Tens of millions of Americans don’t have access to workplace retirement benefits, threatening their future financial security and burdening state budgets. In the last decade more than a dozen states and cities passed legislation establishing automated savings programs designed to help workers save for retirement. Also known as auto-IRAs, work and save, and secure choice, these programs allow small businesses to recruit and retain workers by offering a no-cost retirement benefit. And when workers are more financially secure, they are less reliant on taxpayer-funded government programs, better able to withstand financial shocks, and more likely to save for their future.
The Pew Charitable Trusts’ retirement savings project provides data, analysis, and technical assistance to help states design automated savings programs to best fit the needs of employers, workers, and taxpayers.
Benefits for Small Businesses
Many small businesses are unable to offer retirement benefits because of high startup costs and lack of administrative capacity. Automated savings programs are a no-cost and user-friendly retirement benefit for small businesses.
Survey: Small Businesses Embrace Automated Savings Programs
Early state implementation efforts show business support for a public-private partnership retirement savings option
Is the OregonSaves Retirement Program Expensive?
Nearly 80% of small-business owners reported that they didn’t incur any out-of-pocket costs due to OregonSaves program
Savings Access for Private Sector Workers
Research shows that workers are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they can use payroll deduction. Yet tens of millions of Americans—nearly half of private sector workers—don’t have access to retirement savings at work.
Nearly 40% in IL Program Feel More Financially Secure
Workers participating in the Illinois Secure Choice program expressed positive views in a statewide survey
Worker Reactions to State-Sponsored Auto-IRA Programs
Nationwide survey shows that workers at small- and medium-size businesses support automatic program features
Fiscal Impact of Barriers to Savings
States across the country are dealing with multiple budgeting challenges. Insufficient retirement savings will increase pressure on public assistance programs, reduce tax revenue, and decrease household spending by retirees while shifting the growing fiscal burden to a shrinking population of working-age taxpayers.
Keystone Saves Would Help PA Tackle $15.7B Taxpayer Burden
A study found that the state would face increased public assistance costs because of insufficient retirement savings
Fiscal Impact: Virginia’s Retirement Savings Deficiencies
Study reveals that saving as little as $40 a week can help Virginia avoid an $11.8 billion increase in public spending