Earlier this month, the U.S. Small Business Administration hosted their annual National Small Business Week to recognize the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, small business advocates and champions.
As I reflect back on it though, I see National Small Business Week as a perfect time to also talk about securing the financial future of those millions of hard-working Americans who power the engine of our economy - our small businesses.
Today, a secure retirement is out of reach for millions of men and women who work for themselves or for small businesses. While Social Security is a critical piece of the puzzle, it is not enough to depend on. Many future retirees won’t be able to handle the rising costs of basic needs and health care.
But as a small business owner, your primary responsibility is to focus on your business, making sure it’s running properly. You want to help your employees save for retirement, but you don't have the time or money to set up a plan for yourself, much less your employees. You want to hire and keep the best people and remain competitive with larger companies and the benefits they can offer their employees... but how?
Thankfully several states are making a big difference for small business, and making retirement security for workers a priority, by creating Work & Save programs. To date, 10 states have already passed various Work & Save laws to help over 17 million Americans gain access to workplace savings options: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Oregon, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, and Washington.
Work & Save provides an easy, low-cost retirement savings option to help small businesses give their employees a way to save and take control of their future. It allows you as a business owner to access a simple, plug-and-play retirement option for your employees with little effort and no cost or risk on your part.
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business. With Work & Save, your hard-working employees can save for retirement right out of their regular paycheck, so they can take control of their future. They will set-up their own account, always remain in control of their account, and retain it if they change jobs.
AARP will continue to push for Work & Save programs all across the country so millions more can access these innovative programs - recognizing that every week is small business week in America!
To learn more about Work & Save programs, please visit: aarp.org/myfuture.
Would you like to volunteer with AARP? Visit aarp.org/getinvolved .
To stay up to date on our work in your state, and nationwide, sign up for our e-alerts AARP Advocates e-newsletter, follow me on Twitter @roamthedomes, or visit your state Web page.
Elaine Ryan is the vice president of state advocacy and strategy integration (SASI) for AARP. She leads a team of dedicated legislative staff members who work with AARP state offices to advance advocacy with governors and state legislators, helping people 50-plus attain and maintain their health and financial security.