Welcome to the Center for Retirement Initiatives (CRI) Policy Blog. The objective of this blog is to create an expert policy forum where the Center can share everything from the latest research and resources related to state retirement savings initiatives for private sector workers to federal legislative and regulatory developments. We will also provide updates on the latest retirement security data, best practices and lessons learned from program design and implementation at home and abroad. For those interested in learning more about a particular topic, each post may provide additional reading and resources to allow for a more in-depth exploration of the related research and policy issues.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the views of the authors and do not reflect any policy or position of the Center for Retirement Initiatives.
Launching OregonSaves: Early Lessons from an Innovative Public-Private Partnership
By Lisa A. Massena, CFA
With a great deal of local and national engagement and support, Oregon will soon be launching the nation’s first state-sponsored auto-enrollment individual retirement account (IRA) program. The objective of OregonSaves is to improve access and outcomes for workers without a retirement savings option at work by providing an easy, automatic way to save through payroll deduction. Read more.
Small Businesses & Retirement Readiness: Vermont Embraces a Multiple Employer Plan Approach
By The Honorable Beth Pearce
On June 8, 2017, Vermont became the first state in the nation to establish a state-facilitated multiple employer plan (MEP) with the signing of S. 135, establishing the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Plan. This effort was a culmination of three years of study and three reports by the Vermont Public Retirement Study Committee, whose comprehensive report in January of this year recommended this structure for the plan. Read more.
It’s Never Too Early to Save for Retirement: Strengthening Retirement Security Begins by Reaching Millennials
By Laura Kim and Angela M. Antonelli
Four out of five millennials are worried that Social Security will not be there for them when they are ready to retire, and half believe that Social Security will provide them with no benefits in retirement. Accordingly, 55 percent cite self-funded savings as the expected primary source of retirement income. Read more.
Congress Should Encourage State Innovation to Strengthen Retirement Security
By Charles E.F. Millard and Angela M. Antonelli
The new Republican Congress and Administration want to limit federal power and devolve more programs to the states. As longtime Republicans, we believe state experimentation leads us as a nation to better outcomes. Today, one-half of the private sector workforce – 55 million Americans – lacks access to an employer-sponsored retirement savings plan. Read more.
Expanding Small Business Access to Retirement Plans
By David Damschen and Richard Mourdock
Minutes after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20, President Trump declared that the era of “transferring power from Washington, D.C.” back to the states and to the American people had officially begun. The president’s speech made clear that Republican control of the White House and Congress meant that states — the great laboratories of democracy — would finally have greater leeway to solve problems the Washington bureaucracy has failed to solve for generations. Read more.
Building a Publicly-Sponsored Private Sector Retirement System: Lessons from Australia
By Zachary May
Australia is generally considered to have a strong retirement system. For example, the Melbourne-Mercer Global Pension Index, which assesses the retirement systems of different jurisdictions in terms of adequacy, sustainability and integrity, has consistently found the Australian system to be among the better ones. Read more.
Delivering on Publicly-Sponsored Private Retirement Accounts: Key Considerations for Successful Public-Private Partnerships
By Richard Mourdock
In 2016, thirty state legislatures have taken action to consider establishing publicly-sponsored private retirement accounts (PSPRAs) allowing more workers the opportunity to save for retirement. Eight states have already passed legislation to create them, five of them in just the past two years. Read more.
What We Know About Retirement Savings: Why Strategic Behavioral “Nudges” Make Sense
By Angela M. Antonelli and Yijun Yin
A majority of Americans report a lack of confidence in their ability to prepare adequately for their own retirement. If they can put money away for retirement, they often do not take the time to understand how much they will need to save and, even if they do, are fearful they will never be able to save enough to last a lifetime and will need to keep working longer. Read more.
States Bridging the Partisan Divide on Retirement Security
By Angela M. Antonelli and David C. John
Solutions for too many critical problems facing our nation today are tied up in partisan gridlock, but Maryland’s Republican Governor Larry Hogan recently demonstrated what bipartisanship is all about. He reached across the aisle and agreed to work with Democrats to tackle one of the most serious financial challenges facing Americans today: retirement security. On May 10, 2016, Governor Hogan signed the Maryland Small Business Retirement Savings Program bill into law. Read more.
Beyond ERISA: Other Regulatory Considerations for State-Sponsored Retirement Plans
By David Morse
While DOL has taken steps to resolve the uncertainty of ERISA’s applicability to these state-sponsored retirement programs, states, as part of their due diligence, are also examining the other federal regulations, most notably those raised by federal securities laws and the Patriot Act, which should be considered in designing their programs. Read more.
Employees’ Financial Wellness: New Strategies for State-Sponsored Retirement Plans
By Annamaria Lusardi
In the pursuit of financial security, individuals make many financial decisions throughout their lives, including how much to save for different needs, such as retirement. This is why empowering people to make good decisions has become so important. While setting up a structure that makes it easy for employees to save is essential, so is providing them with the skills and tools needed to make the best decisions to achieve financial security. Read more.
State Retirement Savings Programs: Current Status, Lessons Learned and Future Prospects
By Angela M. Antonelli
Americans are facing a retirement crisis. The three-legged stool for retirement – Social Security, employer provided retirement benefits and personal savings – has become unstable as fewer companies offer traditional pension plans for their employees and employees have not saved much on their own for retirement. Read more.
Building Effective Retirement Savings Programs for Uncovered Workers: Lessons from the UK Experience
By Keith Ambachtsheer and Will Sandbrook
Imagine workers with access to retirement savings programs that will help provide a secure retirement income at affordable contribution rates. Imagine those contributions managed at low-cost with a long-term, wealth creation focus that will help those workers manage their savings to last their lifetime. Read more.
529 College Savings Plans: Lessons for State Sponsored Private Sector Retirement Plans
By Andrea Feirstein
Each day for the next 19 years 10,000 baby boomers will retire. According to the Census Bureau, the population age 65 and over in 2030 is projected to be more than 74 million, representing more than 20 percent of the total population. Read more.
Maryland: Small Businesses Want to Help Their Workers Save for Retirement
By James R. Racheff, MS, MBA
More than 40 percent of employers – most of them small businesses – do not sponsor a workplace retirement savings plan for the employees. In Maryland, we have 1,000,000 employees who lack access to employer provider retirement plans. Many states, including Maryland, have launched initiatives to help private sector workers, especially those employed by small businesses, save for retirement. Read more.