Utah Retirement Savings Plan Discussed

Feb 25, 2015

The Utah director of a national program for retired adults is working with lawmakers to study a  state-sponsored program that will help residents save for their retirement. Alan Ormsby is Utah director of the American Association of Retired Persons.  He said more than half of working people in Utah don't have a financial plan for when they retire.

"Our research found 40 percent say there is just no money left after paying their bills," Ormsby said. "Twenty-nine percent say they are paying off debt so there is a lot of things getting in the way right now of people paying for their own retirement."

Ormsby is meeting with Utah lawmakers to find a way for small business owners and the state to work together to make it easier for Utahns to pull money from their paycheck and save it in a state operated retirement savings plan.

"We have really seen a lot of research that suggests that if you are able to use a payroll deduction to put money directly into an account, that is the very best way for people to save because they almost don't think about it," Ormsby said.

Senate Joint Resolution Nine (SJR9) is being sponsored by State Senator Todd Weiler, a Republican from Woods Cross, and would allow lawmakers to study a proposal bringing together employees, small business owners and lawmakers to discuss how to provide working adults with the opportunity to build their retirement assets.

Ormsby said the retirement plan would be similar to a plan set up by lawmakers that allows people to save money for education and would keep employees from having to purchase private retirement plans.
According to a recent AARP survey of Utah residents, on average, the typical working-age household has about three thousand dollars in retirement assets while near-retirement households have about $12,000 set aside.

AARP conducted the survey of people in Utah between the ages of 25 and 64. Seventy-seven percent of those responding support the creation of a state-run retirement savings plan.