Over the past several years, a number of states have enacted or proposed state-based retirement initiatives in an effort to expand retirement coverage among private-sector workers.1 In a typical state-based program, any employer above a certain size would be required to offer its employees the option to enroll in the state’s program if the employer does not offer its own retirement plan. Participating employers would be responsible for collecting employee contributions via payroll deduction and remitting those contributions to the plan. However, employer contributions would not be required. The responsibility for maintaining the program and selecting administration and investment service providers would remain with the state.
As of this writing, eight states have enacted legislation to implement such retirement programs for workers in those states: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Washington. In addition, Vermont has enacted legislation to establish a state-facilitated multiple employer plan, a different type of plan than those established by other states (see the “Public Policy and Regulatory Framework” section below). More than 30 other states have legislation in various stages of development or consideration or are performing feasibility studies on such programs.