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Wilton's Boucher Argues For Small Business Retirement Plan Marketplace

To better help Connecticut families save for retirement, Senate Republicans are proposing an alternative to the Connecticut Retirement Security Program (H.B. No. 5591).
To better help Connecticut families save for retirement, Senate Republicans are proposing an alternative to the Connecticut Retirement Security Program (H.B. No. 5591). Video Credit: ctsenaterepublicans

FAIRFIED COUNTY, Conn. -- State Sens. Toni Boucher (R-26) and L. Scott Frantz (R-36) unveiled a proposal to help Connecticut families save for retirement by making private sector retirement savings plans more accessible to small businesses.

The proposal calls for a marketplace set up by the state to promote low-cost, high-quality plans offered by the private sector.

The plan, which allows for voluntary participation on the part of both employers and employees, would promote participating in retirement savings plans and educating small employers on plan availability.

The proposal is based on the Washington Small Business Retirement Marketplace, which was passed with bipartisan support in the state of Washington last year.

“This is a balanced approach that uses the power of the state to bring together employers and private sector financial service organizations to promote participation in private retirement plans,” Frantz said. “The Washington model is a one-stop-shop for employers to quickly identify and enroll in qualified private plans, vastly lowering their administrative costs and the risk associated with trying to investigate and choose plans on their own.”

The Washington model includes a small-business retirement plan marketplace managed by the state's Department of Commerce. 

Only those who are self-employed, sole proprietors or employers with fewer than 100 employees are eligible to participate.

Republicans are sharing the idea as an alternative to the Democrats’ state administered public retirement plan proposed in H.B. No. 5591. The state would need about $1 billion in assets to make the Democrats’ proposed plan sustainable, the lawmakers said.

“With a steady outflow of individuals and business hampering Connecticut’s financial development, the state should be looking for ways to bolster its remaining successful industries,” said Boucher. “Retirement planning is one area in which there are an abundance of top notch providers, yet Democrats are proposing the state run a single, mandated plan for private sector workers.

The plan creates a new bureaucracy with which private companies will have to contend, increasing the demands on their time. Participation is nominally voluntary, yet firms with more than five employees would be required to automatically enroll their employees, and would have to opt-out of the program, rather than opt-in.”

Boucher represents the 26th District, which includes Westport, Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding, and parts of Bethel, New Canaan and Weston. Frantz represents the 36th District, which includes Greenwich, and part of New Canaan and Stamford.

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