Insights Blog

State Retirement Reform: Lifting Up Best Practices

December 7, 2017
State Retirement Reform: Lifting Up Best Practices Unsplash unsplash.com

Despite Trump's efforts to rollback federal retirement reform, 22 states introduced reform since his inauguration. 

Despite evidence of a systemic retirement crisis, federal reform efforts have gone from making slow progress under the Obama administration to taking large steps back under the Trump administration.

Yet, state-level retirement reform efforts continue to emerge at a breathtaking pace.

  1. In only six years, from 2011 to 2017:
    • 40 states proposed bipartisan retirement reform to provide private-sector workers retirement coverage;
    • 9 states enacted retirement reform; and
    • 2 states have programs up and running.
  2. Since Trump's inauguration, 22 states proposed reform and Vermont signed it into law.
  3. In the 9 states that enacted plans, 3.5 million workers will have access to coverage.

While heralding the bipartisan effort and innovation of active states and their representatives, ReLab's new report, "State Retirement Reform: Lifting Up Best Practices," seeks to broaden options for future legislation by raising up best practices from the movement's early leaders. It does so through an analysis of the four major reform models according to their ability to facilitate the necessary principles of effective reform. 

Considered in context of the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), ReLab find the hybrid model of an auto-IRA coupled with an open MEP provides the best option for increasing access to coverage and offers the most potential to support all four principles of reform. 

TNS Infographic StateReformFollowsEarlyModels 110917 1

About SCEPA

SCEPA works to focus the public economics debate on the role government can and should play in the real productive economy - that of business, management, and labor - to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment.