Legislation would help workers save now, so they aren’t left high and dry in retirement

November 24, 2015

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Dear Editor,

A secure retirement seems like a distant dream for too many Wisconsinites. Social Security alone isn’t enough to retire on – the av- erage benefit for most Wis- consinites is about $1,300 a month. Across the country, millions of people are at risk of running out of savings af- ter they retire.

The nation is facing a vast retirement sav- ings deficit, estimated to be as much as $6.6 trillion. One of the reasons for this deficit is the fact that more than 57 million American workers- including nearly 1 million Wisconsinites – have no way to save at work. A study by the National Institute on Retirement Security found that the typical work- ing-age household has only $3,000 in retirement assets and near-retirement house- holds have just $12,000 in savings. The scary part is that these folks are ahead of the game! In Wisconsin, 42 percent of workers have no access to retirement savings options.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We know that people are 1,300 percent more likely to save if they can do so at work. Wisconsin is one of 30 states considering “work and save” plans to seek a com- monsense solution to workbased savings. AARP sup- ports the Wisconsin version, known as the Wisconsin Pri- vate Secure Retirement Act. The bill (AB-70 and SB- 45) calls for a public-private partnership which allows workers to save for retire- ment via payroll deduction at work.

These savings plans would be portable, voluntary, and the state isn’t responsible for any gains or losses in the market. Plus, giving workers a simple way to save now will mean fewer Wisconsinites will rely on government safe- ty net services in retirement, which in turn saves taxpayer dollars. The Wisconsin Private Se- cure Retirement Act is an easy way to give thousands of Wisconsinites access to retirement accounts, empow- ering them to live their re- tirement years with indepen- dence and financial security. Unfortunately it’s currently stalled in our state legislature. AARP urges state lawmakers to schedule a hearing because there’s no time to waste in helping Wisconsinites save for the future! – Sincerely, Lisa Lamkins Associate State Direc- tor-Advocacy AARP Madison, Wisconsin