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Ending Federal Rule Permitting States to Establish Private Sector Retirement Accounts is Bad for Small Businesses

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, 3 May, 2017

Statement from John Arensmeyer, Small Business Majority Founder & CEO, on why a U.S. Senate vote to overturn a federal rule that makes it easier for states to establish retirement savings plans will harm small employers


It is disappointing that the U.S. Senate today adopted HJR 66, which will overturn the U.S. Department of Labor’s rule that enables states to establish retirement savings plans for private sector workers. Striking down this rule will have a chilling effect on states that are establishing their own retirement savings programs, which in turn will harm small businesses and their employees.

Small businesses throughout the United States often struggle to offer retirement benefits to their employees because they typically lack the resources to do so. State-managed retirement plans, however, are a great way for small employers to offer these benefits to their employees at no cost. These publicly managed state plans, which are already being established in places like California, Illinois and Oregon, are also an opportunity to even the playing field for small businesses that cannot offer the same level of benefits as their big business counterparts.   

What’s more, Small Business Majority’s state opinion polling found small business owners face a number of barriers to offering retirement plans, but they want to offer this benefit to their employees because it helps them attract and retain talent. Additionally, the majority of small employers are concerned their employees will not have enough saved for retirement. That’s why small businesses overwhelmingly support state efforts to establish state-administered retirement savings programs.

Small employers need retirement savings options for their employees that make sense for their business and their bottom line, and public retirement savings programs administered by states can help. The Labor Department’s rule is crucial to supporting states in their efforts to serve their small businesses and private sector workers, which is why we urge President Trump not to sign this harmful measure.


About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to focus on solving the biggest problems facing small businesses today. Since 2005, we have actively engaged small business owners and policymakers in support of public policy solutions, and have delivered information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth and drive a strong economy. We regularly engage our network of 55,000 small business owners along with a formal strategic partnership program of more than 150 business organizations, enabling us to reach more than 500,000 entrepreneurs. Our extensive scientific polling, focus groups and economic research help us educate and inform policymakers, the media and other stakeholders about key issues impacting small businesses and freelancers, including access to capital, taxes, healthcare, retirement, entrepreneurship and workforce development. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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