State-Run Retirement Plan for Private Sector Employees

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Economic Matters Committee heard legislation this week that would create a state-run retirement savings plan for private sector employees whose employers do not offer retirement plans.

The bill, SB 312 / HB 421, would establish the Maryland Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust and Program. Employers with at least 5 employees who don’t offer a retirement plan would be required to make the plan available to employees through payroll deductions, unless the employee opts out.

The Maryland Chamber opposes the bill. The legislation would impose administrative burdens on impacted employers that would be required to set up payroll reductions, enroll employees and collect forms from employees who opt out. In addition, similar retirement savings plans are already available from banks, brokers and other institutions. There is no evidence that a state-run retirement plan can be provided more cheaply than plans currently available in the marketplace.

Similar legislation was introduced last year and former Governor O’Malley issued a taskforce to study this issue last spring. For more information, contact Deriece Pate Bennett at dpatebennett@mdchamber.org.

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