S.135, an economic omnibus bill that includes the establishment of a public retirement plan for Vermonters, has successfully passed through the Senate!
Now in the House Commerce and Economic Development and Government Operations committees, the bill follows recommendations from a report brought to the legislature earlier this year by the Public Retirement Study Committee, chaired by Treasurer Beth Pearce.
Less than half of Vermont workers participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan – the lowest percentage in New England. The majority of the state’s small businesses can’t afford to provide their employees with retirement plans; at the same time, 80 percent of workers would participate in a plan if it was available for them through an employer. The result then has been that most Vermonters have saved very little for retirement, causing strain for retirees, the economy, and the state.
The proposal put forth by the Study Committee permits small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to sign on to the state-administered program, saving them money and resources while allowing them to provide an important benefit for employees. This would be an important step towards financial security for all Vermonters.