Small Business Majority to Support California’s New Auto-IRA Program

For Immediate Release: 
Thursday, October 4, 2018

CalSavers will level the playing field for small firms that struggle to enroll their employees in retirement savings programs

Sacramento, CA—Small Business Majority is proud to announce it is launching a new program to educate small business owners about CalSavers, a portable state-run retirement program that will allow small businesses to provide access to a retirement savings account without incurring the associated burdens of employer-sponsored retirement options.

Set to launch in 2019, CalSavers provides an opportunity to small businesses that currently don’t participate in retirement savings programs. CalSavers will allow private-sector employees to contribute to an individual retirement savings account (IRA) through modest payroll deductions. This would help small business owners and the self-employed register in a retirement savings program at no added cost to their business.

With support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, Small Business Majority is working with CalSavers, United Ways of California, and others to educate small business owners about the program. Small Business Majority will offer in-person presentations and webinars, as well as provide online information and resources about the program. Additionally, we are educating small business owners about how they can participate in the CalSavers pilot program launching this fall and provide feedback on the program.

CalSavers, which will be the largest program of its kind in the United States, is critical since nearly half of Californians are projected to retire into economic hardship. What’s more, of the 7.5 million Californians who lack a workplace retirement plan, two-thirds work for businesses with less than 100 employees.

Given these issues, it’s not surprising California’s small firms are in favor of programs like CalSavers. In fact, scientific opinion polling released by Small Business Majority and AARP found 73 percent of California small business owners said being able to offer a completely voluntary, portable, retirement program would help them attract and retain top employees, and two-thirds of California small business owners supported state legislation that established CalSavers. Nearly three-fourths of respondents think offering such a program would give their business a competitive edge.

“CalSavers is a game changer for the millions of California small businesses and employees struggling to access retirement savings,” said Mark Herbert, California Director for Small Business Majority. “Once CalSavers is up and running, it will go a long way toward leveling the playing field for the many small firms that simply lack the resources to enroll their employees in a retirement savings program. We are glad to have the opportunity to help educate employers, media and the general public about CalSavers and the good it can do for the Golden State’s small firms.”

About Small Business Majority

Small Business Majority was founded and is run by small business owners to ensure America’s entrepreneurs are a key part of a thriving and inclusive economy. We actively engage our network of more than 58,000 small business owners in support of public policy solutions and deliver information and resources to entrepreneurs that promote small business growth. 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. Learn more about us on our website and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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