The following is a statement by Hank H. Kim, executive director and counsel of the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, in response to the Pew Charitable Trusts survey report, “Worker Reactions to State-Sponsored Auto-IRA Programs.”
“Capping years of study and legislative action, many states are poised to help millions of employees at small and midsize businesses gain access to much-needed workplace retirement savings programs. This new survey both confirms and advances our understanding of how workers are embracing the Auto-IRA model.
“As the survey results make clear, workers perceive state-sponsored Auto-IRA proposals very favorably, with only 13% stating they would opt out of a program to automatically deduct a portion of their wages for retirement savings. An impressive 73% of workers strongly supported automatic enrollment.
“Workers in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon and Washington, where Auto-IRA programs are now law, are becoming the first beneficiaries of the nationwide movement to remedy the growing private-sector retirement savings shortfall. States and municipalities, with their long history of providing a predictable and guaranteed stream of income for public-sector retirees, have a keen interest in ensuring that all their citizens are financially prepared to retire.”
NCPERS continues to advocate for the states’ pioneering programs to expand retirement security for all. Kim noted that Auto-IRAs and related state initiatives were inspired by and modeled on the concepts outlined in NCPERS’ 2011 white paper, “The Secure Choice Pension: A Way Forward for Retirement Security in the Private Sector.
A comprehensive update on the Auto-IRA movement and related retirement security initiatives is available in NCPERS’ 2017 white paper, Secure Choice 2.0.
The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) is the largest trade association for public sector pension funds, representing more than 500 funds throughout the United States and Canada. It is a unique non-profit network of public trustees, administrators, public officials and investment professionals who collectively manage more than $3 trillion in pension assets. Founded in 1941, NCPERS is the principal trade association working to promote and protect pensions by focusing on advocacy, research, and education for the benefit of public sector pension stakeholders.