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AARP urges New York State to create retirement plan for private-sector workers who lack them

By Eric Reinhardt


AARP New York is urging New York State to “take advantage” of a new federal rule allowing states to create automatic enrollment, retirement-savings plans for employees who work at businesses that don’t currently offer a retirement plan.

AARP on Aug. 25 praised the finalization of a U.S. Department of Labor rule that confirms states can facilitate the creation of such plans.

More than half of all private-sector workers in New York lack access to a workplace retirement-savings plan, like a 401(k), AARP contended in a news release.

“AARP New York urges Gov. Cuomo and our state lawmakers to take advantage of this opportunity to help over 3 million private-sector workers in New York by providing an effective way for them to save their own money and create a financially secure future,” Beth Finkel, state director of AARP in New York state, said in the news release.

Nationwide, these public-private partnerships have the “potential” to help more than 55 million American workers who lack access to a way to save for retirement automatically out of their regular paycheck.

The U.S. Department of Labor also issued a draft rule that would pave the way for large cities, including New York City, to enact similar plans, the organization added.

AARP New York supports the “Secure Choice” legislation, which State Senator Diane Savino (D–Staten Island) and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez (D–Harlem) have introduced in their respective chambers. It has attracted 90 co-sponsors in the 150-member State Assembly, AARP said.

That legislation calls for New York to “create a self-sufficient retirement savings program in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA, and establishes an administrative board responsible for promoting greater retirement savings for private sector employees…,” according to a bill summary on the New York State Senate website.

AARP said features such as payroll deduction and automatic enrollment are key to boosting employees’ retirement savings.

Four states have already enacted legislation creating “work and save” plans that would be impacted by the federal rule, including Illinois, Oregon, Connecticut, and Maryland.

AARP also anticipates legislation in California in 2016.

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