Time to Empower NY Employees for a Secure Financial Future

Do you have a pension, 401k, or any savings plan?

Did you know that more than half of New York’s private-sector employees are offered no savings benefits from their employer? 52% of African American private-sector workers, and 67% of Hispanics, work for a company that doesn’t offer employees a pension, 401(k), or any savings option.

Things like pensions and 401k’s used to be the norm. But through the years private companies have been abandoning these plans, claiming that they are “too costly.”

What can you do?

A solution to the “lack of benefits problem” is currently before the New York State Senate right now. There is a bill to ensure every New Yorker who works for a private company with at least 10 employees can open an Individual Retirement Account at work and have 3% of their paycheck automatically invested.

That investment grows, and compounds, and before you know it, you’re on your way to creating a nest egg to help you for retirement or whatever the future may hold.

Three years ago, the State enacted the “Secure Choice Savings Program.” It will be run by private money managers selected by the State and it’s slated to be up and running next year.

However, as it stands, companies won’t have to offer Secure Choice automatic payroll-deduction IRAs to their employees – leaving their employees with no way to save. Plus, even if the company chooses to participate, the employee must opt-in.

The fact is, people are 20 times more likely to save if they’re automatically enrolled in a program.

The bill before the State Senate now would require qualifying companies to participate and would automatically enroll their employees – who could opt out, or even invest more than 3% of their paycheck if they choose.

California, Oregon and Illinois all have such programs, and their private-sector employees are putting money away for their futures at great rates. New York should make its Secure Choice Savings Program just as strong.

Call on the New York State Senate to act now; the state legislative session will end on June 10, and this bill must pass and get signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Thanks to the leadership of Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez of East Harlem and the support of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie of the Bronx, the bill that’s before the State Senate passed the Assembly in a bipartisan 121-26 vote on May 11.

We need State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, of the Bronx, to ensure the legislation goes to the floor of the Senate for a vote soon. Make your voice heard by urging your State Senator to support and co-sponsor Senator Savino’s legislation and, importantly, call on Leader Stewart-Cousins to schedule a vote on the bill. Go to action.aarp.org/securechoiceny and help advocate for this important legislation so more private-sector employees can start saving for their future.