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Delaware Governor Signs AARP-Backed Retirement Savings Bill

En español | AARP Delaware was thrilled to attend Thursday’s signing of a bill that will set up a state-facilitated retirement savings program that’s expected to benefit thousands of working Delawareans and save taxpayers millions of dollars.

The new law, signed by Gov. John Carney, will require employers with more than five workers to enroll employees in a new retirement savings option or another retirement plan if they don’t already offer one. The Delaware Expanding Access for Retirement and Necessary Savings (EARNS) Program “allows Delaware private-sector workers to easily save for the future to take care of themselves,” George Meldrum, state president of AARP Delaware, said in a statement. Workers can opt out but will otherwise be automatically enrolled in the program. It is expected to launch in the coming years.

Research shows people are 15 times more likely to save for retirement when they can do so at work. AARP Delaware has been pushing for the creation of the bill since last year, recently hosting a retirement-focused tele-town hall with Delaware State Treasurer Colleen Davis and AARP Financial Ambassador Jean Chatzky. More than 9 in 10 Delawareans (92 percent) age 45 and up worry about having enough money saved to retire, according to a recent AARP survey. Retirees who don’t have enough often wind up relying on taxpayer-funded public assistance. 

We’ve been working with state lawmakers across the country to improve retirement savings options for workers. Hawai’i passed an AARP-backed state-run savings program earlier this year, and Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a similar bill. Including Delaware and Hawai'i, 16 states have approved state-facilitated retirement savings programs.

Read about Delaware EARNS, and learn more about planning for retirement.

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