Policy Spotlight: Green Mountain Secure Retirement

In 2017, MSA-VT brought together small business owners throughout the state to support and help pass Act 69, which directed the state to create the Green Mountain Secure Retirement Program, an initiative spearheaded by Treasurer Pearce. The implementation date for this program is set for January 15, 2019.

This voluntary program will provide employees of small businesses - and small business owners themselves - with access to a secure statewide public retirement plan. It will be available to small employers (those who employ 50 or fewer employees) who don’t currently offer a retirement plan.

Studies have shown

  • Less than 10% of workers without access to a employer-sponsored plan contribute to a retirement savings account on their own. 
  • Modest increases in net worth among those who save the least for retirement would improve retirement readiness and reduce government expenditures on public assistance programs. 
  • Workers are 15 times more likely to save for retirement if they have a way to save through an employer-sponsored plan. 
  • When employees are offered a plan, about 70% voluntarily participate; when workers are auto-enrolled in a plan, with the option to opt-out, 90% participate.

Access to Retirement Programs in Vermont
Small businesses represent the majority of all Vermont employers and employ nearly half of Vermont’s labor force. They are also the least likely to offer retirement plans. Among the small, “main street” business owners surveyed in 2016, only 9.5% reported that they provided a retirement plan to their employees and 75% indicated that they would support Vermont creating an affordable and voluntary public retirement plan that all employees could access by electing to contribute through a payroll deduction. In Vermont, about 45% of private sector employees work for an employer that does not offer an employer plan.

If you’d like more information about this program, please contact us at vermont@mainstreetalliance.org

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