Underneath the surface, the move to state-mandated retirement plans is just another chapter in the story of the American retirement system.
Over the past few weeks, I have looked at and broken down a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts called Small Business Views on Retirement Savings Plans. Pew surveyed more than 1,600 small- and medium-sized businesses (either owners or managers) to learn more about their challenges and reasons for providing retirement savings plans for their employees. To get a full picture, they surveyed employers who both did and did not provide plans.
Small-and medium-sized businesses make up 99.7% of American businesses, with nearly 29 million businesses employing 56 million people. But only 40% of full-time employed Americans have the opportunity to participate in an employee-sponsored retirement savings program.
When I was a recent college graduate who had gotten her first “real job” in 1999, I received some solid “real world” advice: start saving for retirement now. I saw the projected numbers, and at 22 years old I was ready to start putting money aside, but the small business I worked for didn’t offer a retirement plan. That first year my salary was less than $20,000, I was newly engaged and my money was directed towards a wedding and an apartment. Even with the best of intentions, taking a portion of my paycheck and setting it aside simply didn’t happen.
Topics: Retirement Plans