NAIFA Efforts Help Shelve Proposed State Retirement Program
Assembly Republicans floated a bill last month to require businesses with more than 25 employees to provide access to a new state retirement savings plan if they do not already offer a qualified plan. The state plan would be run by a third-party vendor. Contributions would be by the employees via payroll deduction, with no employer contribution.
However, after strong negative reactions by NAIFA-Wisconsin members and by other groups, the idea was discussed among Assembly Republicans in caucus and quickly shelved. The bill will not be introduced by majority Republicans, but Democrats are also considering proposals.
NAIFA members, along with lobbyists at the Schreiber GR Group, explained to legislators that they opposed the business mandate. They also opposed the state choosing an individual vendor to administer the plan, competing against the many savings opportunities already provided by the private sector. It is also likely that the plan would be expensive (dragging down returns) and trigger burdensome federal ERISA requirements on employers.
The Schreiber team also contacted other stakeholders to encourage them to weigh in.
This success story – accomplished in a matter of days – is a reminder of the importance and benefits of forming relationships with state lawmakers. Thank you, members! NAIFA members are a trusted source of information and expertise for officials in both parties, due in part to relationships forged at local NAIFA events, political fundraisers and NAIFA’s annual Days on the Hill in Madison.
Your participation in NAIFA, its conduit and its PAC strengthen the voice of insurance agents and financial advisors in Madison. It is important to build ongoing relationships with officials and to be prepared when a future controversy or need develops.
NAIFA also thanks the legislators for meeting and speaking with us and for listening to our perspectives. We look forward to working with them on other ideas to help address inadequate retirement savings, including educational efforts.
Meanwhile, Democrats have had a proposal for several years to create a second state retirement system, but for non-government employees. NAIFA has also opposed this idea as unnecessary and ineffective, creating harmful interference with the private sector.
Governor Tony Evers included a similar idea in his state budget proposal, but it was removed by Republicans in the Legislature, along with many other policy items. However, the Governor and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, a fellow Democrat, are creating a new Retirement Security Task Force. The group will explore ways to educated people about retirement programs and to create new investment options in the state. AARP-Wisconsin has made it clear that it hopes the task force endorses a state-run retirement plan and the Treasurer has spoken favorably about the State of Oregon’s state retirement plan.
This question is just one of the important issues that NAIFA and its members are effectively working on, representing you and your peers.