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State Legislatures Pass AARP-Supported Retirement Savings Bills

En español | We applaud state lawmakers in Missouri, Minnesota, Vermont and Nevada for passing AARP-supported legislation to help private-sector workers save for retirement.

In Missouri, lawmakers gave the green light to a voluntary public-private retirement option for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees that don’t already offer a savings program. The legislation, which Gov. Mike Parson signed into law on July 6, would allow eligible small businesses to offer their workers a state-facilitated 401(k) plan and match a portion of employees’ contributions if they choose.

AARP Missouri State Director Craig Eichelman called the bill’s passage “a victory for employees of small businesses, who typically don’t have access to workplace retirement savings like a 401(k).”

In Minnesota, lawmakers approved legislation that would establish a state-facilitated retirement savings program starting in 2025, after nearly a decade of lobbying by our state office. The bill, which Gov. Tim Walz signed on May 19, requires businesses with five or more employees to participate if they don’t already offer a way for workers to save for retirement. 

“Most small business owners want to provide retirement benefits to their employees but lack the time, knowledge, and resources to do so,” AARP Minnesota State Director Cathy McLeer said in a statement. 

In Vermont, Gov. Phil Scott signed legislation June 1 that would phase in a state-facilitated retirement savings program in 2025 for more than 88,000 workers in the state who lack access to a workplace plan.

The legislation, which won unanimous approval from state lawmakers, requires employers who do not already offer a 401(k) or similar retirement plan to enroll their employees in a privately managed Roth IRA. Contributions would be automatically deducted from workers’ paychecks, and those who do not wish to contribute may opt out.

“Having access to a retirement plan at work is critical for building financial security later in life,” said AARP Vermont State Director Greg Marchildon. “VTSaves will help provide an easy pathway for workers to build a safety net and grow the savings they need for a more secure future.” 

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo signed a bill into law June 13 that creates the Nevada Employee Savings Trust (NEST), a public-private retirement savings program for private-sector employees. The program will be launched in 2025. It requires employers in business for at least three years and with five or more workers to automatically enroll employees in a state-facilitated IRA if they do not offer their own retirement plan.

AARP has been working for years to improve retirement savings options for employees. Our research shows people are 15 times more likely to save when they can do so at work, and 20 times more likely if their workplace saving is automatic. 

To date, 19 states have enacted state-facilitated retirements savings bills, also know as "work and save." Last year, our advocacy helped pass bills in Delaware and Hawaii. Dozens of other states and Puerto Rico are considering similar measures.

Read more about states with work-and-save laws, and learn about state-facilitated retirement accounts at our State Retirement Resource Center.

This post has been updated.

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