Washington, DC (March 30, 2017) – Following is a statement by AARP Executive Vice President Nancy A. LeaMond after the votes on resolutions centering on private sector retirement savings.
“AARP is deeply disappointed with the Senate vote discouraging local flexibility to offer workplace savings for the 55 million Americans who currently lack access to retirement savings plans at work.
“Tremendous momentum has been building across the country to meet the needs of workers who want to save for retirement out of each paycheck but have no opportunity to do so. The Department of Labor (DOL) last year, at the request of states, provided guidance making it easier to offer savings arrangements to small businesses and their employees. AARP strongly supports these initiatives. Studies have shown that employees are 15 times more likely to save if they have access to a payroll deduction savings plan at work.
“The fact is that many Americans who lack a workplace savings plan do not save enough for retirement, and run the risk of relying exclusively on Social Security’s modest benefits when they retire. As a result of having insufficient retirement income, they are more likely to need the assistance of social safety net programs.
“The Congressional vote may have a chilling effect on state and local retirement savings initiatives, but AARP remains steadfast in its backing for continuing action at the state level to make these vital programs a reality.”
Thirty states – including Utah, New York and Arkansas – and numerous cities, including New York, Seattle, and Philadelphia, are considering these programs. Seven states already have approved programs, including Illinois, Washington State, Oregon, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland and California.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.