It’s not here yet, but a mandate on many Connecticut employers to facilitate their employees’ participation in a state-run retirement savings plan could be just a legislative study away.
Though efforts to pass a bill (SB 249) aiming to create the mandate failed this year, other legislation creates a Connecticut Retirement Security Board to study and, ultimately implement a public retirement plan in Connecticut workplaces.
The board begins work this summer and will submit a final report to the governor and the legislature’s Labor Committee by January 2016.
Under SB 249, employers with five or more employees not already offering employees access to a 401(k), IRA or pension plan would have had to help their employees participate in a new state-run plan.
Saving for retirement is something that more people need to do, but Connecticut is home to many financial planning firms and professionals offering excellent products and services. SB 249 would have put state government in direct competition with those businesses and offerings.
In lieu of the full proposal in SB 249, several sections of the bill implementing the state budget were dedicated to creating a Retirement Security Board.
Members of the board will be appointed by the governor, legislative leaders, state comptroller and state treasurer, and will include a representative of organized labor, an advocate for senior citizens, those with experience in designing or managing private-sector retirement plans, and others with expertise in matters relating to investments.
Somehow left out of the mix are any Connecticut employers who will actually have to deal with the costs and administrative burdens of the mandate.
The board is required to hold its first meeting before August 9, and will meet at least once a month thereafter.
Among other things, the board will design the public retirement plan and perform a market feasibility study to determine participation rates, contribution levels, costs, and legal hurdles faced prior to implementing such a plan. After the study has been submitted, the board will begin developing a comprehensive proposal for implementing the plan.
The final deadline for the proposal is April 2016, which allows the potential for legislation fully implementing a public retirement plan to be approved by the General Assembly as early as 2016 or 2017.