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State-Run Plans: Small Biz Owners Skeptical

The Pew Charitable Trusts recently conducted focus groups in Philadelphia, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles to explore employers’ views on retirement programs and potential policy initiatives. The focus groups included 63 representatives of small (5 to 49 employees) and medium-size (50 to 249 employees) employers, and the eight sessions were largely split between employers that did and that did not offer retirement plans to their workers. Source: Napa-net.org

In summary, what did the employers say?

  • Overall aversion to government involvement due to the perception that all levels of government do not manage budgets and other programs well
  • Sponsors not confident in the states’ administrative capabilities to administer the plans
  • A “better than nothing” option for those employers that did not or could not have a plan otherwise—could level the playing field to help employees save
  • State-approved marketplace would likely be a redundancy due to existing internet-based tools available to participants

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