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Wyden, Murray applaud administration move on retirement plans


Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, applauded the Obama Administration’s announcement to develop a regulation this year to support states trying to promote broader access to workplace retirement saving opportunities for workers.

Today, states face uncertainty with the application of federal labor and tax laws, the senator’s said. They said the Administration’s actions would facilitate state-based efforts to provide more working families with the opportunity to prepare for a financially secure retirement.

“We are facing a retirement crisis and we need to make it much more simple and easy for every working family to save,” Wyden said. “Oregon, as always, is on the cutting edge of states who are working to create more broad access to retirement savings opportunities for middle class Americans. I applaud the White House for making this important announcement on the same day as the signing ceremony for Oregon’s own state auto IRA legislation.”

“Today, too many workers in Washington state and across the country are not financially prepared for retirement and don’t have access to a retirement savings plan at work,” Murray said. “Today’s announcement will remove barriers and pave the way for more states to follow the lead of states like Washington and expand access to retirement savings plans for workers, so those families will be able to save for a secure retirement.”

More than 50 percent of workers in the United States work for an employer that does not sponsor a retirement plan, and workers without a retirement savings plan through work are much less likely to save.

Recently, states like Oregon, California, Illinois and Washington have passed legislation that asks employers that do not offer a plan to automatically enroll workers in a payroll deduction IRA. States including Connecticut and New Jersey are actively working on legislation to implement workplace opportunities for workers to save for retirement.

In May, Wyden and Murray led a group of 26 Democratic senators in calling on the Administration to take action that would facilitate state-based efforts at providing working families the opportunity to prepare for retirement.

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