State-Sponsored Retirement Savings Legislation Introduced In Arkansas
Republican State Rep. Les Warren has spearheaded the reintroduction of legislation to create a state-sponsored retirement savings plan for private-sector workers whose employers do not offer such a benefit.
State-Sponsored Retirement Savings Legislation Introduced In ArkansasRepublican State Rep. Les Warren has spearheaded the reintroduction of legislation to create a state-sponsored retirement savings plan for private-sector workers whose employers do not offer such a benefit.
Warren introduced House Bill 1349, The Every Arkansan Retirement Opportunity Act, on January 29. Upon its introduction, HB 1349 had bipartisan support from co-sponsors in the House and 13 in the Senate. A similar bill died in Arkansas' 2019 legislative session.
"There are too many people retiring without having put enough money back for that time. They retire and then find out they cannot survive on Social Security alone," Warren said, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas has 530,000 private sector workers who stand to benefit if the bill is adopted, according to the legislation, including private sector workers, independent contractors, and self-employed persons. The legislation pointed to the state's college saving program as an example of the auto-IRA program's advantages.
“The Arkansas 529 GIFT Plan demonstrates the feasibility of a public-private partnership that outsources investment and administration to assist the citizens of this state in saving on a voluntary and cost-efficient basis,” the bill said.
Participating employers would automatically enroll eligible employees, who would have the right to opt out. The bill would establish a mandatory exit as the program amasses assets: Once a participating employer's combined contributions reached $600,000, the employer would have to withdraw from the Every Arkansan Retirement Plan Opportunity and hire a private organization to manage the accumulated funds.
The bill would create a seven-person governing board operating within the office of the state treasurer.
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