The first meeting of the Wyoming Retirement Security Task Force will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 21 in the State AARP offices at 2020 Carey Ave, Mezzanine Level. The committee will meet three or four times over the interim and their meetings are open to the public.
The Task Force was born out of Senate File 116 of the 2018 Legislative session, which seeks to examine and make recommendations concerning the preparedness of Wyoming residents to retire in a financially secure manner. Just as important, the task force will also attempt to determine the fiscal impact to the state’s social safety net programs that a lack of retirement savings can have. A lack of retirement savings can lead to a greater dependence on social safety net programs later in life, such as long term care, which currently costs the state $138 million per year.
This committee will consider challenges and barriers to Wyomingites abilities to save for retirement and what can be done to make retirement savings options more accessible to businesses and individuals. That could include encouraging more education in the matter, or looking into incentives, legislative changes, or programming that may increase saving for retirement.
According to studies from AARP, the average household only has $2,500 saved for retirement, and the average household that is near retirement has only $14,500 in savings. Studies suggest that workers are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they have the ability to do so through an automatic deduction at their place of employment. In Wyoming, 57% (123,000) of private sector workers have no access to an employer retirement plan, according to the Wyoming State Retirement System.
The committee is made up of:
- Wyoming State Senator Jim Anderson;
- Wyoming State Representative Mark Kinner;
- Lisa Jerde Spillman, of the State Treasurer’s Office;
- Department of Workforce Service, Director John Cox;
- Sam Shumway, State Director AARP;
- Jay Schneiders; Rock Springs Red Horse Oil Company;
- Ashley Bright, Chief Executive Officer; Casper Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Wyoming;
- Frank Boley, Vice President; D.A. Davidson & Company;
- Polly Scott, Communication and 457 Plan Manager for the Wyoming Retirement System.
The task force shall submit a report summarizing its studies, findings and recommendations to the joint labor, health and social services interim committee on or before December 1, 2018.
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Retirement Income Security Task Force
Thursday, June 21, 2018
10 am – 2 pm at AARP 2020 Carey Avenue
10:00 – Introductions/round robin exercise
10:15 – Overview of SF 116/SEA 62
10:30 – Thoughts about the political landscape and the purpose of the Task Force
11:00 – Status of four areas of study and recommendations
- Preparedness of Wyoming residents to retire in a financially secure manner;
- Employer retirement plan access and uptake in Wyoming,
- Other programs to increase retirement security;
- Impact to Wyoming’s social safety net programs
- Franz Fuchs, Department of Health
- Professor Ann Alexander, University of Wyoming.
12:00 – Elect Chair and Vice Chair
12:15 – Working Lunch
12:30 – Discussion
- Survey different retirement models and lessons learned from other states;
- Discussion on employer needs/preferences;
- Testimony from employers and retirement savers;
- Review and approve employer survey;
- Gather pertinent data for Wyoming;
- Obtain expert testimony;
- Develop recommendations and write report to Joint Labor, Health and Social Services Interim Committee;
- Finalize and adopt report.
1:30 – Schedule for future meetings