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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Concurrent Resolution 58 History

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SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 58

(By Senators Takubo, Ferns, Blair, Leonhardt, Maynard, Mullins, Kessler, Stollings and Yost )

[Originating in the Committee on Economic Development]

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study need and feasibility of the state creating a cost-effective and portable group retirement savings program for small businesses and their employees, including comparing costs of establishing the program with currently available private sector financial and retirement security opportunities for small businesses.

            Whereas, An employer with less than 50 employees is considered a small business; and

            Whereas, Seventy percent of small businesses in West Virginia do not offer employer-sponsored retirement plans to their employees; and

             Whereas, More than one half of the employees of small businesses do not have access to an employer-sponsored payroll deduction retirement savings plan; and

            Whereas, Without an employer-sponsored retirement plan, there is a concern that workers will not have enough money to cover living expenses upon retirement; and

            Whereas, Social Security plays a key role in providing retirement security for workers in West Virginia, but it should not be the sole source of retirement income; and

            Whereas, If a significant portion of retirees rely only on Social Security for income, then there would be a growing demand for taxpayer-supported services which would increase costs for the state; and

            Whereas, In addition to Social Security benefits, access to a retirement savings program would be beneficial to an employee’s retirement; and

            Whereas, It is preferable to enable an individual to have his or her own retirement plan rather than being forced to depend on taxpayer-supported programs and services; and

            Whereas, Currently, there are commercial employer-sponsored retirement plans that are available to help workers accumulate retirement savings and improve their retirement security, but small business employers feel these plans are too expensive; and

            Whereas, Small business employers think the state of West Virginia should do more to encourage workers to save for retirement by enacting legislation that gives small business employers in West Virginia the option of creating a retirement savings plan; and

            Whereas, Illinois recently enacted legislation that created a retirement savings program for its citizens to save money for their retirement, and 30 other states are considering such a program, including California, Oregon, Minnesota, Connecticut and Maryland, which are conducting formal studies to ascertain a retirement savings program that will best assist their citizens to build a more secure retirement; and

             Whereas, In West Virginia, a retirement savings program for small businesses would offer an opportunity for small business employers to establish a basic retirement savings option for employees which would provide workers a simple way to save for retirement which would result in fewer West Virginians relying on taxpayer-supported services, saving taxpayer dollars; and

            Whereas, There is a need to determine if any potential state retirement savings program would be less expensive and not in direct competition with those employee and employer portable retirement programs already offered by banks, financial institutions, insurance brokers and private insurers; and    

            Whereas, A complete fiscal analysis is needed to determine the financial implications of a state retirement savings program, including the start-up costs, the compliance costs, legal implications to the state and its small businesses, costs of investment, actuarial compliance with federal securities laws and comparing the cost of a potential state-sponsored retirement savings program to the cost of existing private sector alternatives; therefore, be it

            Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

            That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study need and feasibility of the state creating a cost-effective and portable group retirement savings program for small businesses and their employees, including comparing costs of establishing the program with currently available private sector financial and retirement security opportunities for small businesses; and, be it

            Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2016, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

            Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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