
The North Carolina General Assembly passed H 604, the Small Business Retirement Savings Program, a study where a committee comprised of lawmakers, financial experts, and business leaders will provide a roadmap for legislation to help workers save for retirement. Tasked to find the best plan for NC workers and small businesses, the Committee will report its findings to the General Assembly no later than March 31, 2020.
To help get this work started, AARP held the Small Business Retirement Savings Summit in late October where lawmakers met with academics and implementers of retirement savings programs in other states. Most participants agree that a North Carolina program would be easy for employers to set up, and there would be no ongoing costs or risk to the employers or the state.
AARP North Carolina Manager of Advocacy Lisa Riegel said the details of a plan being developed would help workers of all ages take control of their future. “It’s never too late to begin saving for retirement. If a 55-year-old started saving now, they could add thousands of dollars to their retirement accounts in just ten years. But most importantly, it will help the next generation – our kids and grandkids – save for retirement, by making it easy and automatic to start investing in their futures.”
You can VIEW the sessions in their entirety or watch the video highlights of the Summit sessions below. (Click play beneath each session description).
Presentation slides are also available by emailing AARP North Carolina at firstname.lastname@example.org - please add "savings presentation slides" in the subject line.
Lisa Riegel, AARP North Carolina
Representative Stephen Ross, Senior Chair, Commerce Committee and Chair, Finance Committee
Policy Solutions – What Can North Carolina Do?
Angela Antonelli, Georgetown University, Retirement Initiatives
Emory Nelms, Duke University Center for Advanced Hindsight
The Retirement Security Crisis in North Carolina
Sarah Mysiewicz Gill, AARP, Maryland Saves Program Design Subcommittee Chair and Board Member, Pennsylvania Retirement Security Task Force Member
John Scott, Pew Charitable Trusts
Lessons from the Federal Government and States Regarding Best Practices
Lisa Massena, Ascensus
Courtney Eccles, Illinois Secure Choice
Andrea Feirstein, AKF Consulting
Sarah Mysiewicz Gill, moderator