Addressing CO’s Retirement Preparedness Gap

(March 24) – Emerging from the Great Recession, far too many Coloradans have had to deplete their retirement savings or remain unable to adequately save for their retirement. A bill to tackle those looming problems won House Business Affairs & Labor Committee approval today.

HB15-1235, sponsored by Reps. John Buckner, D-Aurora, and Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood, creates the Colorado Retirement Security Task Force to study and make recommendations on the factors that affect Coloradans’ ability to save for a financially secure retirement, including:

· existing barriers to retirement
· access to employer-sponsored retirement plans
· the types of employer-sponsored retirement plans and individual retirement products currently offered in the state
· estimates of the average amount of retirement savings state residents have upon retirement
· estimates of the average amount of retirement savings recommended for a financially secure retirement in Colorado

“Forty-five percent of Colorado’s private-sector workers, 765,000 people, have no retirement savings at work,” Rep. Buckner told the committee. He added that about eight out of 10 Coloradans working in small businesses and 74 percent of Colorado’s lowest-paid workers have no workplace retirement plans.

“Almost half of our workforce does not have any type of employer-sponsored retirement plan or personal investment plan,” Rep. Pettersen said, adding that the problem is especially acute among younger Colorado adults.

Those with inadequate retirement plans are likely to live their remaining years in poverty and on public assistance.

One potential solution to be considered will be a statewide retirement savings plan for private-sector employees.

After today’s 7-5 vote, the bill goes to the House Appropriations Committee.

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