11/01/2019- More than three-quarters of small business owners who participated in a new poll by AARP Wisconsin are in support of programs that would help employees better prepare for retirement. The report was rolled out this week by AARP and representatives say it’s indicative that there’s a need to address the issue at the state level. Lisa Lamkins is AARP Wisconsin’s Director of Federal Issues Advocacy. She says 60% of respondents said they’d like to offer their employees retirement benefits, but there are a number of barriers preventing them from doing so.
“They’re either too costly to operate, they might be too complicated, and they’re just too time consuming. If you’re a small business owner and you employ two or three other people, you might not have an HR specialist who can go and research all of the options.”
Lamkins now wants Wisconsin legislators to get involved to establish a Work and Save program in the state, which would allow workers to easily save for retirement and make small businesses in the Badger State more competitive.
“The State of Wisconsin would create a board that would contract with a professional financial services firm and then small businesses would be able to sign up to be able to offer that program to their employees. The employees decide if they want to participate and how much they’d like to contribute. For the employers, the good news is there’s no cost. All they have to do is operate a payroll deduction, which they’re already doing.”
Lamkins says the Work and Save program would closely mirror Wisconsin’s 529 College Savings program. Research shows Americans are 15 times more likely to save for retirement when they can do so at work.